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.