• The second annual Focus on Autism sessions are complete!  We had a wonderful day full of sunshine and amazing families.  It was great to see old friends and make new ones too.   My local photographer’s group was so gracious to volunteer their time, as well.  The fabulous Cindy Shaver, from Life’s Captured Moments, wholesale mlb jerseys photographed all the children on the waiting list.  Volunteers assisted wholesale jerseys and greeted the families.  Here is our small team that helped photograph 29 amazing kids affected by autism.   One million thanks to Maria Moore, Jo Anne wholesale nfl jerseys Grigsby, Cindy Shaver, Connie Wise, Leslie Johnson, Halley Winton and Lori Dendy. 

Focus on Autism

This April, 20 other teams in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Colorado, and Texas focused their cameras on an adorable cross-section of american children.  We hope these images will help raise awareness of the fastest growing serious childhood developmental disorder in the US.  The CDC now estimates that 1 in 88 children live with autism, and that more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes, and cancer, combined.    Yet autism receives approximately 5% of the government research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases (from www.TACAnow.org).  Take a look at the beautiful faces on this page.  See how a snapshot in time removes the disability, melts it away… so that all we see is the adorable sweetness and joy of these children.  Photography can make a profound difference in this world.  We hope these images will help change the image of autism wholesale jerseys in America.

Our first friends of the day were 3 year old C and his big sister C.  This little one’s spirit was so easy to see!  His bright smile warmed my heart.  We were thrilled to capture this sweet image with his adoring big sister. 

C was happiest doing his own thing and we were happy to let him be himself.   I liked this image because it is C with his favorite things, on the go and smiling… I bet his mom sees him like this a lot.  Like many children that live with autism, C enjoys having something to chew on.  Many children living with autism have difficulty sorting out their sensory experiences.  It is common for children living with ASD to be over or under sensitive to various experiences.  An interest cheap jerseys in chewing is common.  The children chew, not because they want to destroy what ever it is they are chewing, but because they like or need the chewing sensation.   My Caroline has sensory issues, too.  She seems to be under sensitive to loud sounds… it’s like they don’t even happen!  A large boom or explosion that will make me jump out of my skin, may not even get her attention.

  

The swing proved to be our best friend… if you’ve ever been to Dublin Park, you know there a lot of places to run.  But this magical swing was a wonderful grounding spot for many of the kids… and C’s smile came in an instant as he flew through the air. 

The behaviors of children living with autism are hard to understand.  A neurotypical person usually does not have trouble relaxing or calming their senses (sight, smell, sound, touch, taste, balance, and uprightedness), but it can be very So challenging for this special group of kids.  Some will withdraw to avoid over-stimulation.  Others may occasionally develop repetitive behaviors to help them sort out a particular sensation.  Many children find the swaying motion of a swing soothing, and the pressure from the swing seems Photography to help the children feel more “in balance.”   We have a rope swing on our back porch.  Almost every morning last year Caroline would swing, no matter what the temperature.  She loved to swing.  It could be FREEZING… and she would insist on swinging.  I didn’t really understand this need to Warsztaty swing, but I knew it calmed her and was always glad to let her do it.   As she has developed and healed over the last year, she still enjoys the swing, but doesn’t seem to crave it the way she once did.  

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Big sis C, was in our son’s 1st grade class.  It was great to see her and get reacquainted.    Sometimes people have a lot of empathy for the child living with autism, and it’s easy to forget the neurotypical siblings are also cheap jerseys affected by autism.  

In a way, I think the sibling’s childhood gets cut a little shorter.  Out of necessity they become caregivers, advocates, and helpers.  While I believe it is truly character building, it makes me a little sad for some Major of the childhood that the sibling misses out on.  

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Did you know that boys are much more likely to have autism than girls?   In fact, boys are four times more likely than girls to have an autism diagnosis.  Last year, Caroline was the only girl in her ASD class of 15 kids.   We were thrilled to photograph a couple of girls this year.   A’s mom warned us that she could not be posed.  Well, when you are as gorgeous as this, posing is not necessary. 

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A  kept us on our toes!  Within the first minute we captured her smiling and then she was done with us.  This was OK with me,  because it Nfl just doesn’t get much better than the image below.

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A seemed happiest with her little sister, who toddled along after her.  It makes me On happy to see these two sweet girls together, and to know that A will have a sister who will always be her advocate and friend.

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Little sister was adorable too… just in the short time I spent with them, this little Licensed one displayed tons of patience.

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Meet B.  He was one of Caroline’s classmates last year.  We coached a little smile out of him by having him say Caroline’s name.  I think he was a little sweet on her.  She was fond of him too, and got lots of hugs from him while in Ms. Janice’s class.  With that sweet smile and big blue eyes, he is easy to love. 

My husband Jamie had just attended an autism conference with B’s mother and grandmother.   The topic of Epsom salt baths came up…  We believe one thing that has really helped heal our sweet girl is the nightly epsom salt baths she has taken over the past year.  B’s mom said 4 they tried an Epsom salt bath the night before this session and it seemed to calm him.  Our little girl soaks for about 30 – 45 minutes each night.  Many people have asked how we fit this into our routine.  My response is “How could we not?  It helps her so much!”

