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Into the Mind of an Autistic Web Junky

03.07.2008 @ 4:00 PM in Technology
Of of the participants in my lab is a non-verbal guy who happens to be autistic. On the outside, he tends to grunt, get in your face and doesn't like people in his way. On the inside, this guy is chock full of intelligence; he loves technology, and can operate a PC better than most staff. No one really taught him either. When he comes to the computer lab, his favorite (ok, only activity) is getting online. He'll come in, grunt hello, point to a few interesting things in my lab (I leave computer parts laying on a table for him to look at, he loves it) and goes right to his station. In his hand is a small stack of papers, and on them are the contents of his interests. LabDrawing_small.jpg

[click above to view a larger version ala flickr]

The graphic above is a inverse scan of the paper he showed me today. I've been meaning to scan one in and really inspect it, the information contained is an amazing look into an otherwise forbidden mind. Obviously the first thing is an exxagerated drawing of a muscled man. My guy (can't say his name for confidentiality and stuff) LOVES body building and everything associated with it. I often see him walking down the hallways pointing to his arm muscles and if he sees a buff man he will stop him and squeeze his biceps and then point to his. He's always on muscle sites, looking at pictures and the products associated, like steroids. For fear of him glamorizing steroids, we tend to communicate a negative connotation about steroids, and he now draws them in the garbage, or sometimes, the word crossed out. From the "muesum" drawn on the upper left, I deduced that he also enjoys the greek sculpture, which also celebrate the male figure. Not everything is men and muscles, he is an avid lover of tech as well. you can see the circuitry and "wifi" in the drawing. Easter seems to be on his mind too, with a smiling easter egg posted at the top. Notice his use of a heart to depict the muscleman's face. i've yet to figure that one out. I plan on saving a few more of his drawings.. they really intrigue all of us here. Its like a puzzle.