Vote now for an art competition with a difference
TES readers can vote online now to pick one of the winners at this year's "Create! Art for Autism" awards, which were set up to challenge the stereotype that students with autistic spectrum conditions lack creativity.
The awards received 550 entries from schools and colleges, ranging from paintings and sculptures to poetry and short films.
Among the 25 shortlisted works is a piece by 16-year-old David Greenberg of Inscape House School in Salford, who surprised his family by decorating a bathmat with a group of Scottish bagpipers, using the suckers for their faces. Other pieces include a painting of the Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch, a photo of trees that has been digitally adjusted so they resemble blood capillaries, and a stop-motion animation for The Beatles' song "She's Leaving Home".
A poetry category has also been introduced for the first time, to emphasise that autistic students can also be linguistically creative.
The awards were set up by Beechwood College, a residential college for students with an autistic spectrum condition in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. Darren Jackson, principal, said: "Some people might only expect the art would demonstrate detailed technique - similar to the analytical drawings of buildings by the artist Stephen Wiltshire. We wanted to show that young people with autism have a huge amount of creative flair, and it is vital their raw talent is recognised."
A panel of judges including the actress Jane Asher, TV presenter Gabi Roslin, and TES deputy editor Michael Shaw have already chosen winners for the 2D, 3D, poetry and digital arts categories, which will be announced on July 6.
However, the "people's choice" category will remain open for online voting until midnight on July1.