It Is Time To Fly

My Journey As An Autistic Artist And Writer

First Grade Worksheeta

This drawing was in with some of my first grade papers from back in the 1960’s. we were learning to read from the “Dick and Jane” series.

Schools were different then. There was no mimeograph machine to make the purple printed worksheets. Our teacher made them all by hand. The grades were stamped onto them with rubber stamps. A stamp with a farm animal was the best to receive. Many of mine were stamped with “Fair” and “Careless.”

Looking at these worksheets now, particularly the ones with my early drawings, I am not sure why my teacher did not see that “It is time to fly” was imaginatively brilliant. Nor am I sure why did she see that “It is time to laugh” (with its absence of people) and “It is time to play” (with only myself on the swing-set) are hauntingly revealing.

But autism was not a diagnosis anyone made in rural schools back then.

As a child, I drew this picture of someone riding a chicken. As an autistic adult, my chickens are my best friends. I draw pictures of them. I write stories about them.

My goal here is to share my work and to show that autism is not something that needs to be “fixed.” I would like very much for autistic children to enjoy my drawings and stories and to be encouraged by them and to realize “It Is Time To Fly.”

Thank you for reading.