AUTISM FILE

Interior worlds

© Courtesy of the  Henry Boxer Gallery, London  - www.outsiderart.co.uk Eric Jiani, I have lost everything, watercolour. Eric Jiani was born in London in 1957. Despite being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, he went to an “ordinary” school. He divides his time between Brazil and the UK, teaches English, composes and plays guitar, writes and paints. “Since I was a child,” he says, “I have always liked inventing my own imaginary world that lies at the basis of my creations.”

"Iremember one Christmas when I got a new bike for a present. It was yellow. I would not look at it. Extra red was added to the colour making it look orange and it blurred upwards, making it look like it was on fire. My favourite colours were those I could see more clearly than others. I also couldn't see blue clearly. It looked too light and it looked like ice."

Darren White, Autism From The Inside, Medical Hypothesis (1987)


"My hearing is like having a sound amplifier set on maximum loudness. My ears are like a microphone that picks up and amplifies sound. I have two choices: 1) turn my ears on and get deluged with sound, or 2) shut my ears off. (...) I am unable to speak on the telephone in a noisy office or airport. Other people can use the telephone in a noisy airport, but I cannot. If I try to screen out the background noise, I also screen out the voice on the telephone. (...) High-pitched, shrill noises are the worst. A low rumble has no effect, but an exploding firecracker hurts my ears."

Temple Grandin, ethologist, professor at the University of Colorado in Fort Collins (USA).


"Inever used to like being picked up and cuddled. I screamed as though I was on a roller coaster if anyone picked me up. I also hated it when my teacher, Mrs Ingham, tried to make me hold my pencil properly or my parents tried to make me do up my laces or shirt buttons. They had no idea what was wrong with me at the time. And, since I thought it happened to everyone, I didn't tell anyone. Nevertheless, I found such treatment excruciating. (...) I don't like pressing my lips on spoons or glass. Things got better in the end, but since I thought it happened to everyone, I didn't speak to anyone about it."

Darren White


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