A 12-year-old Moncton boy with autism who has always struggled to fit in has found an outlet to express himself in molding clay characters.
“I don’t know why, but it’s something that I like,” said Jayden Moore, who started working with clay to help control his anxiety as suggested by his therapist.
Christine Roberts, Moore’s mother, said sculpting with clay would help calm her son after he came home from a rough day at school.
“It is just very calming, especially when he was in the school system sometimes he would come home pretty upset,” Roberts said.
Roberts said she started home schooling Moore about two-and-a-half years ago after struggling for years to get proper resource support for him at school.
She said her son would cry a lot at school and sometimes he was aggressive and would even self-harm.
“We tried three different schools here and every time he was removed out of the classroom and he would spend 90 per cent of his days alone in just a little room,” Roberts said.
But she said once she started home schooling and Moore got his hands on his clay more often everything changed.
“It just helps him relax, just to get whatever is inside out, all of those feelings especially if there is any negativity.”
She said the clay has unlocked hidden artistic talents in Moore that no one seemed to know he even had.
“At school when they had family art day he wasn’t included,” Roberts said.
“He was my first cat and, well, he passed away and he was my only best friend,” Moore said.
Working with the clay helped him cope with the loss, Roberts said. And now some of his favourite things to sculpt are special mementos for people – little handmade replicas of other people’s pets.