13 Extraordinary Pictures By Artists With Autism

In Drawing Autism, New York-based behaviour analyst Jill Mullin compiles more than 50 works by children and adults who fall on the autism spectrum.

1. “River Street, Troy, NY”, by James Kenneally.

James Kenneally / Via Drawing Autism

Autism is known as a “spectrum disorder” because no two diagnoses are exactly the same; however, there are characteristic traits of ASD.

2. “Birds”, by David Barth.

David Barth / Via Drawing Autism.

Visual taxonomies are a constant, as exemplified by this list of 397 birds by young David Barth (b. 1998).

3. “Lost in Thought”, by Kay Aitch.

Kay Aitch / Via Drawing Autism

Kay Aitch, was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 51.

4. “Streetcar in Hanoi”, by Shawn Belanger.

Shawn Belanger / Via Drawing Autism

Shawn Belanger was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1985. According to his website: “By the time he was 7 or 8, Shawn would find a picture book and put it beside him on the table to look at as he drew. At first he did not like the images he created; he was having trouble holding the pencil and decided that he and his mother should draw hand-over-hand, with her holding the pencil, and he controlling the actions. Eventually he began to draw on his own.”

5. “Apes”, by David Barth.

David Barth / Via Drawing Autism

Through their art, the contributors exhibit unique perspectives on how they see the world and their places in it.

6. “Music Man”, by Shawn Belanger.

Shawn Belanger / Via Drawing Autism

As online curator Maria Popova writes: “One significant change that has taken place over the past few years has been a shift from perceiving the autistic mind not as disabled but as differently abled — and often impressive in its difference”.

7. “Girl and Goat”, by Justin L. Williams.

Justin L. Williams / Via Drawing Autism

As she points out, there have been plenty of other extraordinary examples of autistic abilities documented in recent years. For example, British artist Stephen Wiltshire draws Rome from memory in this video.

8. “A Portrait of the Artist”, by Emily L. Williams.

Emily L. Williams / Via Drawing Autism

And Daniel Tammet’s brain is simply incredible: he has previously learned Icelandic in a single week and broke the European record by reciting the number pi up to the 22,514th digit. He’s also, unlike many others, able to speak eloquently about his condition.

9. “Inside-Outside Vortex from “Dream Series” (Dream Date December 23, 1987)”, by Steven Sandor Selpal.

Steven Sandor Selpal / Via Drawing Autism

Stephen Sandor Selpal describes his “lifelong fascination” as perceptions of living organisms and how they function and react to the environment.

10. “All About Money”, by Marilyn Cosho.

Marilyn Cosho / Via Drawing Autism

Marilyn Cosho has has Asperger’s syndrome and has fashioned 50 fairies from string since 2005: “Fairies are not quite of this world, which I also relate to.”

11. “Worst Fear”, by Marilyn Cosho.

Marilyn Cosho / Via Drawing Autism

“My design often reflects the autistic mind – being drawn to detail and order. Creating order counteracts feeling fragmented.”

12. “Panther”, by Emily L. Williams.

Emily L. Williams / Via Drawing Autism

Through their art, the contributors exhibit unique perspectives on how they see the world and their places in it.

13. “Underground”, by David Barth.

David Barth / Via Drawing Autism

And the book’s seven chapters – Interaction, Individual and Societal; Repetition, Repetition, Repetition; Getting from Here to There; Bird’s Eye View; Another World; It’s All History; Art for Art’s Sake – speak directly to the core characteristics of ASD.

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