When we set up the time for Caeden’s Stories of Autism photoshoot, his mother warned me that he was fast. I assured her that I’ve worked with many children who are quicker than normal, and his speed would not be a problem.
And then I met Caeden. As it turns out, his mother was right – he was QUICK. One of his tricks is to bounce toys (or his snack) in his hands simultaneously. It’s pretty amazing, and much harder than it looks. I love these images below because it looks like he’s making them levitate.
I loved this session because I was able to see the quiet as well as the playful side of Caeden. Both are equally charming.
The essay below is from his mother:
From the moment I laid eyes on him, I knew Caeden was special. He was perfect. He was my son. Caeden was diagnosed with Autism when he was 18 months old. He is five years old now and is non-verbal but he loves to laugh and chatter away. He is intelligent and is often underestimated by others because of his inability to speak.
He is a great speller and uses RPM to communicate. He is playful and loving and enjoys playing with his two older sisters Makayla age 13 and Brenna age 12. He is a picky eater, just like most five year olds. He loves music and singing as long as it’s not too loud. He covers his ears when he’s either overstimulated or if the sounds around him are too loud. Caeden receives ABA therapy 4 days a week and he really likes it and is steadily progressing. He is a pretty easy-going kid who is constantly on the go. He likes to go new places and explore the outdoors.
Do we have the typical battles? Of course we do. We have good days and not so good days. But I wouldn’t trade one second of it. Not one. As parents, we learn to take the good with the bad and keep moving forward.
As Caeden gets older my own hope is that he is happy and healthy. That’s what I want for all of my children. I do not hope for him to no longer have Autism because Autism is a part of who he is.
He is a gentle soul who changes you. He makes you see things you’ve never seen. Question things you’ve never questioned. Feel things you’ve never felt. Do things you’ve never done. He has become my teacher. He teaches me to see the world from a new perspective. To not assume. To not take things for granted. To slow down. To listen.
He is special. Not because of his Autism but because he is Caeden. My son.
Stephanie, Mother of Caeden