Portraits: Patients and Psychiatrists

Wellcome Trust Arts Award 2009

Meeting with David and his Mum 18/10/09

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I was invited by David (pseudonym) mother to their house in West London. I arrived and recieved a very warm welcome and cup of tea. I began talking with  Davids mother and she told me the story of Davids Autism. When he was a child she remembers him banging his head against walls and not engaging in any social or emotional activity. They travelled to America to find out what was ‘wrong’ with David. David was five years old and had numerous brain scans, which showed nothing. Eventually a psychologist diagnosed him with Autism and he has since been in continuous education and has made very good progress.

Davids Mum told me that he is obsessed with Monsters, Aliens, Spaceships and Chimerical Characters (Especially japanese game characters that morph from humans into animals). David spends a lot of time on the internet, playing games and writing or drawing on paper in his room.

Davids Mother gave me the following drawing and text for this blog

After talking to Davids mother, he came in and sat down with us and his mother introduced us. He was quite involved in writing on his page at the time about Ghandi and it was very interesting to see the playful interaction between David and his mother as he asked her for help with spelling and she made some jokes about Ghandi with him.

His mother explained that he didn’t like social situations and not to worry that he did not acknowledge my attempts at conversation. David left the room for a while and then came back and sat down and said “draw!”. I began drawing onto copper and realised very quickly that David was not going to sit still for longer than a few moments at a time. I changed over to drawing on paper and enjoyed the quick sitting as David kept looking at the paper I was drawing on in between moving around and looking out the window.

Shown here are the drawings I made of him. After about ten minutes he asked the time, said he had to go and went to his room.  I talked to his mother more before thanking them both and leaving.


Written by gemmaanderson

18/10/2009 at 6:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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