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Local girl is empowering others with Autism through sketches and sports

Local girl is empowering others with Autism through sketches and sports
Posted at 7:46 PM, Apr 23, 2022

Another tennis match is underway for the Cal Poly’s men's team and in the stands sits one of their biggest fans cheering them on.

“I love it so much I love all the players," Lizzie Belle Wickstrom said.

For Lizzie, her admiration for the team goes beyond just watching her favorite players.

“It’s hard for me to talk to people sometimes, so I love communicating through my art because it gets to show how much I love people," Lizzie said.

Lizzie was diagnosed with autism at 15 years old.

"Then when we told Lizzie, it was great for her because she always knew she was different, but she never knew why," said Lizzie's mom Kimberly Wickstrom.

April is National Autism Awareness month, and Lizzie is on a journey to empower others through her own diagnosis.

According to the CDC, autism affects 1 in 44 children in the United States today and for many kids, it takes years to get a proper diagnosis.

Lizzie began drawing portraits of every single player and coaches on the men’s basketball and tennis teams. Then, those sketches became social media posts.

“Lizzie she couldn’t really go to the team and say ‘I love you guys, you are the best' but she could draw. She loves doing it," said Kimberly.

Lizzie does not only use her social media for her portraits, she also uploads posts to help spread awareness about autism.

“I’m proud to be able to do this and I love being autistic," said Lizzie.

Lizzie hopes to be able to inspire others with autism and encourages everyone to pursue their dreams. For Lizzie, it’s becoming a professional artist.