Today's blog is from Heidi Halberstadt, the proud mom of Jayson, age 16. Jayson is an award-winning artist, and a rising junior in high school. He also, by the way, has an autism spectrum diagnosis.
Please do take the time to write a quick comment to Heidi and Jayson (just click on comment at the end of the blog). If you would like to submit your own essay, please do! Here are the details regarding length and how to submit!
About the Artist
Jayson Halberstadt is 16 years old. He will be an 11th grader at McFatter Technical High School where he will study Multi-Media Design. At the age of two he began to draw and never stopped. He began with shapes and progressed to video game characters. Several years ago, Jay began taking cartooning lessons from a former Disney animator named Al Baruch. For a young artist, Jay has had many accomplishments. His art has been shown in several community centers, museums, libraries, parks, universities and Artserve in Fort Lauderdale. He has also donated artwork to several local charities, including a 12" X 12" canvas to the Friendship Circle of Fort Lauderdale and an 8.5 X 11 colored pencil drawing to Project Lifesaver to be auctioned for fundraising. He also donated two 4' X 4' golf targets for the Autism Society of Broward children's golf program. Aside from volunteering for the Young at Art Children's Museum, Jay has volunteered as an assistant art teacher at the DPJCC and the Plantation Community Center. He also created a team called Jayson's Giants to raise $1,000 for Autism Speaks. He's been recognized for his community efforts and work in the arts in the Our City Weston and the Weston Lifestyle magazines. He was also honored as a Powerful Kid semi-finalist by the Chris Evert Children's Hospital and has volunteered at the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital drawing cartoons for young patients.
Aside from his philanthropic activities, Jayson has received recognition from some of his heroes such as Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees and Geddy Lee from the band Rush who sent autographs for his "awesome" pictures. Jay was a member of the Junior National Honor Society and was recently invited to join the National Honor Society. He has sold original artworks as well as many prints. You can check out his websites artbyjay.biz or cafepress.com/artbyjay. Eventually, Jayson would like to pursue a career in audiovisual entertainment.
Oh...and he was diagnosed with autism at the age of 5.