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17-year-old Ontario artist inspires children with autism and special needs to paint

Click to play video 'Making a Difference – 17-year-old Ontario artist inspires children with autism and special needs to paint' Making a Difference – 17-year-old Ontario artist inspires children with autism and special needs to paint
WATCH ABOVE: Ricai Kelly has autism and he's found a way to express himself through painting. He said he wants to teach others to do the same. Susan Hay has the story – Aug 23, 2017

You’ve likely heard the saying, “A picture paints a thousand words.” In the case of 17-year old artist Ricai Kelly, it’s true.

“I like to paint,” said Kelly. “It’s been my destiny, my dream to be the famous artist I can for my family.”

Ricai has autism and he’s found a way to express himself through painting. He said he wants to teach others to do the same.

“This inspires me with everything I can live for,” said Kelly.

Ausome Arts is a free 10-week program that runs once a week at the North Kipling Community Centre in Etobicoke for children and youth with autism and special needs. Ricai teaches the class with the help of his mother Michelle, but it all started because of his grandmother and the founder of Ausome Art.

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“Art has given him the ability and responsibility of life skills,” said Margaret Kelly.

“Ricai has a disability and I’m often told by Richard, ‘It’s not a disability, it’s an ability.'”

Ricai teaches kids between the ages of eight to 12 the artistry of drawing and painting while improving their fine motor skills.

“That mind is amazing,” said Ricai’s mom Michelle Kelly.

“And just because he can’t verbalize what everyone else can, he’s given that talent and he has to share it.”

Ausome Art is looking for any extra art supplies to help with the program. Anyone who wants to contribute can call 416-746-0318 or email rehfit_health@hotmail.com.