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At an early age, Sybil Roe Thompson was diagnosed as being severely autistic. As a preschooler, she had a vocabulary of about eight words and a fierce destructive energy. Endless rounds of speech therapy, hydrotherapy, group therapy, dance therapy and countless hours of individual mental health treatment brought her into a world where she could communicate and be self-sufficient with minimal assistance.

She has a phenomenal memory which serves her visually when she draws her detailed scenes and designs, including interior and exterior scenes. Lately Sybil has been painting furniture and has started a series of paintings on the architecture of Reading, Pennsylvania where she lives. (See an interview below)

Sybil's mother Mary Stoudt conducted a phone interview with her daughter Sybil.

Mary - what do you do before you start a painting? What preparations?

Sybil - I see my ideas in my head, for example, I can see an entire room or building in detail just by thinking about it. I don't bother with a camera.

Mary - What kind of paints do you like to use?

Sybil - I like to use Dr. Ph Martin's watercolor, because I want my paintings to look happy and radiant, not depressing. I also like fluid acrylics.

Mary - What are your favorite subjects?

Sybil - My favorite things to draw are toilets, urinals, bidets and anything that you could find in a bathroom. Here are some of my toilet ideas for paintings: Unisex bathrooms, family restrooms at the mall, bathrooms in foreign countries, Adam and Even in the bathroom, computerized toilets and two hole rustic outhouses.

Mary - What kind of music do you like?

Sybil - I play disco, 80's music, R&B and new age music. My favorite songs are "Mickey" by Tony Basil and Weird Al Yankowitz. When I listen to my music I like to do wild belly dancing and pilates too.

Mary - What stimulates your artistic ideas?

Sybil - I get turned on visually by looking at large soap bubbles, novelty lights from Spencer Gifts, the art in Philadelphia and Allentown museums or a well stocked art supply store. I like the rows of paint jars, markers, pastels and oil paints. They just make me feel giddy and vibrant.

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