I started out to create a project of uniquely beautiful individuals to introduce you to a simple idea,
An idea about connection and understanding.
Perhaps you’ll find some of these faces attractive. Some maybe instantly evoked your empathy.
Or it is possible that one or two of them repelled you. Look again.
These portraits were put together not to inundate you with more images, but to ask you to consider 100 of your fellow humans exactly as they are.
Some of them neurotypical, and some living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
My Godson, Nathan, lives with autism. My heart breaks when I witness those who pass by him with discomfort or disdain because his unique footsteps or sounds do not match what we expect of a young man. His insides do not match what we think of his outsides.
Look again. Can you spot the portraits of those individuals living with autism?
I set out to illustrate that when we remember to use empathy initially with every human interaction, we gain connection and understanding. When we assume individuals living with autism do not mind or do not notice our discomfort or distain, we fail not only them, but also ourselves.
Nathan is a delightful, talented young man. He brings everyone who knows him a new perspective on the world around us. He deserves to be seen as he is not as whom we wish him to be.
I hope you will enjoy this project, knowing all the love that went into producing it, and all the love that goes into supporting those with autism, every day of their lives. If you can help in any way shape or form.
Start perhaps by taking a look again at your own neighbors living with autism.
Look again for organizations that you can be a part of as they find the source of the disorder and provide the resources for families impacted by autism. Please look again inside your heart for time to volunteer or if you have the means to make a financial donation.
Thank you all from the very bottom of my heart.