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Drawing Autism Hardcover – January 16, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Mark Batty Publisher; 1 edition (January 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981960006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981960005
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.9 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,893,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Drawing Autism is a drop-dead beautiful book that celebrates the artistry and self-expression found in the drawings, paintings, and collages created by individuals diagnosed with autism. It is a stunning, thoughtful and yes, HOPEFUL book that is not just for families touched by autism, but for all who are curious about the disorder." --Examiner "If you're a practicing or aspiring art therapist, this book is essential reading and it also offers the casual reader an insight into this curious strand of outsider art." --Grafik Magazine --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

About the Author

Jill Mullin, MA MSEd BCBA, is a New York City-based behavior analyst who has been working with individuals with ASD since 2000. Temple Grandin, PhD, is considered the most accomplished adult with autism in the world. She is the author of several books, including the best sellers The Way I See It and Animals in Translation. --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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We feel the contradictions and the confusions of life and we try to make sense of it.
Dennis Littrell
The images are beautifully presented and the interviews add depth and meaning to works that are masterful in their own right.
I'm glad that he's doing well, yet when I open his letters, I still always hope for a drawing or two.
Story Circle Book Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This art book is primarily a celebration of form and color as done by artists on the autistic spectrum. I counted 53 different artists with a wide range of styles. Just to note a few: there is the blueprint precision of Temple Grandin, the cubist-like work of Wil C. Kerner, the pointillism style of Esher Brokaw, the cartoons of Justin Canha and Glen Russ, the categorical detailed work of Gregory L. Blackstone, the ethereal anguish of Marilyn Cosho, and many more. I felt an overall sense of estrangement and longing that is at the heart of the human predicament. We are both part of this world and estranged from it; we are among family and friends and yet we are alone. We feel the contradictions and the confusions of life and we try to make sense of it.

I think it was at least partially the intent of Jill Mullin, who edited the book and conducted the interviews with the artists, to allow the artwork to reveal the unique soul of autism. She writes: "...I sorted the work so that it provides an overview of the spectrum while celebrating the creative individuality of every single person on the spectrum. These themes and visual tendencies do speak to aspects of the diagnoses." (p. 13)

We, so-called "normal" people, necessarily see the world in a utilitarian sense heavily colored by subsistence and social need. Consequently I have always thought that one of the things that an artist must do is free our minds from the prison of utility in which we see the world only in so far as it is useful to us or not. While most manmade objects in our lives are useful for something, art is its own reason for being.

It is in this context that I find this book most interesting. Some autistics naturally see things as they are, without the coloration of utility.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Jill Mullin opens this very sophisticated and well-designed book with a foreword titled AS SEEN THROUGH THE AUTISM SPECTRUM in which she opens with the statement ' Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability associated with social interaction and communication impairments and rigid and/or repetitive behaviors.' She then proceeds to study the visual manifestations of autistic people by presenting a book, every page of which is filled with not only full color reproductions of 'artists' presenting their art accompanied by a brief but telling note by each person whose art is displayed.

By deciding to allow the art speak for itself Jill Mullin, who comes to this project with years of experience working with both children and adults with autism, makes a strong statement about the manner in which the mind of autistic people view the world. She asked every artist represented in this book the following questions: At what age did the act of creating art enter your life?, Why did you start creating art?, What inspires/excites you about creating art?, How do you choose your subjects?, Do you think your art helps others understand how you view the world?, Who are some artists you like?, What was the inspiration for each piece of art that you have submitted to 'Drawing Autism'? What follows is a splendid portfolio art from a number of very gifted artists. This is a book not only about autism but also about the spectrum of art being created today. It is entertaining, enlightening, and another well designed publication from Mark Batty Publisher. Grady Harp, November 09
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Archer on March 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
Drawing Autism is a collection of art created by people who are on the autism spectrum. For some of the artists, art is the only way of communicating their experiences as a person with autism. But whether the art is highly sophisticated, emotionally powerful, playful, technically amazing or naive, the cumulative experience of this book is astonishing. There is an introduction by Temple Grandin describing how drawing became her entry into what became her very successful career and the book is then divided into themes. Each chapter consists primarily of art-paintings, collages, drawings, mosaics, a wild and exciting diversity of media and subjects, accompanied by a small amount of text written by the artist.

Jill Mullin has done a wonderful job of selecting the art. Each piece is beautifully reproduced and the companion text is taken from a questionnaire filled out by the artist. In some cases, the answer was dictated to someone who wrote it down and in a few cases, the artist is non-verbal and a caregiver has answered. The text is often fascinating and complements the work but it is the work that amazes. I couldn't put the book down. I am not an artist so I cannot critique the work technically but the emotional power was undeniable and the range of art breathtaking.

I am both a teacher of students with autism and the mother of a son who is on the spectrum and perhaps that contributed to the impact of the work. But I believe that the power of the art would be there anyway. Through art, through the use of color, pattern, drawing, subject matter, these peoples have created a powerful communication about their lives and the gift of creativity. Through art, some without any other voice, speak more clearly than many of us with words.
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