People with autism generally see the world through a different lens than the rest of the world, and it is often one with a singular focus. Such is the case of 12-year-old Anthony Schmidt. Anthony is driven by his obsession with cars.
His extensive collection of car models is mind-boggling, but Anthony’s love of cars doesn’t stop there. He also has an encyclopedic knowledge of virtually every automobile that has been manufactured from its inception to the latest current models.
Show him a car and he can tell you everything down to the smallest detail. It was a skill that came in handy for some New York detectives who only had a grainy image of a suspect’s car in an ongoing criminal investigation.
When Anthony saw the photo, he was able to identify its make, model and year right away, making it a getaway car that didn’t get away after all. Thanks to Anthony’s skill, the suspect was arrested shortly after.
Anthony lives with his mother, Ramona, near Seattle, Washington. She says the enthusiasm for her son’s car started when he was around 2 years old. At age 6, he had begun to create a series of photographs of paintings featuring his model cars in hyper-realistic settings.
When she was 9 years old, Ramona launched an Instagram page to showcase Anthony’s extraordinary work. He has a Facebook page too.
“They all got scared,” Ramona said to the Woodinville Weekly. “He is recognized in public. There was an overwhelming response from people asking for calendars or table books. “
With the help of his mother, Anthony has launched his own product line that includes books, calendars, photographic prints, and other branded products, all of which can be found at his Photography Anthony Schmidt website.
To keep track of his collection of 600-something models, Anthony uses an Excel spreadsheet. Like many people with autism, organization and math are intrinsic to their worldview.
Structure and routine are also important. So every day, with the help of his mother, Anthony painstakingly prepares a photoshoot, indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather, fixing and adjusting the cars and their surroundings until he is sure he has the perfect shot.
The results of his singular vision are often impressive.
“It’s really because of the autism, not in spite of it,” Ramona said. KOMO News 4.
Anthony Schmidt loves cars. Her mother says she plans to make them her life’s work. She hopes to inspire other people with special needs and their families by living her success story one day at a time for all to see. “You can put your mind on whatever you want,” he explained.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but Anthony’s determined approach does more than just create beautiful images, it opens a window to another world and another way of seeing entirely. And that is a precious gift for all of us.
(CLOCK Anthony in action at the Q13 Fox video below.)
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