A young boy with autism who struggled to connect with the world around him has found a way to socialise with others.
And it wasn’t traditional speech therapy, or a special education needs school, but cars.
Thanks to Anthony Schmidt’s obsession with his miniature automobiles, he uses his passion for the little vehicles – all 527 of them – as a conversation-starter.
Not only this, but the 12-year-old – who has an encyclopedic knowledge of every car that’s ever been built – has become an internet sensation as he creates wildly lifelike scenes with his models and photographs them for his social media pages.
Using his extensive collection, Anthony creates scenarios such as his 1955 Chevy Bel Air replica parked in a shed, his Ford F-150 collecting pumpkins ahead of Halloween, his Chrysler LeBaron outside a snowy ski lodge, and his 1967 Ford Mustang having work done in the garage.
Speaking about her son’s dedication, Anthony’s mum Ramona Schmidt said his enthusiasm for cars began when he was just a toddler and barely out of nappies.
Chatting to a local news station, Ramona said: “The first thing he learned to speak was the makes and models of cars, it is in his blood.
“He struggles with social interaction. He has so many struggles, but he has this one thing he’s so good at. Autistic people are visual thinkers, they see things in pictures.
“That’s what he loves, bringing the pictures to life. It helps him to make friends, he uses them on social media to connect with people, and everyone’s amazed. He has the eye.”
She added: “You should see him now, networking wherever he goes, he pulls out his phone and says, ‘You wanna see my Instagram?’
“People are so touched by his story and what he can accomplish. No matter what your challenges are, there is something you can be good at.”
Anthony’s devotion to his craft has seen his star rise, as he now boasts an impressive 12k followers on Instagram alongside a whopping 24k on Facebook.
He is also an artist-in-the-making, having created his own product line of merchandise including selling prints of his photography on canvas and in calendars and books.
Great idea for stocking fillers!
To have a gander, click here: Anthony Schmidt.