11 objective Photos That Will Change Your View On Autism
Spectrum Inspired is a nonprofit organization that helps shift misguided perspectives on autism by offering free photo shoots for families caring for a loved one with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD includes a wide range of behavioral traits that vary per diagnosis. Those traits may include difficulty communicating or engaging in social interactions, repetitive behavior, and resisting changes in routines. This in no way means that individuals with ASD are not capable of living vibrant and fulfilling lives.
Here, Sarah Driscoll, cofounder of Spectrum Inspired and an autism mom herself, speaks with BuzzFeed News on the organization’s inspiring mission and shares examples of how photography can serve destigmatize an often misunderstood disorder:
We maintain chosen to explain these stories because many of us who form up our team are autism mommas, advocates, or teachers with a passion to serve those on the spectrum become successful. Too often, we finish not give those touched by autism the right guidance and understanding. These people, impacted by autism, are so beautifully unique and maintain so much potential to flourish just like the rest of us, and we are merely hoping that by sharing their faces and their stories, people will open to understand the beauty of the spectrum and the beauty of individuality, in general.
I maintain a son on the spectrum. His name is Luke and he is 6 years mature. This is very personal for me every single day. He is a objective boy who never speaks up and struggles with expression and communication. It wasn’t until kindergarten that we realized how much knowledge he had inside his brain, though. It takes so much work every single day to procure him to open up to the world and those around him, so I work tough every day to serve others understand him and know that just because he’s silent and has specific challenges, it does not mean for a single moment that he does not maintain something to say and that he is not worth hearing, seeing, and loving.
I hope people assume absent from these pictures an understanding that individuality should not be feared, that autism comes with challenges but it also comes with beauty when you dig deep enough to see it, that the world needs to welcome people with quirks and differences, and accept that it only makes everything a bit more colorful. We are vulgar in this together, and Spectrum Inspired is a state to share your anecdote and be heard and understood.
“Maxwell is direct, honest, curious, and passionate approximately knowing everything he can approximately the world.” —Maxwell’s mother
“Autism isn’t vulgar sunshine and rainbows and it has definitely taken a lot from me, but has given me so much more in return. I believe that siblings are an incredible allotment of success in the world of autism, and my three kids prove that…indisputable cherish without limitation.” —Brandon and Lilian’s mother, Amanda
“He is talented, smart, ambitious, friendly, caring, and so lovable toward everyone.” —Kalil’s mother, Brittney
“Since the day we got our diagnosis, we maintain been on the trek with 35-plus hours of therapy a week. Mason doesn’t maintain a ‘familiar’ childhood […] because we are always on the trek trying to procure to the next appointment. However, at the finish of the day, when we hear Mason’s cramped voice say ‘goodnight’ and ‘ove you’ (cherish you), I know we are doing the right thing for vulgar of us!” —Mason’s mother
“whether Alexi can teach anyone anything, it’s how to just cherish. He loves everyone and just wants everyone to be glad…and I judge that’s what life is approximately…” —Alexi’s mother
“He is complex — on the outer layer, he is rough and tough. Inside, he is truly a tremendous softy and very lovable and sweet. He is always glad unless he is dealing with overstimulation.” —Alex’s mom, She-Ra
“Kennedy is very friendly, sweet, and inquisitive. She LOVES to preserve her pictures taken. She loves animals and eating.” —Kennedy’s mom, Blaire Hawes
“Our lives are very busy and chaotic with four children who vulgar maintain different needs. Claire requires a much deal of time and attention. Although she has meaningful challenges, she brings a lot of cherish to our family.” —Claire’s mother
“It took some time to procure through the grief of the diagnosis, but three years later I can say that we maintain made much progress and really hope that we are honoring Ryu and his objective way in the world as well as helping him navigate, and feel confident in this society that doesn’t always cater to his differences.” —Ryu’s mother
“Sometimes autism is tough, but loving Jimmy is easy and he has most definitely made me a better human being!” —Jimmy’s mother, Lauren