Iris Grace by Arabella Carter-JohnsonEver since we came home with Thula, this precious magical kitten has cast a spell over Iris. They sit beside each other as Iris paints, and new doorways to communication have been opened, doors we had previously feared might be locked forever.
Iris Grace is six years old and severely autistic. For the first few years of her life, she barely communicated at all - she hardly ever looked up when her parents walked into a room, she rarely smiled or spoke. Her mother Arabella despaired - Iris seemed to be trapped in her own world, unreachable.
Then one day the family decided to get a cat, Thula, with whom Iris had an immediate affinity. She appeared to open up and communicate with Thula in a way that she hadnt done before. The little girl who seemed to be lost in her own world slowly blossomed. Iris is an extraordinarily gifted artist who sees the world in a profoundly vivid and visceral way, and with Thula by her side, she will sit and paint for hours.
This book isnt the story of a genius or child prodigy (although Iris is almost certainly both of those things), this is the story of how a remarkable bond between a cat and a child saved a family.
Beautifully written, readers will be spellbound by the story of Iris Grace and her devoted pet cat Thula.
6 year old autistic girl Iris and her cat Thula…wonderful story - 23rd Match 2016
When Iris Grace Halmshaw's parents introduced her to painting, they were hoping the activity would be a fun diversion and a way to get their autistic child to express herself. But as soon as Iris picked up a brush, her parents were blown away by how she approached the painting.
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Six-year-old Iris Grace, who has autism, has an extraordinary talent to express herself through painting. When Iris met Thula, a Maine coon cat in , Iris started to open up and and communicate with the pet in a way that she hadn't done before. Six-year-old Iris Grace Carter Johnson struggles with social interactions, but loves looking at her Facebook page, where she has almost , fans. In real life, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt can be counted among her fans, having recently purchased one of her watercolour paintings. Iris, who lives in Leicestershire, was diagnosed with autism when she was a toddler and since then her mother, Arabella Carter Johnson, has given up her job as a wedding photographer to care for and homeschool her. It was long nights sitting there with her so awake and not knowing why or why everyone else seemed to be meeting up in cafes and having a great time. It seemed like everyone else was moving on and I was just stuck there in that newborn stage.
Everything sounds logical, as something that does not deserve to be particularly mentioned; however, Iris is a six-year-old girl from Leicestershire who was diagnosed with autism. While she communicates with difficulties due to her condition, little Iris creates rather astonishing paintings that attract a lot of attention. How did Iris Grace manage to become a young star and what kind of paintings Iris actually creates? The sudden fame of Iris Grace is largely initiated by the activism of her mother Arabella Carter Johnson. When little Iris was diagnosed with autism, Carter Johnson quit her job, and dedicated all her time to raising and taking care of Iris.
Friends play time
In a five-year-old girl called Iris Grace began receiving widespread acclaim for some rather astonishing paintings. They were sold to private art collectors for thousands of pounds each, garnering praise from experts and fans around the UK and as far away as America and Asia. Published by Penguin Books towards the end of February, it has received an overwhelmingly positive response, described as a "positive, inspiring but realistic story of an incredible journey". I am seeing more and more stories about employment opportunities for those on the spectrum which is very exciting, and my hope is that this continues. Gemini a speech therapy programme still plays a big part in her therapy and I would highly recommend it to other parents," Arabella says. There is always a way, always a spark of interest to follow. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.
Iris and Thula. She also appeared unmistakably distant. Iris has made progress, but by no means steadily, with promising developments often followed by periods of regression. Meanwhile, one particularly extraordinary source of help has been a cat called Thula. She seems to understand exactly what Iris needs at any given time, sits riveted when Iris paints and has helped her accept such previously meltdown-inducing activities as having a bath, getting a haircut and going to sleep. And, as this extract shows, Thula had this ability from early on. Iris painting with her constant companion, Thula, by her side.