Thursday, February 24, 2011

Illustrating with Autism

LAS VEGAS -- Foothill High School senior Ben Nelson is a precocious artist who meticulously draws colorful illustrations that look like they came straight out of a Disney-Pixar movie.
The 17-year-old computer graphics student adroitly operates professional software, spending hours each day perfecting his digital artwork. Lately, Ben has been carrying his portfolio around, just in case he has to launch into an impromptu discussion about his latest project: publishing his first children's book.
"This is Red, the protagonist," he said, holding up one of his sketches. "He's a housefly. He's kind and friendly, but kind of forgetful."
Watching Ben work, it's impossible to tell that he is autistic, diagnosed with the developmental disorder that affects social and communication skills when he was 3 years old.

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