By Jami Davis
Dozens of colored drawings cover the walls of nurse Kim Smith’s “Room of Art”. For months junior Joshua Hahn has been drawing and coloring pictures that have become almost the sole decorations in nurse Smith’s office.
Hahn has drawn hundreds of pictures for Smith, in part because of a competition with Smith’s daughter.
“I have to draw outer space against Savanah Smith. I have a contest against her. She is the daughter of the school nurse,” Hahn said.
This contest began when Smith brought in a picture that her daughter had drawn for her.
“It all started because I have a four year old daughter, and last year I hung up pictures that she drew and one day Josh came in and started hanging up pictures. He’d try to hang up more than I did,” Smith said.
Most of Hahn pictures involve images from outer space, such as space ships, galaxies and black holes.
“I draw these things because of Star Wars and Star Trek, etc,” Hahn said.
Hahn lives with autism, but he is able to cope with his disability with the help of his aide Teresa Hutzell.
“I’ve been his aide since his 7th grade year, so since 2006,” Hutzell said.
Over the months that Hahn has been hanging up pictures in Smith’s office, they have created a bond.
“I’ve found he’s comfortable with me talking to him. He’s very funny. Josh is quiet, but once he gets to know you he opens up. He’s just a really sweet kid. He is very excited that people are interested in his drawings,” Smith said.
Hahn names every one of his drawings, and can recall the names of each and every one as soon as he is asked. He also hangs up most of his pictures himself.
Being Hahns’s aide, Hutzell hears about all of Josh’s drawings, and frequently spends time in Smith’s “Room of art”. Since Hutzell has been working with Hahn for so long, she has gotten to know him very well.
“He’s quiet and can be very funny. He gets a kick out of everything. He’s easy going. He’s growing. He really is. He may be autistic, but he’s still going through everything everyone else is,” Hutzell said.
Hutzell helps Josh to learn and function in his school environment. According to Hutzell, Josh is a good and compliant student.
“He is very smart, and catches on very fast. He makes A-B Honor Roll all the time. He will not do something that he’s not supposed to do. He never wants to get in trouble with anybody,” Hutzell said
Josh also has typical teenage interests; he even has somewhat of a celebrity crush. His folder harbors many drawings with doodles of his favorite stars’ name.
“He loves to surf the internet and he loves to play computer games. He also loves the actress Miranda Cosgrove,” Hutzell said.