Wednesday, December 12, 2012

a peak inside....

Over the years I have had many many students who are on the autism spectrum...some love art some don't, some have talent for it and others not. However, the last two years I have had a young man who is Autistic in the more traditional definition of the term (I don't know how to better word it). He is very quiet, has a really hard time communicating with others, he seems very contained in his own head and as a teacher, and I know for his peers, it is very hard to get a sense of who he is as a person. While this student and I have "talked" many times and I have learned how to help him understand and process what I want him to do in the classroom, this lesson was the first time I felt like I was able to see the real him.... and what an amazing young man he is.

 This was his artwork for the illuminated letter lesson that I posted about before. This was the first time he had a really open ended lesson from me but not the first time he had worked in colored pencil in my classroom.

He used no how to draw books, just asked to look at my book of reptiles and if he could use a imaginary animal (yes of course!) ...these are just the wonderfully expressive and charming animals and images he choose to express who he is and what he likes.

I have this in a frame in the office so the reflection off the glass is making the photos a bit odd looking but I feel like you can see the personality in his creatures and the attention to detail he used

I was hoping to talk with his parents at conferences but it didn't work out....I know he likes to draw at home but these are so awesome  I think he would be a great book illustrator (and maybe author!) when he get's older.
I really look forward to to seeing what else he makes this year and I am going to make a big effort to adapt my lessons for him so that he has more time to work on them and can show his own style.
At the end of the lesson I was praising him for what an amazing job he did and I don't know if it made him uncomfortable, or if he has a hard time showing happiness, but he said, "ok, good" and kept his very clam serious look he always has. I hope inside he was smiling and knowing what a amazing young man he is.