EDIT: Wow! I got a DD! Sweet! Thanks guys!
Some of you may know I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (a form of autism) in 2008. This makes reading people a particular challenge for me, so to help me with that, I read this book called Emotions Revealed by Paul Ekman. After reading it, I thought this stuff might be useful for the rest of the community, so here it is.
Here's the book on Amazon: [link]
This tutorial is only based on information from the book, not directly copied. All images and text are mine, except the photograph of Duchenne, which is public domain.
Drawn in Illustrator CS4
EDIT 2: Added a Creative Commons non-commercial, share alike license.
EDIT 3: Pitty-Free Zone!
While I appreciate the sentiment from some of you, who've said things like "I'm sorry about your diagnosis" or "I'll pray for you", I feel there are more constructive ways to express your support for those of us on the autism spectrum. Has my life been all rainbows and sunshine? No, of course it hasn't. People with Asperger Syndrome have notably increased rates of depression and social anxiety as well as often co-morbidity with sensory processing disorder (SPD), attention deficite (ADHD) and obsessive/compulsive disorder (OCD). And I want to tell you all right now - I LOVE MY LIFE!
To be perfectly honest, it's not just despite my autism, in some ways it's actually BECAUSE of my autism. So I'm clumsy in social situations, so I've ticked off a lot of my former bosses, so crowds and loud noises are intensely difficult for me to deal with. I've also been able to see things in my own way and do things in my own way. During the past decade that I spent as a software engineer, I had a long history of doing "the impossible" as proclaimed by people who had degrees (I don't) and credentials the length of my arm! I was able to do those things because I wasn't restrained by the need to conform to someone else's idea of what software engineering ought to be, but rather, my experimental nature and my understanding of what it could be.
When I get working on a project, I'm able to focus on what I'm doing to such a great degree that everything around me vanishes. There have been so many times that my girlfriend Tiffany has had to call my name several times, from only a few feet away, in order to get my attention, because I was so focused on my project that I didn't hear her until the 4th or 5th time she called. That's not a bad thing, that's a GOOD THING! I'm able to immerse myself in my projects with such depth that it makes most people jealous! That's BECAUSE of my autism.
Receiving the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome in 2008 wasn't a downer for me at all! It was a huge sigh of relief! It gave me the understanding I needed to finally make progress on a variety of challenges in my life that had been holding me back for decades! And in truth, it's helped to fill up my life, to give me purpose that I lacked before. Yes, I have to work harder to learn the social skills, and I welcome that challenge!
So what I ask is really simple. Please don't feel sorry for me.
If you really want to help those of us in the autistic community, check out the AutLabs project I started, and get involved! [link]