Tampa Autism Friendly Photographer | Tampa Wedding Photographer Kristen Marie Photography
It’s Time to Get Those Photos Done!
I think often enough as parents, professionals, busy every day lives we forget to enjoy the small moments. Some families have their plates more full then others and often get side tracked in everything else. ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) parents often are consumed with Therapies, specialist appointments, doctors appointments, keeping on top of everything else that happens day to day that we often forget to enjoy the small moments. I myself have a child that falls on the spectrum, meaning I know other parents who have children on the spectrum. When I am asked what I do for a living I often hear the same thing “I don’t think I could ever take my child for portraits”. I can understand the stress. It becomes stressful for parents with the what if’s. What if my photographer just doesn’t know how to deal with a meltdown? what if they can’t get my little one to look at the camera? What if? There is no reason to not do a photo session. Find someone you are comfortable with and that you know isn’t going to make a big deal or shut the session down over a meltdown. Someone who knows how to shoot outside of the normal traditional portraits because your child most likely isn’t going to sit and smile at the camera.
I recently did a session with a mother and daughter. Her daughter falls on the spectrum. She said previously there were past issues with photography and she just gave up. She knew about my son through a previous conversation and asked if I would be ok with shooting her daughter since I have experience with ASD kids. The key to a session with a child on the spectrum is that they run the show. There is no making them sit down and smile or asking them to do something. Some children and non verbal, some children do not respond to their names, some children can’t make eye contact, They run the show and you are just there to capture it. Little Ms. in this session had cried some, didn’t like the leaves so we moved to another area, but we worked with her and her needs. There is no reason to not have those same moments with your ASD child and it be captured for you to treasure.
I sent mom a few shots from the session and she said she was so filled with emotion and there is no reason she can’t be given those moments to cherish just like parents of “nuerotypical” children. I have one “neurotypical” child and she can be just as uncooperative as my ASD child (if not worse 🙂 ), they are still children after all.
Some things to consider with your ASD child during a session:
– You most likely will not get fully posed images. It’s good to have an expectation but also be mindful that your child may not want to sit and may not want to do “typical posed shots”. Let them be kids the images you will cherish most are not the posed ones. You will most likely have a non traditional session,
-Bring items you know your child likes. Little Ms. liked bubbles and it really kept things moving for her.
– Snacks always work with all kids. They get hungry and just like you and me get grumpy when they are hungry.
– Be prepared to be in a good number of shots with your little one. They are most comfortable with you and they are going to be most happy with you. Staying stress free and not getting stressed at the session will be that much easier on them.
– Know their sensory limitations and let your photographer know. This helps you with locations too. Picking a noisy location with a child that just cannot do noise is going to be counterproductive. Your photographer knows of the quieter parks and locations ask them and let them know typical triggers so it can be avoided.
– No matter their disability they are still kids and will do normal kid things, don’t be embarrassed or stress about a possible meltdown.
– Lastly, Enjoy your session!
This post is not meant to discredit photographers who do not have ASD children or have experience in the area it’s meant to encourage parents who are afraid to take the step out to get photographs done and remember these moments away from the stress of everyday life.