Autistic student aspires to design video games but needs help


Andres Lorenzo is not just an ordinary 22-year-old student. He is an artist in the making.

He excels in his art classes at Miami Dade College and spends his free time expanding his portfolio. His goal is to become a video game designer and create smiles around the world.

He draws every day.

Art is his escape from the stresses and worries of life. If he doesn’t draw every day, anxiety can win him over.

Andres is autistic. He lives in Hialeah with his parents and two brothers, Xander, 16, who is also autistic, and Eros, 19, a student at Florida International University.

Andres started drawing simple pieces at the age of 7. He said creating art is a way to express yourself and relax.

“I’m already having the best time of my life doing this,” he said. “I feel like an addict when it comes to drawing because I constantly enjoy practicing and learning more. ”

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Andres Lorenzo, 22, and his mother, Sady Lorenzo, 50, in their home in Hialeah. Andres is autistic and finds it difficult to break his routine. A generator would help keep her situation on track in the event of a power failure. Samantha morell CRF

Andres is working on an associate’s degree in animation and game art. After graduating in 2023, he wants to obtain a bachelor’s degree in the field.

Andres loves college because he meets new people.

“My favorite class was digital character design just because the teacher was a gamer like me, so she was very easy to understand,” he said.

Like many people with autism, they do better with a routine. But when this routine breaks down, there can be problems. Its biggest obstacle is hurricanes or other inclement weather that can cause power outages. When there is no light or air conditioning, their little house in Hialeah can become chaotic. Andres is losing control of his emotions and might start to swear. Alex might turn manic. If the family cannot defuse the situation, the brothers could become physically aggressive.

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Andres Lorenzo, 22, flips through his illustrations with his mother, Sady Lorenzo, in their kitchen. Andres says creating art is a way to express yourself and relax. Samantha morell CRF

Andres’ mother Sady Lorenzo, 50, said her routine could not continue to change in bad weather.

“Her father and I are getting older and we can no longer control his aggressive urges,” she said. “Honestly, we’re just exhausted.

Andres’ dedication and passion for art inspired Monica Gomez, a social worker at Contrary to Support Services – a social service agency that works with people with mental and physical disabilities – to name him for Wish Book. She said the family hadn’t asked for anything, but would like a generator. This would allow Andres to continue creating art in all weather conditions and help him and his brother stay stable. The sanity of everyone in the house is compromised when there is no electricity.

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Andres Lorenzo, 22, left, stands with his brothers, Eros, 19, and Xander, 16, right, at their home in Hialeah. Andres and Alex are autistic. Samantha morell CRF

Gomez started working with Andres in June 2020. After just two visits to the family’s home, she saw how supportive her family is. She was also impressed with the quality of Andres’ art. The meaning behind each piece demonstrates her thoughtful process and compassionate heart, she said.

“When I saw him I realized he was a hidden treasure because he has immense talent and it shows in every drawing,” she said. “The first thought that came to my mind was, ‘Wow, he’s really amazing. “”

Artistic creation is the foundation of Andres’ mental and emotional progress. With a generator, he can continue to create while remaining stable.

“I use my emotions and make art out of it,” he said. “It’s kind of like therapy for me.”

How to help: Wish Book is trying to help this family and hundreds of others in need this year. To donate, pay securely at MiamiHerald.com/wishbook.

How to help

To help this candidate and 150 other candidates who are in need this year:

â–ª To donate, use coupon found in newspaper or pay securely online via www.MiamiHerald.com/wishbook

â–ª For more information call 305-376-2906 or email [email protected]

â–ª The most requested items are often laptops and tablets for school, furniture and accessible vans

For more information: www.miamiherald.com/wishbook

About Raymond A. Bentley

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