The Faces of Autism: Meet Traven

Meet Traven, a kind 6 year old boy that was diagnosed with autism at 5 years old. He has also recently been diagnosed with alopecia, which is a fairly common autoimmune skin disease, causing hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes on other areas of the body. 

dear me photography mandan photographer boy on standing swing

Traven had very delayed speech and refused to potty train.  He wasn’t advancing in school. Traven had issues with behavior and refused to listen to any authoritative figure. 

Traven has a very kind soul, he loves deeply and with everything he has. He is smart and catches on to things quickly.  Traven also has a very good memory.  He loves going to the parkas well as playing at the mall. Traven also really enjoys SkyZone.

Traven struggles with controlling his anger and emotions. He easily gets sensory overload. Going to places, such as Walmart, are very difficult and cause him severe anxiety.

dear me photographer mandan photographer boy smiling on swing

From Traven's parents on raising a child with autism:
"It is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding, experiences of your entire life! You and your child will struggle to understand and cope however it will draw you so much closer to one another.  
Therapy helps so much! The amazing staff and teachers at Lewis & Clark Elementary and Fort Lincoln Elementary have been so helpful.
This journey has opened my eyes to a child hidden so deep inside of a shell! Watching him learn to speak at 5, hearing his first words, was like angels singing! Don’t ever give up!"

Traven would like others to know “Autism makes me different from people, but I am not bad kid”

dear me photography mandan photographer boy on red slide