Thursday, May 19, 2005

England's piano man

I keep reading reports about England's mysterious Piano Man, found dripping wet and wandering aimlessly without identification. As I read the theories (trauma, amnesia, mental illness) I am startled by what I'm not reading.

To review:
He will not speak.
He has trouble making eye contact.
He plays the piano for hours at a time, repeating the same music over and over.
When he plays the piano he is totally focused and shuts the rest of the world out.
He draws intricate sketches.
All of the tags have been cut out of his clothing.
He gets anxious when people get too close to him.

Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Has it occurred to anyone that this man is very likely autistic?

3 comments:

Mary said...

I found your blog last week as I was looking up some autism info to try to help my 11-year old brother with some school troubles he's having.

Anyway, when I first saw info about the "piano man", I immediately thought "autism" as well. I've seen some feedback comments mentioning that as well, but no actual articles. It is all very interesting, and I hope that they help this man return safely home.

welshmum said...

I live in the UK and have a 12 year old son with autism. As soon as I heard the story and saw the piano drawing I too suspected that he probably has autism. I am one of many who contacted the National Autistic Society UK with my concerns. The NAS have actually issued a public notice on their web site stating that they have offered their expertise to the hospital concerned.

The press and comments on the net about this poor man just make me want to scream! I feel they are barking up the wrong tree by thinking he is a musician or a very clever asylum seeker. I have heard some say that if he was autistic, then the psychologists would have picked it up. Well thats not true, as I have met many so called psychologists over the years who know very little about autism. There are are many autistic individuals in the UK who were assessed by psychologists and went for many years without a diagnosis of autism! It's only the psychologists who specailise in the subject know what to look for.

The piano man's drawings are typical of the type of drawing my son does except his are of street lights, road systems and plumbings. He too has labels cut off his clothing and is very anxious around strangers.

I just hope this mystery is solved soon.

welshmum said...

latest on the piano man http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,176-1632915,00.html