Life on the Autism spectrum

Stephen - Interview 32

Age at interview: 33
Age at diagnosis: 5

Brief outline: Stephen was diagnosed with autism at the age of five. He has drawn and painted since childhood and has exhibited his work internationally.

Background: Stephen, an artist, lives with his mother and is 33 years old. Ethnic background/nationality: Black British.

Audio & video

As a child Stephen, who is now aged 33, did not relate to other people or speak and autism was diagnosed at the age of five. He attended a special school where his ability to draw was recognised and encouraged. In 1987 he featured in a BBC QED programme and since then has become an internationally renowned artist. He has travelled extensively around the world drawing cityscapes, buildings, cars, taxis and buses and has recently opened a gallery in the centre of London.

Stephen lives with his mother and works two days a week in the gallery with his sister and her partner. He goes to art school one day a week and travels to and from college and the gallery on public transport by himself.   His mother has taught him to cook some meals and to wash the dishes.
Stephen likes drawing, listening to music, singing and watching television. His favourite films are Rainman and Saturday Night Fever which he watches regularly. He enjoys going to markets with his mother and sister at the weekends, playing the piano and spending the evening at his sister’s house, watching DVD’s and eating pizza and popcorn.


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