Autistic son finds a way to speak to his dad through picture talking


by Rhonda Massad

Ellis Goldsmith found a way to talk to his dad at the age of four.  Ellis has autism spectrum disorder and at the age of three was limited to about five words while other children have thousands to work with. 

After being diagnosed Ellis’ dad Jason took a year off from work to devote every moment to his son and to try to find a way to communicate with him.  His research taught him that many autistic children relate to life through pictures. 

With a chalk board in hand Jason drew and drew until one faithful day Ellis made the connection and responded by getting the fork that his dad had drawn. 

“It took about a month for Ellis to start to draw back to me,” Jason explained 

West Island Blog's Rhonda Massad caught up with Jason at the Hoppy Easter Fair in Pointe Claire
West Island Blog’s Rhonda Massad caught up with Jason at the Hoppy Easter Fair in Pointe Claire. “He drew what we now call a big blue hug.  This drawing of a hug was how he asked for a goodnight hug before retiring at night.”

According to Jason it opened the lines of communication for father and son and their world was changed forever.  Jason eventually left the world of industrial design and focused his energies towards Ellis.

Along with his fine arts and design background, Jason has received trainings in language stimulation and relationship development for autistic children. Jason’s work with Ellis lead to the discovery of drawing as a way to augment communication. Founded in 2006, The Big Blue Hug became Jason’s vehicle to share his story with others. 

Today Jason gives regular trainings on language stimulation in schools, developmental centres and universities all around Quebec. 

This coming spring, on May 13,  Jason will be showing off Ellis’ drawings that he transforms through glass painting at the  Expro Créatability at Peter Hall School in St. Laurent.

Check Jason and Ellis out at


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