Monday, June 25, 2012

An Autist and an Artist

Jake: "A Bad Guy from Iron Man"
I have been posting images of my son Jake's artwork from time to time here on my blog since he started doing really extraordinary work this past fall.

As I am way too tired to write anything of import today (first day of camp for Ethan - Jake in his 2nd week of no school/no camp vacation - trip out to L.I. with Jake in tow to both see my Mom & meet with her rehab team - there's nothing to eat in the house, so food shopping too) I thought I would fill in the unseemly blank space here and share some of the recent crop.

With all this free time on his hands, he's been busy!

"Bad Guy"
All Jake would tell me about him is that he's a "Bad Guy" and I have no idea which TV show or Movie he's from.

Personally I LOVE all the personality that comes out in the little lines around his mouth. And the sparkle of mischief in those eyes.

It never ceases to amaze me how Jacob manages to capture so much expression and emotion and character in the faces he draws. This would be impressive for ANY not-yet-ten year old boy, but for someone on the autism spectrum?  Truly, mind bogglingly extraordinary.

I love how it goes against the grain of all the common "wisdom" about autistic folks - how they are more interested in objects than people, don't pick up emotions, etc. etc. Because Jacob? Fascinated with other people, and clearly VERY tuned into facial expressions and what they convey.

Like I always say "You meet one person with autism... and you've met ONE person with autism." And Jake is SOME person with autism.  My favorite (but I am clearly prejudiced.)

"Peter Parker"
Jacob says this is Peter Parker - see the bit of spider on his arm that is cut off in this photo - but I think he looks quite a bit more like John Lennon, no?

"Two Face"
"Batman Bad-Guys"
Jacob is so clearly enamored of larger than life characters and stories. He loves drawing both superheros and their nemesises - the "Bad Guys."

"Harry Potter"
We've been having a bit of a Harry Potter film festival in the house this past week, as that's what Jake's been asking for, and I don't mind a bit as I have loved the books and enjoyed the films. This is definitely Harry from Book Seven, roughed up a bit and covered in either mud or blood - Jake was not quite clear on which - or both.

We haven't been watching in chronological order, but rather jumping around as Jake requests one or another specific film with a logic his own that I am not questioning, but rather letting dictate our viewing habits.  He has been commenting on Harry's maturation over the course of the series, going from asking "Is Harry a boy or a man?" to stating "Harry is a boy AND a man!" as he understands the films encompass some years of his life as he grows from one to another.

I think Jake is also thinking in about himself and how he will grow from a boy to a man someday. He's been talking about his impending birthday a lot, when he will turn TEN!

And with that thought I leave you. More tomorrow on... something. (Whatever my brain can muster.)


  1. Those drawings are fabulous, a unique style brimming with expression (some of them are quite scary) - what a talent for a nine year old!

  2. catching up on your blog. So sorry to see that your mom is struggling - hard times all around. I must weigh in here to pay my compliments to Jake's art. Truly outstanding. I would imagine that many accomplished adult artists would LOVE to be able to draw his way.


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