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.

14 COMMENTS

  1. I loved this article! I had no clue this was going on, it’s really cool to hear. I went to elementary school with Josh for a few years and he was always nice. I am glad he is doing well and I hope he keeps drawing!

  2. This is a very sweet article. I used to have Physical Education with Josh in Clements and Moore. I had no clue this was going on even after being in the nurse’s office this year. Hearing an article focused on Josh actually moves me since almost all of the students don’t acknowledge his presence in the school.

  3. This article is good evidence of how autistic people can do things just like anyone, some are even very smart. I have known Josh since elementary school, so it’s kind of cool to read an article about something he’s doing.

  4. This article is so inspiring. It is so great to hear about people overcoming adversities in life. I also had no idea that this was happening, so thank you so much for bringing this wonderful story to our attention.

  5. I love stuff like this! It is very inspirational to hear of positive stories of this nature. I always pondered about the art in the clinic and now I know the reason behind it.

  6. I loved this article. It’s the perfect exmaple of how newspapers really do know stuff before everyone else does.I aslo liked how it focuses on Josh Hahn and is artwork becuase it is inspiring. He’s doing what he enjoys and he got recognized.

  7. Wow, I had no idea. It’s really nice to hear stuff like this. Having an “art room” for Josh is a great idea and it sounds like he really enjoys it. This article did a great job at covering this story and really captures his love for art.

  8. I had no idea that the inside of the clinic had art on the walls and now when I walk by or I look in and see the drawings on the walls I know who drew them and that they have more meaning than someone just being bored and draw. I loved this article!

  9. I had no idea this was happening, but I think it really is great that trn covered it. It’s little stories like this that I really enjoy hearing about. I don’t usually have a reason to go to the clinic, but now I want to to go check out the artwork.

  10. I have known many people with autism so it doesn’t suprise me at all to learn of Josh’s special talents. I have never met him, but he sounds like a wonderful student, artist, and friend. I hope he continues to be full of light that touches those around him.

  11. Next time I pass by the nurse’s office, I’ll look in and see if I can see some of his pictures. I’m sure they give the room a nice vibe and help to alleviate the misery of the sick who go to the clinic.

  12. I love this article and how it is in favor of conveying the similarities of normal kids to autistic kids. I think he sounds sweet..and love how he puts the drawings up. i think it makes for a more cheerful day for anyone walking into the nurses station with an upset stomach or headache. 🙂

  13. I have to say thanks to Josh. I’ve been in the nurse’s office before and I passed the time by trying to find the differences in the picturres. It works after a while you start to notice all of the different colors and shapes and everything. For that I have one thing to say, thanks Josh for making the nurse’s office a little more enjoyable.

  14. I was completely unaware that this whole competition was going on. This is really cool!I will definitely have to stop by and gaze upon these drawings. I dont know about you guys, but I am for sure pulling for Josh:)

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