Thread: Art and autism
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Old 02-02-10, 03:49 PM
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jpohl jpohl is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NWT, Canada
Posts: 246
Lightbulb Art and autism

I haven't posted in some time since our youngest was diagnosed with autism last summer. It threw me for a bit of a loop, but knowing is a also a relief. It explained much.. and all the years of sleep loss. Melatonin (a naturally occurring chemical that regulates sleep and that people with autism don't seem to produce in the same quantities) is starting to help.

It may explain all my late night posts on this forum a year ago while I was waiting for him sleep.

It has been quite a learning curve, but our three year old is getting help and making some progress.

For all the challenge autism can bring with it many positive traits. Honesty, an inability to lie is just one of them. (If genetics play a role I have to wonder if this is where my tendency to be honest to a fault comes from, or why my husband is so good with numbers... or why he almost failed kindergarten before they figured out he had a genius IQ. )

Autism can occur in countless ways and degrees and is different for each individual, but I have noticed that good artists and people with autism share many common traits:

1. the ability to focus one thing for an extended period.
2. sensitivity to light and detail
3. being content to live in their own world and happy to be alone.
4. an ability to sense pattern.
5. seeing the world in surprising and unique ways.
6. a tendency to enjoy repetitive tasks.
7. a few have photographic memories.

This is a recent example of an extraordinary artist with autism:

I haven't given up trying to start painting again. When my son was diagnosed one of the first things the doctor said was "I don't know how you managed for so long on your own." Now that we have help and are settling into new routines I may have more chance to work again for periods of time.

Studies indicate that genetics play a role. If I'm at some point on the far end of the spectrum perhaps there is a reason why painting has always helped me make sense of the world. Then again, my son's therapist says that perhaps we are all on the spectrum at some point.

Last edited by jpohl; 02-02-10 at 03:55 PM.
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