El Dorado family changes life of son with autism, one drawing at a time

KSN Digital Extra

El Dorado, Kan. (KSNW) – An El Dorado family gains inspiration through social media and creates a retail business for their autistic son with his artwork.

Trent Landreth became a familiar face across the country when his mom shared an older video of him at the age of 15 on Facebook which went viral.

In the video, Landreth got on his family trampoline with a piece of chalk and started drawing animals when his mom decided to start recording him. Landreth backed himself onto the edge of the trampoline and even started drawing the animals upside down.

His mom shared the video on Facebook in 2016 and Landreth’s parents say the video got more than 54 million views.

We gave Trent some sidewalk chalk and he drew animals on the trampoline. Upside down. Only Trent! I realize a lot of people are watching this – I should mention that Trent has severe autism and uses almost no verbal communication. He has displayed this gift almost as long as he has been able to hold a pencil, literally. #trampolineart Drawings by Trentdrawingsbytrent.com

Posted by Andrea Landreth on Thursday, July 5, 2012

The family says when the video of their son went viral, they received an outpouring amount of messages and positive responses.

“It was very common to us that he was drawing like that,” said Andrea Landreth, mom of Trent Landreth. “When he was little people would say, ‘You should sell his art’ and we’re like, we are just trying to survive.”

The family says their son was two when he started drawing and he was diagnosed with classic to severe Autism when he was two and a half.

Nearly 1 in every 59 children has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls and it’s a lifetime neurological disorder. Adults with autism continue to need services, just as children do.

The Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act (CARES) was renewed in October, granting $1.8 billion in funding over the next five years to help people with autism spectrum disorder and their families.

The funding backs autism research and autism-related support programs, also providing grants for rural and undeserved areas. The CARE Act helps people like Trent Landreth.

He often had violent outbursts because he couldn’t communicate with his family. Landreth knows words and understands words, but can’t express his needs or feelings verbally.

Now, Trent is 22-years old and has a business in his name. The family started ‘Drawings by Trent’ to spread their son’s gift. They have created coloring books, greeting cards, T-shirts and other apparel with their son’s drawings.

“It’s so awesome to inspire people and educate them about Autism, just by his presence, just by the interactions that we have with him,” said Corey Landreth, dad of Trent Landreth.

For more information on Trent’s story or to see artwork, you can visit his website here, or his Facebook page here.

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