Meet Hunter George
Adaptive artist bringing awareness to autism
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
February 24, 2019
Hunter George lives in Pinedale, Wyoming with his mother, Kathy. Hunter is a 23-year old adaptive artist who is using his artistic talents to bring awareness to autism.
Autism is a neurological and development disorder that begins early in childhood and lasts throughout a personís life. It can have a wide range of symptoms, and persons afflicted with it can have a wide range in the degree it impacts them developmentally. The ways in which people with autism learn, think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States today.
Autism is sometimes called Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) because of the wide range of symptoms. People with ASD might have challenges with social skills or problems carrying on a conversation or talking with others such as they might not look people in the eye when talking with them. They may also have restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. They may spend a lot of time putting things in order, or they may say the same sentence again and again. They may often seem to be in their "own world."
There is currently no one standard treatment for ASD. Treatment begins with early diagnosis which leads to a variety of behavior and communication therapies, skills training, and medicines to control symptoms. Social implications include awareness education of the public about what autism is and build sensitivity and an understanding of how to interact with people who may be afflicted by ASD. Studies indicate that autistic children in middle and high school have a high rate of bullying and victimization at school.
Although Hunter is non-verbal, that doesn't stop him from doing what he likes...such as shooting baskets and rock hunting with his Mom. With the help of supportive people, Hunter is transitioning into adulthood. One of the things Hunter enjoys doing is artistic painting. He is currently creating one-of-a-kind greeting cards with his original hand-painted designs. Hunter selects the colors and then pattern stamps the design. Sometimes he uses stencils to add shapes such as hearts, lines and diagonals to his creations.
The cards are now being sold in local area stores. They are currently available at Office Outlet in Pinedale, the tattoo parlor in the McGregorís historic building in Pinedale, and Vertical Harvest in Jackson, Wyoming. The income from his artwork helps him to be gainfully employed and goes towards having an employment support person.
The family hopes the card making and artistic endeavors will help Hunter find an outlet for his creative expression with the additional benefit of helping to educate people about autism.
More information can be found on Hunterís Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/hunter.george.9847/ or by writing:
PO Box 487
Pinedale, WY 82941