Grief, anger, acceptance, art: my journey as an autism parent has been and continues to be full of winding turns and hills and valleys.

I love my son unconditionally, as the beautiful, hilarious, challenging, and charming person he is. I worry endlessly about his future, though, and there are days when it's hard for us to like each other (though the love never goes away).

To me, the greatest gift of his autism isn't his math wizardry or perfect pitch; it's the unique and poetic way he looks at the world. In my photography, I wanted to create a tribute to that perspective and the reality of our day-to-day life.

More info: flickr.com

#1 The Other You, The One Who Sees Me

The Other You, The One Who Sees Me

In this reflection image, my son is looking right at me. That's something he never does. Somehow, the barrier of the glass wall let him see me. I often sometimes think wistfully about this version of him, the one behind the glass. I love him the way he is, but I'd give anything to embrace the boy behind the barrier.

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Avit Kurniadni 1 year ago

Make me cry....

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#2 He Hears The Grasses Whisper

He Hears The Grasses Whisper

One of the core characteristics of autism is differences in sensory processing. The world can be overwhelming with so many sounds and sights and smells. But this can be a gift too; my son experiences the world in a way I never will.

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Byron Gates Jr 1 year ago

An amazing image, a perfect photograph of a perfect child...b

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#3 Winter Dream

Winter Dream

I often feel like there is something separating my son and me. We can see and hear each other through this barrier, but we can't quite touch. Here, I photographed him through a sheet of ice to symbolize that experience.

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Celental Midnight 1 year ago

That's beautiful!!

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#4 Focus

Focus

One of my son's great gifts is his ability to focus completely on something. A puzzle, a musical instrument, the way the light makes colors in the clouds... He can put all of himself into what he loves, and I try to do the same in my interactions with him.

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Celental Midnight 1 year ago

Beautifull!!!! I am glad that you use pictures to show that autism isn't a scary weird thing but in fact a gift!!!! I should know because I am autistic.

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#5 Head Under His Wing

Head Under His Wing

Photographing someone with autism isn't always easy, but that's because a good portrait is about emotional connection. To connect with someone on the spectrum, it helps to enter his world. Here, he's pretending to be an owl, and owls are his current area of special interest.

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Victoria 1 year ago

You can definitely see the emotional connection in all your photos.

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#6 In There

In There

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Aladdin BeShir 1 year ago

Amazing

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#7 Spectrum

Spectrum

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Erza 1 year ago

Beautiful collection of photographs. I love the title for this one.

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#8 Sleepy Morning

Sleepy Morning

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Љубиша В. Јовановић 1 year ago

So much love ...

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#9 School Day Sunrise

School Day Sunrise

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#10 Winter Is Here

Winter Is Here

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Harvey Tydeman 1 year ago

well... Farther always promised

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#11 Something Between Us

Something Between Us

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Edi IP 1 year ago

those eyes...

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#12 Loving The Shadow You

Loving The Shadow You

Some days are very, very hard. On off days, I start the morning with my son yelling that he hates me. The truth is, sometimes I drop him off at school and try not to squeal my tires as I drive away. I feel like a failure as a mother on those days, but I also know that those are the days that prove my love for him.

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Celental Midnight 1 year ago

It's hard for us autistic kids/teens. It feels like we hear only bits of what the world is telling us. There is a cloud that confuses us. The few bits that we understand in this world feels like out safety line. Have you ever thought of doing ABA services?? And you are not a failure as a mother. In fact you are one of the greatest moms with a autistic child.

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#13 Distortion

Distortion

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Amy Radie 1 year ago

Your special boy has a special mother.

#14 Rough Morning

Rough Morning

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57Academics 1 year ago

Kate, your work is incredible. Your love for your son no matter what is absolutely evident.

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#15 Sidelong Pickerel Smile

Sidelong Pickerel Smile

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Susann Campbell 1 year ago

"Hi Mom, I love you."

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#16 After School

After School

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Susann Campbell 1 year ago

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Peace and Quiet makes him happy.

#17 You And Me, Bugaboo

You And Me, Bugaboo

My son and I have a solid but very dramatic relationship. I make him really angry with my efforts to get him to school on time or have him eat something different for dinner. But I'm there for him, even when we're mad at each other. I think, I hope, he knows that.

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Susann Campbell 1 year ago

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He knows but needs to be told everyday more than once. Don't hug him, let him hug you.

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#18 Tree Curl

Tree Curl

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Celental Midnight 1 year ago

So beautiful!!!

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#19 When Everything Goes Quiet....

When Everything Goes Quiet....

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Susann Campbell 1 year ago

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He is happy that nothing is touching him.