Notes from the Land of Gonzo - Who said Autistic kids can't create?

Supposedly Autistic kids or adults cannot create or have any free imagination. I beg to differ on that. I have Aspergers myself and yet I can create original drawings from out of my own imaginings. My cartoons speak for themselves and I love doing them. My youngest daughter Michelle was diagnosed with Autism just before her third birthday. It took 3 long hard years to teach her how to hold a pencil and a crayon properly. Drawing a circle wasn't mastered until she was nearly 8 years old and from that point on Michelle's creativity took off on its own.

A few days ago I presented Michelle with a book of blank pages and challenged her to draw from two photos. I told her to avoid making the drawings exactly the same as the image, but to use her own interpretations. I advised her on the first drawing where she might like to put more shading - but other than that I left Michelle to do her own creating. Well above are the results. The first one was an African Lion named Subu who passed away recently at a grand age at a UK Zoo. The other is a Black Rhino that was killed recently by poachers and her calf eaten by predators. Both sad stories but the images also gave Michelle an opportunity to create using photos as a reference. Some would call her an Autistic Savant..but the truth is the ability is already there all I had to do was to challenge her a little more. Well the results speak for themselves. We all have that gift of creativity it's how we encourage it in our kids that matters. To me a simple line is creative and if your child brings you a drawing with one line praise them! Don't criticise encourage a thousand drawings and in the end it will open up a whole new world and in the process open up the mind to a lot of new possibilities.


  1. Brilliant drawings. Michelle is a star and has certainly inherited your talent, Liz.

  2. these are remarkable drawings!!

  3. Wow, heaps better than me. I must get you to give me some lessons / encouragement. Tell her that her Aunty is very impressed.

  4. I agree with everyone, Michelle is a girl with a gift. I do not, however think that autistic people are without creative abilities. The most impressive person with autism is Stephen Wiltshire. http://www.stephenwiltshire.co.uk/
    The video of his early life is astonishing. His abilities are beyond comprehension.

    Liz, thanks for your comment on my blog. I so appreciate that you stopped by!