Jonathan Lerman began to lapse into long silences at the age of two, and the next year he was diagnosed with autism. His IQ is purported to be 53.
Lerman's artistic bent appeared at the age of 10 in the form of charcoal-drawn faces—both people he knows and those he imagines. In 1999 he had his own solo exhibition at the KS Artgallery in New York City.
Lerman has had personal exhibitions, and has also exhibited his work alongside others.
Lerman was also on the MTV television show True Life in the episode "True Life: I Have Autism".