Polyvios Christoforos, a Salem, Massachusetts native, was diagnosed with autism at 3 ½ years old. Christoforos’ mother, Georgia Christoforos, said there were concerns following his diagnosis that young Polyvois would never be able to speak, a challenge faced by many people on the autistic spectrum.
“He didn't start making sentences until he was over 6-years-old,” Georgia said, according to a report this month by wcvb.com. Fortunately, not only did Polyvios learn to speak, but discovered a second outlet for self-expression through painting and drawing, which have become not merely a hobby, but a driving passion. In the words of Christoforos himself, art is “like breathing to me.” Rather than focusing on a specific subject or theme, Christoforos artwork encompasses everything from faces to expression, figure studies, and environments.
According to wcvb.com’s report, Christoforos has donated his work to autism-related charities and has created note cards and calendars from his work to sell on behalf of autism-related causes. He also wrote and illustrated the autobiographical children’s book “Sammy Smart Guy,” about a young boy with autism who becomes an artist despite his challenges.
Christoforos crowning achievement took place when one of his paintings, “Dusk at the Acropolis,” was chosen to hang in the House of Congress in Washington, D.C. for a whole year, after being selected as the winner in a Congressional Art Competition.
Christoforos shared his message of persistence, hope, and inspiration for others on the autistic spectrum.
“Always remember, what people say about you, it doesn't matter,” he said. “Just keep remembering to follow your heart."