People with autism generally see the world through a different lens than the rest of the world, and it’s often one with a singular focus. Such is the case with 12-year-old ‘Autistic’ boy Anthony Schmidt. Anthony is driven—by his obsession for cars.
His extensive collection of model cars is mind-boggling, but Anthony’s love of automobiles doesn’t stop there. He also has an encyclopedic knowledge of pretty much every car that’s ever been built from their first inception to today’s latest models.
Show him a car, and he can tell you everything about it down to the smallest detail. It was a skill that came in handy for some New York detectives who had only a grainy image of a suspect’s car in an ongoing criminal investigation
When Anthony saw the picture, he was able to identify its make, model, and year immediately—making it one getaway car that didn’t get away after all. Thanks to Anthony’s fine-tuned savvy, the suspect was apprehended soon after.
Anthony lives with his mom, Ramona, near Seattle, Washington. She says her son’s car enthusiasm began when he was about 2 years old. By age 6, he’d begun creating a photographing series of tableaus starring his model cars staged in hyper-realistic settings.
When he was 9, Ramona launched an Instagram page to showcase Anthony’s extraordinary work. He’s got a Facebook page as well.
“Everyone freaked out,” Ramona told the Woodinville Weekly. “He gets recognized in public. There was an overwhelming response from people asking for calendars or coffee table books.”
With his mom’s help, Anthony has since gone on to launch his own product line that includes books, calendars, photographic prints, and other branded merchandise, all of which can be found on his Anthony Schmidt Photography website
They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but this ‘Autistic’ boy is determined focus does more than simply create beautiful imagery, it opens a window to another world and another way of seeing altogether. And that is a precious gift for all of us.