The Stories of Autism project is a network of professional photographers creating fine art portraits. The mission is to increase awareness, acceptance and inclusion of people with autism spectrum disorders through fine art portraits and stories.
I was honored to be included among the photographers this year and would like to share the photos and stories of three local autism superheroes that I met through the project. Please check out the Stories of Autism website to learn more.
My first subject was this handsome fella.
This cutie was full of energy, loved cars and was super excited about the new game he was planning to play later that night. Here's his story, as written by his mom:
Ciaran, first born and the tiniest of our triplets, came into the world 2 months early and has been keeping us on our toes every since. Diagnosed with autism, hypotonia and failure to thrive at 18 months he has struggled with walking, talking, eating and most daily tasks others take for granted.
Now at age 7 he has succeeded with dance classes, ice hockey and soccer. He lost his non-verbal status years ago and loves to greet everyone he sees. They even call him "the little mayor" at his school. Ciaran still faces daily struggles but he is the happiest boy you could ever meet and every day is a new miracle for him and us!
I loved spending time with this inspiring family and these adorable faces. It was really tough choosing a favorite photo to include in the Stories of Autism Gallery. This boy loves his sisters.
He also loves his cars, can you tell?
And was looking forward to playing a little Pie Face with the family!
In the end, I chose this photo for the gallery. His eyes are so full of happiness and hope - that is exactly how I feel about this "little mayor". Happy that he has a wonderful family to support him and hopeful that he will have an amazing future.
April is Autism Awareness month. If you know an autism superhero that might like to be featured in next year's project, please drop me a line. I love working with special kids and their special families. Stay tuned for more from this year's Stories of Autism project. Two more amazing autism super heroes coming up!
(P.S. Yes, I know I left the blog hanging - more about that later - I have a story to tell and it is a long one! I also promise to come back and tell you all about the Mayan ruins just like I said I would. Come to think of it, I wouldn't mind a little side trip to Mexico about now .... fresh guac, drinks on the beach .... who's with me? )