Some Kids Win You Over Right Away
I am intrigued by Autism. I am even more intrigued by people that do not engage with children or are scared and tend ignore children with Autism. It's just a label folks. Take that label away and you have just a kid.
All kids are approachable and responsive if you find a way in. Children with Autism are a little more sensitive, a little more apprehensive about socializing and a little more passionate about specific things.
I'm no expert on Autism, but like I said I'm definitely intrigued by it. I'm curious as to why more males are stricken with it, why there are more diagnoses today (a lot more) and how many several different spin-offs of Autism exist: Hyperlexia, Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Asbergers Syndrome just to name a few. The spectrum is so broad the signs so vague in some instances. For example, sometimes these disorders are defined by a passion for a certain things to the point of being obsessive about it- dinosaurs, trains or numbers or anything really but why do some children become obsessed and passionate about one thing and not another? Also the physical characteristics- funny finger movements/folding or hand flapping, toe-walking... what causes that behavior? Some children are described as having learning disorders but then others can be savants and have an incredible understanding of language and even know how to read very early on. Oh, and the eating habits! One Autistic adult divulged that he loves to eat whole onions like they're apples. One parent said her child's therapist told her that it usually takes introducing a new food 100 times before a kid with Autism will try it. 100 times! How can the spectrum be so wide in regards to the symptoms? I find it all so very interesting. The most perplexing though is, why does it affect mostly males? 4 times more males than females.
Sigh. The brain, our bodies, our coping mechanisms... all so very interesting.
Maybe I should've been a neurologist.
With that being said, I was a little terrified to meet my client. I was gently forewarned several times before going on this shoot that he might not be receptive to me. He might not want to have his picture taken. He might not let me take his picture at all.
There's always a way in folks. And had I not been clued-in.... I never would've known of his disorder. I never would have suspected. Not social? We talked the entire time I was there. Not responsive? Hey, I got smiles. I got lots of smiles, even some laughs.
I did have a tip though, and I brought a sticker book for back up.
I didn't need it.
But it did make a nice parting gift.