This is Aaron. I photographed him for Stories of Autism at the same time that I worked with his brother, Thomas. Aaron is thirteen years old and tried to look as stoic as he could for as long as possible, until he was overcome by my charm and quick wit.
(Or, I finally wore him down!)
Actually it was Aaron that kept us entertained with his stories. He’s a good story-teller and I loved capturing his laughter and genuine smiles.
The essay that follows is from his mother:
Aaron is 13. Aaron was my first child with autism. I never thought there was anything wrong until he was almost three. We were on a walk one day and a lady tried talking to him. She asked him some questions, and when I explained that he didn’t talk, she suggested that I have him tested. I called a doctor and he recognized the signs of autism.
Aaron was different than other kids. He screamed a lot and played alone. At the time, he had cousins and he only played with them. He went to daycare and sat in the corner and cried. He didn’t want to play with other kids. He wanted to be left alone.
When he would play outside, if the civil defense sirens went off or a train was blowing its horn, he would run home crying with his hands over his ears. He would need to be consoled and calmed down.
We made great progress with therapies in school until he was just about to turn four. That was the week his sister died. She was two months old. Aaron locked himself in his head and regressed greatly. He stopped talking again and I felt like I lost two kids that day. She to the heavens, and one to grief. He couldn’t understand emotions.
Aaron wouldn’t talk and he was “gone” for about three years. We had to rebuild everything that he had learned. He continues to work and make progress daily. My hope for him is to live a happy life in whatever he does.
Liz, Mother of Aaron
To read more about Stories of Autism, click here.
For an introduction to my 2016 Stories of Autism participants, click here.