Cards from Art of Autism of East Lansing available at Sparrow Hospital Gift Shop

Diagnosed with autism when he was 2, drawing has been a tool for Anthony Stornant Collar of East Lansing since he was a child. Now, his artwork is available at the Sparrow Hospital Gift Shop.

Collar's business, Art of Autism, sells cards, calendars and prints of his artwork, which often feature happy and cartoon-like characters, holiday scenes and sports teams. The business was created in part to raise awareness about autism, and its products are available online and throughout mid-Michigan.

"Everywhere he goes, and everything he does, he has his drawing notebook with him," said Collar's mother, Stefeni Collar. "It is his tool to keep focused and on task."

Anthony Collar, 26, began drawing on his first day of preschool, and today uses art to communicate and tell stories. Collar is also the son of Dr. Alonso Collar, M.D., of the Sparrow Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery practice and Sparrow's Medical Director of Cardiovascular Surgery.

"You just look at (his art) and think if everyone in the world had this much happiness and the abilities that Anthony has to express himself so positively, the world would be a much nicer place to live," said Stefeni Collar.

For more information about Art of Autism, visit the Sparrow Hospital Gift Shop or www.artofautism.net.