One of the things that I have learned from 25 years in education is that there are many different kinds of intelligence and giftedness. It’s easy to put students, especially young ones, in nice neat little boxes so they can be easily “managed.” On the one hand, the need for order is paramount, especially as classes get bigger and bigger. On the other hand, that order sometimes comes at the expense of creativity (and tragically, at the expense of human dignity). It’s particularly sad when that quest for order fails to acknowledge the gifts present in students with special needs.
Stephen Wiltshire is a young man with an astounding gift. He’s called the living camera. He’s probably called some other things, too: some mean and hateful, and other labels that try to classify him or peg him into a “category” so that we can better understand his needs.
I’m just calling him an amazing artist.