Muhannad, an Autism Champion

What impact did Art to Heart have on Muhannad, my son, who has autism spectrum disorder?
“Muhannad used to be very shy. Whenever he spoke to anyone, he would speak in a very low voice. But after he joined Art to Heart organization, he changed dramatically. When I registered him in the puppet-making program, he was very shy at first, he even refused to communicate with or interact with members of the group. However, after several sessions, things started to change gradually. Every time he surprised us with a new development. The first surprise was when he made his first puppet, the group made puppets from very simple materials available, socks. That day, he not only returned home wearing the puppet on his hand but also I was astonished at how talkative he had become he even answered my questions in a loud voice and with great confidence. He shared with me some of his inner thoughts and feelings, like the people he loved. The biggest surprise of all was that he changed the tone of his voice to match the puppet’s show he ran for me!! When Art to Heart organized its first exhibition, Muhannad participated in singing the national anthem along with other participants. It was the first time for Muhannad to go up on stage and stand in front of an audience and sing with a group.

Another activity that positively impacted Muhannad was the mosaic workshop organized by Art to Heart. Mohannad showed great interest ever since the first workshop. He loved it and excelled in setting the mosaic stones with extreme precision on the pattern.

I felt that this form of art could be a life changer for Muhannad where he might be able to pursue it as a profession! Later, he joined the Mosaic course at Art to Heart and completed his first artwork with perfection. Now he is about to complete his second, as part of the Art to Heart project. I see that he really has potential in this field and that he’s quite talented. The credit for unveiling this talent, after God, goes to Art to Heart organization.

Moreover, I wish to emphasize that Muhannad’s confidence has stemmed from interacting with groups and making friends with new people. I believe this is the most important thing to offer to autistic persons. Thanks to Art to Heart for this wonderful and much needed project. I hope that the programs with persons with special needs will continue to succeed and prosper”. Mrs. Haneen Al-Banna – Muhannad’s mother.

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