Photographer

The Faces of Autism/Isabella

Meet Isabella!

Isabella is beautiful 5 year old girl who was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder at 3 years old.  She loves to sing and dance and I have been told she has quite the set of pipes!  Isabella is a sweet, loving, fun, and empathetic little girl with an amazing memory.

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When Isabella was younger she didn't have good eye contact and had a hard time following age appropriate directions.  She had a speech delay/echolalia (which is meaningless repetitive words repeating another person's spoken words), preferred to play alone and would become anxious in crowded social gatherings.  Isabella also had severe eating difficulties, which have continued on to this day.

Isabella has taught her parents to look at life in a different light and reminds them to slow down and REALLY look at the beauty around.  They feel very fortunate to have a great support system consisting of family, friends, therapists, teachers, and coaches.  They are also thankful for the friendships they have made since joining a local Autism Support group.  They are very proud of Isabella and the progress that she is making on this Autism journey!

The Faces of Autism/Coulter

Meet Coulter!

Coulter is a sweet, smart 5 year old who was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder at 2.5 years old.  He loves dinosaurs and can identify many with their scientific name.  He has tremendous spirit and an amazing smile.  He works hard and doesn't give up.

Once we reached the interactive dinosaur exhibit, Coulter didn't really care that I was there anymore.  I'm pretty sure I was nothing more than a distraction from the cool, fun stuff. 

Once we reached the interactive dinosaur exhibit, Coulter didn't really care that I was there anymore.  I'm pretty sure I was nothing more than a distraction from the cool, fun stuff. 

Between 12-15 months, Coulter's parents noticed a major regression in speech and language.  He also started having more behaviors and showed less eye contact.  His parents had him start Early Intervention and he transitioned to BECEP at 3 years old.

This is not the plan Coulter's parents had planned while waiting for him to arrive in this world.  No one plans for things to not work out in a neat little package.  One thing they do know is that God has greatly blessed every single ounce of effort that has been put in by Coulter, his therapists, interventionists, and them.  He has multiplied it so many fold.

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His mom says "This isn't the journey that I had planned, but God had a different idea and it turns out, He is a better planner than I am.  I have met so many amazing families, therapists, advocates, and others through this journey that I never would have had the opportunity to know otherwise.  It's not all sunshine and roses, roses have thorns and are fertilized with manure, and that's okay, too."

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The Faces of Autism/Sonja

Meet Sonja

Sonja is a sweet 5 year old girl that was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder at 2.5 years old.  She loves getting her photo taken (seriously almost shoved her siblings out of the way so I could take more of her), and throws a pose for them!

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When Sonja was younger, her parents noticed her speech wasn't coming along as expected.  Someone had mentioned the possibility of Autism to them and after doing some research they noticed many red flags.  Autism had not even crossed their minds, especially because when they thought about Autism, they thought about lack of eye-contact or affection.  After they learned more, they learned that, although those things can be red flags for Autism, it doesn't mean that an affectionate child or one that makes good eye-contact is not on the Spectrum.

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Sonja has started showing a nurturing side and interacts with her younger brother more, even seeking him out to play games.  She is becoming more outgoing and is friendly to most people.  

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The Faces of Autism/"Bacon"

Meet "Bacon"

"Bacon" is an energetic 4 year old boy who was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was 3 years old.  He has an incredible thirst for knowledge!  When he gets focused on a subject, he cannot get his fill of information on that subject and he loves to share what he has learned with others.

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When "Bacon" was younger he was an early and advanced talker.  His parents started noticing around the age of 2.5 years old that he was falling behind children his same age with language and communication.  He had a large vocabulary, but was unable to answer simple questions or carry on an age appropriate conversation.  The answers he did give to questions were often scripted from books, television, or from observing others and not authentic.  During this time, "Bacon" also developed concerning behaviors such as meltdowns in any changes in his daily routine, having intense and destructive outbursts, and becoming a picky eater.  He also rarely played with toys beyond books and puzzles.

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"Bacon" is a very affectionate little boy as well as very protective of his little sister.  He is full of energy, has an infectious laugh, and loves making people happy.

His parents say the most important thing they have learned from "Bacon" is that, although he may not be what they expected, his strengths are bigger than his shortcomings.  Their role is to help him recognize his challenges and learn to self-regulate his body and emotions so his abilities can shine.  Their goal in raising "Bacon" is the same as with their other children: to help him to become a happy, compassionate and independent person with his own sense of individuality.  He may never be what others consider "normal", but that doesn't make him less.  They are committed to making it acceptable to be a square peg in a world of round holes.

To keep updated on "Bacon" and maybe learn a bit more on the day to day of having a child with Autism, you can go to his family's Facebook page (HERE) or their blog (HERE).

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The Faces of Autism/Sammie

Meet Sammie!

Sammie is a sweet, beautiful 5 year old girl who was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum DIsorder at 2.5 years old.  She is an animal lover.  She is showing incredible strength in her receptive language skills as well as her problem solving skills.

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When Sammie was younger her parents noticed her speech was not progressing as it should have been.  The few words she did say, she stopped saying.  They assumed she just had a speech delay, Autism wasn't even on the radar, until someone had brought it up to them.  After that they did some research on warning signs of Autism and saw multiple red flags.

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Sammie has the tendency to regress before she gets new skills.  At first her parents found this very alarming and worried that she wouldn't regain the skills she lost, but now, after learning more about her, they just wait it out and see what she suprises them with after the "storm" passes.  

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