Myth – People with autism lack creativity
Some of the most creative people on the planet are known (or suspected) to have autism.
It’s a common myth that autistic people lack creativity. It is true that some have specific interests and struggle with abstract concepts but that’s all part of seeing the world in a different way. In every area of the arts you will find people who have autism.
For the study, researchers looked at responses from 312 people – 75 of whom had a diagnosis of autism.
Participants of the study took the Alternative Uses Test where they were asked to think about uses for an everyday item such as a paper clip or a brick. This test is used to measure divergent thinking – a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions.
In line with previous research (which showed that people with autism score lower in these tests) it found that while they came up with fewer responses, the ones they did come up with were more unusual and creative compared to non-autistic people who commonly saw an alternative use for a brick as being a weapon or a door stop.
It highlights that autistic people are able to think ‘outside the box’ and come up with ideas that are incredibly creative.
Iris Grace expresses herself through art. Her paintings have been sold to private art collectors here in the UK and all over the world.
What’s special about Iris?
Well, she is six years old and autistic.
Iris’s life changed when she met Thula the cat in 2014. Animals often have the power to reach the autistic child in a way that no human can…It is truly a heart-warming story.
The Boy struggles with creativity art and crafts wise. He will only draw what interests him and 95% of his drawings are of stick-people whereas most of his peers’ drawings are more detailed and formed which is appropriate for his age group. Having said that, Katie from the hilarious http://hurrahforgin.com/ draws stick-people and she’s doing quite well from it, as did Lancashire lad L. S Lowry!
The Boy draws his obsessions and those obsessions started with numbers. He had a habit of drawing stick- people with their ages above their head which made me wish I’d knocked a few years off myself. Opportunity missed there, methinks!
His current obsessions is Ninjago and owls.
Being used to his stick drawings I was absolutely delighted when he produced this at Christmas..
The Boy first became obsessed with owls two years ago when The Owl Babies was read out in his class at school. He fell in love with ‘Bill’ because he’s the smallest and cutest. The teachers soon realised that owls were the answer to keeping him calm or providing comfort when he went into meltdown so they provided him with one to keep on his desk. Fabulous, eh?
Such is his love for these creatures that he was able to produce this beautiful picture which we’ve now framed. I know what effort it must have taken for him to do it and I couldn’t be prouder.
Art and Me
I’m creative person – a visual thinker and once upon a time I loved to draw.
My first work of art was to scribble all over my bedroom wall which really impressed Dad who’d just painted it. OOPS!
I was a crayon sniffer at school (is that weird?) and was fascinated by the variety of shades – my favourite being crimson. I like that word, crimson. It was the same shade my face used to go when I had to read out loud in class. *twitch*
Few subjects held my attention at school but art was one of them. I didn’t get the technical jargon and I’ve never stood with a pencil at arms length but I just loved being able to create something. It made school bearable but as we morphed into teenagers (therefore, gobshites) the art teacher became inept at controlling the class and in those last few years even art couldn’t provide me with respite from the bullying.
My love of art was inspired by Eldest Brother who was (and still is) a talented artist who reached A level standard. I admired him a lot and wanted to be like him, so I started to draw..
My art teacher said my work was OK but stylized. Cow.
I didn’t do very well at school. There were too many distractions of the sensory kind and an inability to perform under exam situations meant that I left with nothing to show for it. However, my art exam was done in a more relaxed atmosphere and I was able to produce work that I was proud of which ended being displayed on the wall. It was of a girl and it was an expression of myself and I was proud of it mainly because I achieved sod all else.
I don’t know what happened to that painting but it was in the same style as this one that I did a few years later.
Technically, it’s crap but that’s not what art is about to me. Art is expression. It’s looking at a blank canvas and creating something. In art, I found something that I wasn’t completely toss at and I liked how it made me feel.
I haven’t done any drawing or painting at all for eleven years. The only painting I do these days is up a ladder with a roller ha ha
Art is a good way of misfits, such as myself, to express themselves and for those like Iris Grace, it’s way of unlocking a silent world.
Maybe The Boy will develop a love of art and maybe he wont and either way it’s OK because I know he will find a way to express himself in whatever way is right for him.
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”Thomas Merton – No Man is an Island