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Heritage House honors Autism Awareness Month with special exhibit

Special to The Leader

Heritage House Museum in downtown Orange will mark Autism Awareness Month in April with a special exhibit. The exhibit will feature work by artist Jude Searl, 3, and Sarah Perry, 19, who makes jewelry. Both have autism.

A reception for the exhibit will be held Sunday, April 3, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Williams Building on the Heritage House Campus, 905 W. Division.

Sarah started making jewelry when she was 10 years old. She now goes to estate sales and flea markets to find vintage costume jewelry pieces to use with beads to create necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Her designs are unique and handmade.

She is a native of Mauriceville and was diagnosed with autism when she was in the first grade. She later went to school in Orangefield, where she graduated last year.

Jude was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 years old and his grandmother worked on different ways to reach to him. She is a painter and experimented by putting a canvas and paint in front of him. Painting has now become his passion.

The family has made matted prints of his colorful works and sells. A portion of the sales income goes to the Shorkey Center, where Jude goes to school, and the rest is used to help pay for his therapy.

During the reception, Jude’s prints and Sarah’s jewelry will be on sale to the public. For the rest of April, the exhibit will be open to the public during the museum’s regular hours.