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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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#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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#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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#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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celentalmidnight avatar
Celental Midnight
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6 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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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Christiana Yu
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6 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Kate, you took great photos! they are perfectly beautiful. Best wishes to him and you!

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#7

Spectrum

Spectrum

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Erza
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6 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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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
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6 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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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#14

Rough Morning

Rough Morning

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57Academics
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6 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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

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#16

After School

After School

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#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
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6 years 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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#19

When Everything Goes Quiet....

When Everything Goes Quiet....

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