Loving a child with autism is easy, but connecting can be hard. I’ve been working for three years to photograph the unique experience of autism and parenting, but in the last year, something amazing happened. My son and I were able to connect through my camera.
Autism can be a beautiful, fascinating perspective, but it can also feel like a barrier sometimes. I’ve often felt like my son was on the other side of some invisible wall, just out of my reach, and my son has described the experience the same way. I didn’t realize that in trying to show this barrier with photography, I was actually finding a way through it.
What started as me taking photos to express my own perspective and my view of his became a collaborative effort. Sharing this project gave us a way to connect to one another, and we’re closer than we’ve ever been before. We even launched a Kickstarter campaign to create a photobook so others can share this experience (link in bio).
More info: kickstarter.com
You Say It’s Like a Cage Sometimes
My son describes his “off” days as like being in a cage. He can’t get through the bars to interact with people.
You Don’t Know What You’re Capable Of
Over the years, we’ve both realized that delays are just delays. It may take more time to reach a developmental milestone, but the progress does come. Today, my son is a quirky, smart, funny fifth grader.
There’s a wistfulness that comes with loving a child on the spectrum. You want so desperately to reach through that barrier between you.
Outside the Ordinary
The most fascinating people are a little (or a lot) different from their peers. Through these differences, we learn to be compassionate and to let our own hearts be our guide.
Call to the Waves
For many people on the autism spectrum, water can hold a magical, magnetic appeal. My son says that for him, it’s because he admires it so much. “I love the way it moves and always finds a way,” he says. “I want to be like that water.”
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