A Spectrum Inspired Session (During Therapy) By Rebecca Wang Photography.
The words and images here are from the insanely talented Rebecca Wang. Thank you for telling this story. And to the family itself, your beauty and openness is unmatched and lovely.
I'm so excited to finally be able to sit down and blog this incredibly sweet session I did a few weeks back. Amanda, an amazing local photographer and mom reached out to me and asked if I would come over to document her son's therapy session.
Blake, was diagnosed with autism, and Blake's mom, Amanda has been really wanting to document his progression and where he's at right now and the connections that he's been making with his family, but most importantly his younger brother.
I'm going to be really honest, and say I was a little nervous going into this shoot, and if you know me at all, you know I'm not one to get nervous about things, especially sessions. I've never really met or photographed someone that has autism, and to do an intimate in home session had me a little nervous. Would he be able to interact with me, how does he respond to direction, I just was so unsure. When I first arrived, I spent a few minutes just talking to his mom and following them around. I wanted him to feel comfortable and warm up to the idea of a complete stranger being in the house.
Soon after, his therapists arrived and they worked on drinking out of cups and saying the word more. So, I have to stop, because the overwhelming feeling of Joy that I'm experiencing right now, is the same I felt while photographing him. I have 2 young boys, ages 7 and 3, and I remember how excited and overjoyed I was when they took their first steps, or ate their first real food. Those where such big milestones for them, so when they did little things it was just not something I really thought of, like it was just supposed to happen and it wasn't something they had to work at. With Blake, I watched him for a few minutes trying so hard to say more, when he wanted more juice. I could see it in his eyes as he was watching the motion of her mouth when she said the word. All of the sudden it came out, he said it, he finally did it!!! It was as if I watched my son take his very first steps. I put my camera down and clapped my hands, saying YAYYY Blake!!
I just felt such an instant flow of pride and accomplishment for this sweet little boy, whom I've never met before that day. I can't tell you how many times I clapped my hands watching him learn new things, and how excited I felt when he did it on his own. I thought, WOW!! You know, as a mom, I think all we really want is to have children who are healthy, independent and happy. I always thought to myself, I don't know how people do it. How do people everyday, do what Amanda does?
This session really hit me like a ton of rocks. I left thinking, how lucky she was. I know you're probably not following me right now, but let me explain. Most people are quick to assume having a child with a disability is more of a struggle and not as a rewarding and beautiful thing. How lucky is she, I thought. Could you imagine being as excited for your children with all of the things that they do, as Amanda was for Blake? Could you imagine how accomplished our children would feel if we gave them a fraction of that energy and positivity that those therapists did? Could you imaging if we invested more time in our children's accomplishments vs. what we expect of them. Could you imagine?
Think of how beautiful the world would be if everything we saw was like seeing it for the first time, in a new and exciting way. Thank you Amanda for welcoming me into your home, and letting me get a little glimpse into your beautiful life. Thank you for opening my eyes and not just showing the stresses and struggles, but the beauty as well. Blake is so lucky to have such a wonderful and powerful mom in his life, and I'm so lucky to have met the both of you. <3