Exceptional Son with Autism, passion for Visual Arts tells Mother, ‘I want to go to University

A retired civil servant, and mother of four, Mrs. Georgina Obingene, mni has expressed satisfaction over the academic records alongside creativity in visual arts

By Idris Ibrahim

A retired civil servant, and mother of four, Mrs. Georgina Obingene, has expressed satisfaction over the academic records alongside creativity in visual arts of her 25 years old son, Ifeanyichukwu Obingene who is battling with Autism Spectrum Disorder, (ASD).

Mr. Ifeanyi who graduated from a private school in Abuja, still aspires to further his education to higher institution despite his disabilities.

However, in an exclusive interview with News Diary Online, Mrs. Obingene said her son’s passion for visual arts alongside “patience and constancy” in care and rehabilitation made Mr. Ifeanyi an exceptional autism patient.

“Ifeanyi is actually living with autism. He was diagnosed when he was 10 years old. Later in life, we realized that his strength lies in visual arts. However, we tried actually to encourage him as parent.”

“Ifeanyi is always keen on going further in his education. He will always tell you ‘mummy I want to go to the university’, because for him, he can’t see why he can’t go to the university because his siblings are in the university. But, as it is, we are just looking at the type of universities we have in Nigeria, and he may not be able to fit in cause they do a lot of reading,” Mrs. Obingene disclosed.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) ASD are a diverse group of conditions. They are characterized by some degree of difficulty with social interaction and communication. Other characteristics are atypical patterns of activities and behaviors, such as difficulty with transition from one activity to another, a focus on details and unusual reactions to sensation.

The report further disclosed that autism has an impact on education and employment opportunities. But Mr. Ifeanyi’s passion for visual arts from childhood developed his art skills that made him an exceptional autism patient that can live independently.

“As he grew up, he developed a very good handwriting. He always enjoyed drawing simple free hand, free flowing sketches in pencil or ink. As a child he loved colouring which translates into painting later in his life. For three years, Ifeanyi received therapy from an occupational therapist who later recommended the development of Ifeanyi’s art works because she saw his strength there. She introduced him to a sculptor and a mosaic artist that later helped to improve his skills,” Mr. Obingene disclosed further.

However, the young adult’s passion for visual arts has led him to successfully organize a solo arts exhibition with the theme; “Worlds Within” on May 30 in Abuja.

The exhibition showcased his distinctive and captivating collection of artworks with each piece offering a unique and fascinating glimpse into the vibrant and imaginative world of this unique artist. Hard copies of the art exhibition catalogue of his work were shared to guests that graced the occasion at Bouygues Club House, Life Camp between May 30-June 6.

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