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Zach Becenti used to have trouble talking with his teachers and classmates. The teen from Harbor Springs, Mich., has autism, which makes social situations difficult for him. But his extraordinary artistic talent helped break down those walls.

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When students and teachers began noticing Becenti’s amazing portraits, the young man started gaining confidence and opening up. Now, he interacts with people around him, so much so that he gives an interview in the UpNorthLive video below. Watch to see how far he’s come — and also to get a glimpse at his current concept art project, where he imagines disasters (i.e. the Titanic, 9/11) as if they never happened.

Sure, you could describe the way his mind works as “different.” But we prefer, “brilliant.”

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