Over the past couple years, seventh-grader Casey King, 13, has gone from failing his 5th and 6th grade classes to earning a B average this year. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome this past fall and, after gaining a little understanding and moving to the more structured environment of Stewart Middle School, is thriving.
“We want to give Casey the best opportunities we can,” mom Sandie King said. “My husband and I believe everyone has their own unique gifts, but we don’t always understand them completely.”
Casey’s gift made itself known when he was only a toddler – constantly drawing and creating art at every chance. “We always say he was born with a pencil in his hand,” King said.
This month, Casey’s art is hanging in the HeART of the Spectrum gallery in Seattle, which specializes in showing work from artists diagnosed with the autism disorders. His work can also be seen at Starbucks at 300 Occidental in Seattle in honor of National Autism Awareness Month.
“I’m a very visual person,” he said. “My art has always been a great way for me to relax.”
Taking art classes at Steward Elementary has already helped immensely. Although he has been an avid artist practically since birth, his skills have significantly improved this year alone. “His art teacher gave him a few techniques this year, and he just blew up as a result,” King said. “It’s been so much fun to see the expansion in his work.”
In the future, Casey plans to attend college and is interested in becoming a teacher. “My big idea is to experiment a little,” Casey said. “I thinking about possibly going to Bates for a couple years before transferring to a four-year college.”
His mom sees no reason why he will not be able to live independently, and is proud of his accomplishments in just the past year alone. “The difference in Casey last year compared to this year is amazing,” she said.
To learn more about Casey and his art, visit www.caseyking.com.