Back in January I did a model call to find 4 people on the spectrum to arrange a photoshoot to show them as individuals and look past the label of Autistic.
An autism diagnosis is a good thing as it helps an individual understand the best ways to process information and cope in certain situations, they can adapt through understanding they process information differently. However, a diagnosis can also be limiting as people see the label as a stereotype like rain man or Sheldon from Big brother.
Just as not every blonde person has the same traits, neither does every autistic person and I wanted to use Photography to show this.
You Don’t Look Autistic
Autism is often referred to as an invisible illness, but it isn’t an illness at all, however it isn’t something that is visible either. Some stereotypical traits such as an Autistic person not making eye contact are also not the same for every person.
However it does open the question… what does Autism look like?
What Does Autism Look Like?
On my Facebook page I posted a model call and people with Autism and their parents put their names forward. I wanted a mix of people, I wanted an adult, as often people are very supported of Autistic children but forget that adults need acceptance too, sometimes more as they are out in the working world.
I also wanted at least one girl, as many people assume Autistic people are just boys, this is where the Autism speaks light it up blue originally came from.
However many girls are diagnosed with Autism and have their own issues to deal with.
I was really lucky as from the draw I got some amazing people, and people who were prepared to travel far.
I organised the shoots to suit each individual and got to know them, it was eye opening that some people had different coping mechanisms, some really did not fit the stereotype, some did a bit but none fully.
I hope you like the finished video featuring the images.