The Faces of Autism: Meet Nathan

Meet Nathan, a 15 year old boy with a big heart who was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old.  I got to sit in on part of a therapy session with him to take his photos and it was pretty neat! He was working on goals and strength while I was snapping away.

dear me photography bismarck photographer boy near indoor slide

Nathan has always been very sensory. His parents noticed very early on that he did not like being wet, did not like sand, dirt, mud, or the feel of grass, among other things. He did not like anything on his hands or feet. Clothes had to have no snaps, zippers or buttons. Nathan's speech was very delayed and he was in speech therapy starting at age 2. Loud sounds really bothered him. He had severe obsessions with toys he likes. He watched things over and over and over.

Nathan has an amazing memory for things he has an interest in. He has a big heart and cares deeply for people. Nathan loves watching and playing WWE wrestling, playing video games especially Mario and-sonic games.. 

dear me photography bismarck nd boy standing with arms out

Nathan has a hard time socializing and forming friendships. Staying in reality when he would rather stay in his imaginary place. Meltdowns happen quickly because of his sensitive heart. Nathan is easily hurt.

From Nathan's mom about having a child with autism:
"I would never want to change who he is. I am so proud of who he is, as he is. I am proud of the way my sons handle differences. They see differences in people and find the simplicity. They are super good with details. The way life is much more difficult for them and the way they approach it with strength and positive attitude inspires me daily they keep me going. Autism parents don't need or want sympathy, we want understanding."

dear me photography bismarck nd boy holding stuffed toad doll from mario

Later this month I will be featuring Nathan's brother, so keep an eye out!