Leawood teen with autism finds passion for art through colorful paintings

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LEAWOOD, Kan -- A metro high school student is proving that heart and soul can overcome autism.

Matthew Breedlove is a junior at Blue Valley North High School and is autistic. He's also an artist, and it's not just a hobby. There were over 200 people at Breedlove's first art show, and he sold over 30 paintings for several hundred dollars each.

“When other people look at you your paintings, what do they say to you?" FOX4 reporter Shannon O’Brien asked.

"Thank you," Matthew said, “because they are nice."

Matthew’s mom Leslie Breedlove said she and her husband knew something was different with their firstborn when he was 18 months old. He wasn't reacting to his name, didn't make eye contact and didn't interact like other children his age. Leslie said it was a scary time when doctors diagnosed her Matthew with autism.

Matthew Breedlove

“We did not know what the future would hold for him," Leslie said.

Like many autistic children, her son lived in his own world in his head until he discovered art.

“I think about my brain. I am inspired," Matthew said. “I was inspired by the museum of art. I think about the colors because they are really nice."

Matthew mixes his own paint, uses brushes and pallet knives to create his masterpieces -- all with no formal training.

His ability to express himself on canvas has brought him to life in other areas, too. He's on the Blue Valley North track team and wins races. Like other teenagers, he likes to take selfies, and his other passion is music, which pours out of his beautiful soul.

Half of the money Matthew earns from his paintings goes to a foundation that supports people with autism. The other half pays for his supplies.

You can see more of Matthew’s art on his Facebook page. See Matthew's reaction to his story on FOX4 in the video below.