Home schooling unearths talent in the South West

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Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
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Ethyn Amat picked up painting at the start of the year and has created more than 100 pieces since.
Camera IconEthyn Amat picked up painting at the start of the year and has created more than 100 pieces since. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

A 17-year-old boy with autism who took up painting earlier this year has turned a hobby into a job, creating more than 100 works of art in the past five months.

Ethyn Amat is autistic and non-verbal, and like many other students, was home schooled during COVID-19.

“Initially it was a challenge to adjust to a new routine but once we put some structures and stability in place we ended up with this young man who started to flourish,” his mum Naomi Amat said.

“His communication started to evolve, his engagement with us improved and he had choice over what he wanted to do each day.

“He was gifted a paint set for his 17th birthday earlier this year and has since created close to 150 works of art.”

Mrs Amat said the decision to allow Ethyn to focus on turning his artwork into employment was a no-brainer.

“We were fortunate enough to receive support from Value Lives to help fund and maintain his hobby,” she said.

“If you’d told me three months ago we would have been pulling him out of school I would’ve not even fathomed it.

“Ethyn’s now engaging in his artwork, he has choice and control over what’s happening and that’s the biggest thing.”

Gina Semi from Valued Lives, who works with Ethyn as his mentor, noted the rapid rate at which he had got to this point.

“We are now looking at ways we can build the business and make it sustainable,” she said.

“He’s come so far in such a short time and his artwork is just amazing.”

For more information about Ethyn and his artwork visit @ethyn.amat on Instagram.

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