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.
    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!


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