A YOUNG autistic woman adopted from a children’s home in Sarajevo is exhibiting her art at the i360.

Aida Ashall was born in Bosnia in 1997, just after the end of the Yugoslav war. She spent the first five years of her life in the children’s home.

She has severe special needs including attachment disorder, autism and anxiety.

But these challenges do not stop her from painting and today a selection of the 21-year-old’s work goes show at the Brighton seafront attraction.

Her mother, Julie, 51, who adopted her from Sarajevo and lives with her in Hove, said she was extremely proud of her achievements.

She said: “Aida has always been fascinated by colours since she was a child. I remember I bought her water palettes and she would mix all the colours until they turned brown.

“Aida has always engaged in a lot of arts and crafts at home and has been involved in art clubs at school and college.

“It was only two years ago when it dawned on me she has a talent for painting. She was encouraged by a teacher at Downs View Link College to paint a picture of the helter-skelter on the end of the Palace Pier for an open day at the college.”

Julie was working as a volunteer at the care home and met Aida when she was two.

She said: “Aida is a delightful young lady. Communication is a challenge for her, she can’t explain to me how she is feeling or why she is happy or upset. But I know painting has helped build up her self-esteem and confidence.

“When Aida started painting, she needed a lot of verbal support. She gets distracted.

“In order to paint a picture, I would need to get her to focus on drawing each area, line, shadow, colour. But now she is becoming more independent and I don’t need to prompt her much.

“We are very happy to be able to have an exhibition at the i360. The i360 held a young artist competition in June and I entered Aida’s work but the competition was only for those up to age 18.

“I suggested they could hold an art exhibition for disabled artists and they have very kindly offered a space for Aida.

“It is very exciting that Aida has found something she loves to do which will provide her with a ‘career’ when she leaves college.”

Aida has completed about 30 paintings and has had exhibitions at Brighton’s Jubilee Library, Cafe Plenty and The Montague Quarter in Worthing.

Her i360 exhibition opens today and runs until September 30 at the Volk’s Room.