Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Autistic Artists and Creatives

As a creative writer, I find that a handful of autism advocates dismiss the creativity of HFA/AS individuals as evidence that artists are "really" autistic. These critics suggest that the savants with autism are genuine, but not those of us with careers.

Yesterday, I ran across yet another mention of the "Shining Aspie" narrative, and how artists and educators with various diagnoses don't really represent "genuine" autism.

Are you an artist? A creative? (And aren't we all "creatives" to some extent?) How do you respond to claims that art, which is emotional and empathetic, represents autistic experiences?


  1. During the school year, I work with a group of high school teens who have Autism and I have to say, they are some of the best creative writers I've been around (I'm a writer, as well). They are very passionate about their writing and, just like any writer, do not like to not be taken seriously in their craft. They have to endure not just their peers, but also their teachers, tell them that they can't really be "creative", because of Autism. But I know this is not true; these students are amazing and would agree with you that creativity is an inherent quality in everyone. Thank you for this post!

  2. The whole thing about how autistic people are supposed to be all mathsy and logical and if you're creative or artsy you can't be on the spectrum makes me cross. I think that stereotype can make it harder for autistic people who don't fit the stereotype to get support or diagnosis, or even start to suspect they might be on the spectrum in the first place. (Years before I was diagnosed, I suspected I could have Aspergers but counted it out on the basis of my hopelessness with maths and science.)

    A while back I put together a list of creative people on the spectrum here, if it's of any use or interest: http://www.lettersfromaspergia.com/2013/09/a-roundup-of-creative-autistic-people.html.


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