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‘Exploding with ability’: B.C. teen with autism replicates BC Ferries to the smallest detail

Click to play video 'Youth with autism building BC Ferries replicas at home' Youth with autism building BC Ferries replicas at home
WATCH: A B.C. teen with a passion for BC Ferries is using his special skills to recreate models of the company's fleet from household items. Catherine Urquhart reports – Jan 27, 2020

Sixteen-year-old Josh Yeung has an unusual fascination with BC Ferries.

For the Port Coquitlam teen, the interest started when he was just five years old.

“When we would go visit my dad, he would spend so much time looking at all the details and asking questions,” his mother, Jackie Yeung, told Global News.

A close-up of one of Josh Yeung’s BC Ferries models.
A close-up of one of Josh Yeung’s BC Ferries models. Submitted

Now he spends about two hours every day making his own ferries — models of BC Ferries vessels he creates from cardboard and other household objects.

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His photographic memory helps him replicate the tiniest of details.

“I memorize some of [them], like the top and then the sides and artwork, but I took a lot of pictures,” said Josh.

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Jackie Yeung says his unusual abilities and interest in BC Ferries made more sense after he was diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

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At Whytecliff Learning Centre, where Josh goes to school, teacher Dave Mutnjakovic said the teen’s skills help bust myths about autism.

“They’re kind of taught they have a disability, when in fact Josh is proof they just are exploding with ability,” he said.

READ MORE: B.C. school for students with autism ‘at capacity’ as wait list grows

When asked if he might pursue a career in construction or engineering, Josh didn’t hesitate.

“I want to work for BC Ferries,” he said.

“Maybe a deckhand position or up on the bridge as first officer.”

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