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Here goes my best explanation…. We know that our sweet Caroline is very low in sulfate (this is true for many children on the spectrum).  Her little body just doesn’t hold onto it the way it should.  A very important enzyme (PST) used by the liver to remove toxic phenols from our body needs sulfate molecules to attach to the phenolic compounds.  If your liver runs low on sulfate, it can not remove the phenols from the bloodstream.  If phenols build-up, they can can cause impulsiveness, hyperactivity, irritability, inappropriate laughter, night sweats, dark circles under the eyes, excessive thirst, eczema, facial flushing, trouble falling to sleep, disturbed sleep, and odorous bed-clothes.  With our girl, we avoid artificial food coloring and some fruits with naturally occurring phenols.  We know she has too many phenols in her system when she is irritable, impulsive, and gets black circles under her eyes.  Click here for More info about Epsom salt baths.   

Our second sweet girl of the day came with her sister.  How lucky they are to have each other!  Meet A and her sister, N.

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A lot of kids that live with autism have fleeting eye contact.  A’s dad was right behind me… talking to her, interacting, and trying to hold her gaze long enough for me to capture this sweet photo.  Lack of eye-contact is a telling sign of autism.  Other early signs include: 

  • not smiling by six months of age
  • not babbling, pointing or using other gestures by 12 months
  • not using single words by age 16 months
  • not using two word phrases by 24 months
  • having a regression in development, with any loss of language or social skills 
  • low-muscle und tone, or poor coordination
  • toe-walking

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Sister N was happy to oblige our request to look through this window.  Huntsville Photographer

We asked A to do the same, and she was happy to oblige… but needed a little help.  What you don’t see here is her mom holding her up on the other side and her Dad making silly noises and getting her attention behind me!  We see it all the time… families living with autism will do what ever it takes to connect…  to share a moment of joy.  Huntsville Photographer

Meet P and his big sister P.   Another adorable pair.  Big sis… as attentive as they get.  And little brother, he just doesn’t know how lucky he is.

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P was very comfortable running and playing, so we took chase…. and then landed wholesale mlb jerseys on our old friend the swing! 

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I was thinking young people who have a sibling on the autism spectrum should be able to list that experience on their resumes.  They develop amazing relationship skills that could be gained no other way.   Our neurotypical children unknowingly shoulder so much responsibility.  It seems like a lifetime ago now, but when our sweet girl was not so sweet, she threw a lot of fits.  And she could throw a fit like no other!  Many times, Jameson (our then 9 year old son)  would look at us and say, “I got this.”  And indeed he would.  He could pull her out of her rage when we could not.  We didn’t want to depend on him to do this, or have him feel like it was his responsiblity, but the truth was he could pull wholesale mlb jerseys her away from her anger and we could not.  I am sad to say we depended on him – and I believe it took a toll on him.  That my friends, is way too much responsibility for a 9 year old boy.  

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Meet my new friend, K.   When I asked his sweet mother if she wanted anything specific for her portraits, she said “We’ll just do the best we can.”  K is one of those the kids who makes your heart a little softer, your spirit a little kinder.   I wanted to give his mother the most beautiful portrait possible of her son. Huntsville Photographer

K was not one for the swings, wholesale mlb jerseys or the slide, or for sitting.  So we chased, and we cheap mlb jerseys chased.  At one point I thought I would be clever and run counter to the way he was running… so I could get more images of his face than the back of his head… but he outmaneuvered me and went the other way!

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 The love this mother showed for her son was like no other.  You could tell she had the strength and endurance to love her son unconditionally.  Many people believe children on the autism spectrum don’t like to be touched or held.  On the contrary, we’ve seen most of these kids actually love to cuddle and embrace.

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 If you read the blog post from last year, I told a story about a mother that called and thanked me for her son’s portrait – the first one they had with Clothes him smiling and looking at the camera… We were delighted to photograph J again… six years later.   J is growing up so fast!   Shown here with little brother, H.  

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There is something to say to for smiling and looking at the camera, but when you child have lashes like J… it’s a shame not to photograph them, too!

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Little bro, H… a pro at photography sessions… was very familiar with me.  I’ve photographed him for years By at his preschool with Spoiled Rotten Photography.  Until Saturday, I didn’t put it together that he was J’s brother.

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Again, our old friend, the swing.  I was taken aback with how J kept ????? letting go of the chains… I think J was doing it just to get a reaction out of me… he was going too high (in my opinion) not to be holding on…  Dad showed no concern… said J was a professional on the swing.   Nevertheless, I adored cheap nba jerseys his beautiful smile and was tickled pink to get such a  bubbly happy image of J. 

Huntsville Photographer

And here’s H… hangin’ on.  I suspect he hears that a lot.  Hang on.  I feel like we are all hanging on, in a way.  Hanging on until recovery is complete.  Hanging on until even the cause is determined.  Hanging on until the fit is over.  Hanging on until we have more acceptance.  Hanging on until we find the right school, or teacher, or aide, or friend for our child.  For now, we are hanging on to hope and faith and love.  We have been blessed with healing and pray that every family affected by autism will, too.  We encourage everyone to learn more about autism by visiting TACA.  With cheap jerseys 1 in 88 kids now on the spectrum, chances are you already love someone living with autism, too.  Help them find real medical treatment for a real medical condition.  Our doctor is Daniel Kalb, in Cool Springs, Tennessee.

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Read more about our autism journey and resourses that we have found helpful:  http://melissatash.com/blog/autism/   

 See images from our 2011 sessions:  Click here 

 

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