Almost every artist needs a back up job.” As a young adult with autism, art continues to be a passion and priority for artist Grace Goad. Like many individuals with autism, she also loves repetition and that’s one of the reasons she is a great employee. Grace works alongside a job coach at a Nashville area TJ Maxx unpacking bags of clothes, patiently removing pins and clips and stacking each garment. Life as a young adult, post school, is a process that’s unfolding. In addition to making art, her new life includes learning independent living skills, and integrating into the local community through exercise classes with the aid of a personal assistant through a new state program in Tennessee.
Grace was diagnosed with was diagnosed with moderately severe autism with intellectual disAbilities and severe speech/language disorder at just under age three, in 1997, and has been painting since she was four. Because autism subtly affects the muscle tone of portions of her grasp, her work is largely abstract. Yet, her advanced use of color and composition has been lauded and featured on the 2007 autism episode of ABC’s “The View;” on Al Jeezera America, Fox Business News; on the cover of The American Journal of Psychiatry, among other magazine covers; the cover of the book, Making Sense of Autism, and in The Art of Autism: 2012 Edition, as well as numerous local and national newspapers, magazines, and other television and online at www.GraceGoad.com