Jessi Upton, a Reno resident, was diagnosed with autism at the age two. She was almost completely non-verbal until the winter of 2007.
At that time, Jessi had been experimenting with finger painting at school and with her occupational therapist. But over the holiday break from school she painted at home with her mom and on canvas for the first time. She loved it and quickly churned out more than 20 paintings!
Christmas morning she woke up and very clearly said her ABCs. It was her family’s turn to be speechless. They wept with joy. Did the painting have a connection? They like to think that it contributed.
Today, Jessi has painted hundreds of canvases, and any proceeds from the sale of her work help shoulder her medical and therapy costs.