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Good News - Meet the Amazing Autistic Man Known as The Living Camera

Aug 18, 2007
This is a story that shows the triumphant quality of the human spirit. It also demonstrates how beauty can come from adversity.

Born in England in 1974, Stephen Wiltshire was diagnosed as autistic at age 3. When he was 5, he was sent to a special-needs school, where his teachers observed his interest in drawing, although he did not speak.

When Stephen was 9, his teachers encouraged him to speak for the first time by taking away his art supplies. His first word: paper. His teachers kept encouraging his drawing, entering his work in competitions.

In 1987, Stephen was featured in a documentary about autistic savants. As a result, Stephen got an agent and published several books of his drawings. But this was only a hint of his genius.

In 2005, he flew over the city of Tokyo and proceeded to draw it in excruciating detail entirely from memory. Months later, he flew over Rome and did the same thing. And in December, following a 20-minute helicopter ride, Stephen spent a week drawing an aerial view of Hong Kong, which he proudly presented to its leaders.

In January 2006, Queen Elizabeth II named Stephen a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to the art world. It brought tears to my mums eyes and to mine, because we have all worked so hard for Stephen, said his older sister, Annette.

Later that year, with the encouragement of Annette and her husband, Stephen opened his own art gallery in London's upscale Royal Opera Arcade.

What is Autism?
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills.

Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.

One should keep in mind however, that autism is a spectrum disorder and it affects each individual differently and at varying degrees - this is why early diagnosis is so crucial.

By learning the signs, a child can begin benefiting from one of the many specialized intervention programs.

Autism knows no racial, ethnic, social boundaries, family income, lifestyle, or educational levels and can affect any family, and any child.

And although the overall incidence of autism is consistent around the globe, it is four times more prevalent in boys than in girls.

NOTE: A 2007 Centers for Disease Control report found that 1 in 150 children in America today have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

ASA estimates that 1.5 million Americans and their families are now affected. Autism is a national health crisis, costing the U.S. at least $35 billion annually.

The ASA - The Autism Society of America - Is dedicated to improving the lives of all affected by autism.
About the Author
Go to our website Gimundo.com to view the videos of Steven and his amazing talent. Chris Case is Editor and co-founder of Gimundo.com A newsletter where we celebrate positive events and human achievement. http://www.gimundo.com
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