Student with autism publishes illustrated book - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Student with autism publishes illustrated book

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Ben Nelson with a copy of his first illustrated book, Little Red Flying Hood. (Elizabeth Watts/FOX5) Ben Nelson with a copy of his first illustrated book, Little Red Flying Hood. (Elizabeth Watts/FOX5)

Ben Nelson, 20, has autism and mounds of creativity.

He's been illustrating and creating stories since he was little.

Ben Nelson's parents noticed his symptoms when he was about 2 or 3 and he couldn't talk and hard a hard time communicating. Drawing became his outlet and helped him grow.

Years later, his former teacher at Foothill High School introduced him to Adobe Illustrator. The computer program helped bring the young artist's ideas from paper to the screen.

"Year after year, I got better," Ben Nelson said.

That's how he created what would become his first published book. Little Red Flying Hood is now available on Amazon. Students at Southwest Career and Technical Academy turned his work into a movie as well and helped create his website.

Ben Nelson's books and creations are influenced by other cartoons and many of his studies.

"Very happy, it's a huge compliment when people make a movie out of my stories," Ben Nelson said.

The book is about Red, the house fly. She has a weakness of sorts in the form of a terrible memory.

Ben Nelson's mother Laura Nelson said most of his characters are different in their own way, but they always fit in.

"It's so deep and so detailed. He knows who their grandpa is and where they came from. There this kind of animal and this kind of species," Laura Nelson said.

Ben Nelson has it all figured it out down to his character's voices as well.

Laura Nelson said when her son was little, only 1 in 10,000 kids were being diagnosed with autism. They had a lot of trouble figuring things out, and worried that he'd never be able to talk or communicate. She's so happy her son is fulfilling his dreams.

"It's a miracle. It's everything we'd hoped for," Laura Nelson said.

Ben Nelson is excited to graduate in June 2014 and continue his journey into the publishing world. He hopes to takes some college courses in graphic design.

The movie about his book is being screened at the Foothill High School Theater on May 29 at 4 p.m. It's free and open to the public.

You can check out Ben Nelson's website to learn more by clicking here.

Autism Speaks reports 1 out of 42 boys, and 1 out of 189 girls are on the autism spectrum in the United States. With early intervention and treatment, symptoms can be improved and, in some cases, overcome.

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