Saturday, December 3, 2011

Photoshoots and the ASD child

From Birth to about 18 months old my son took the most beautiful pictures.  He looked straight at the camera, hammed it up big time....I photographers dream. 

Then we hit the quintessential 18 month mark where it starts hitting the fan.  I assumed it was separation anxiety or stranger anxiety, I have no clue.  I paid $40 for a Christmas pic i never used because his eyes were red and swollen as he stared into space....not a great Christmas card if you ask me.  I ended up taking a picture at home....which went a little like this.....
Very GQ, this took forever....and he is not even looking....but still this is one of my favorites :)

There are no professional pics of Frankie after 18 months......for a while there were just pictures i took of him when he wasn't paying attention.  I would get one good picture in a batch of staring off into space and nasty face.  I'm not sure what made me think at 2 when Lia was born that he would take pictures better.  I thought maybe with an on site photographer he would bet better......not so much.

Its not a bad picture, its just the only one we have from that shoot because he was completely noncompliant.  Here is Failed attempt at Christmas 2010....He was so Pissed....

And now to the greatest blessing that could happen to a photo crazed parent of an Autistic Child.....the ABA therapist who is ALSO a Photographer!

I suppose this will only help you if you are in the Long Island area, but seriously if you are here and you need pictures, check her out.  Kim started out as Frankie's ABA therapist though early intervention around the same time she began pursuing her passion for photography.  She started taking pictures of Frankie for me as little surprises during sessions, photographs I could never get.....Apparently she told me her secret...she asks him Social Questions lol.

With Christmas Card Season approaching, i knew who I had to call.... Kimberly Jean-Photography :)  Like always, with positive reinforcement, yummy reinforcers, patience and some social questions she did an awesome job.  It takes a special kind person to work with our kids and I don't know if she realizes the advantage she has to other photographers lol.

So if you are in the Long Island Metro area or know someone who is and would like to have photos taken by a professional, kind, patient reliable, awesome, very reasonably priced person who works with Autistic children daily...... Check out Kimberly Jean- Photography on Facebook or at her Website

I never thought I could get a cards this good....THANK YOU KIM!!!

For Some Reason Kim couldn't Comment on here so here is her response:

Hello there...I thought I was a bit over due for a good cry.... Thank you is all I can say... It has been my pleasure to work with Frankie & teach him how to get through a photo shoot or just a quick snap shot.. He is a remarkable little boy who just keeps surprising me every time I see him! When I first took a few pictures of him to surprise you for Mother's Day, I had no idea how he would react.. However, my plan worked.. I took him outside and gave him simple directions, just as I would in therapy.. then began to ask him social questions to keep him engaged.. It worked!! With some reinforcement, I got beautiful shots that I knew you were struggling to get..
Fast forwad a few months later and It's now Christmas time.. Time to send out those holiday cards.. but knowing that you have a child with special needs, especially one on the ASD, I knew difficulty was an understatement for how Frankie might respond to a typical studio set up photo shoot.... I can't take all the credit though... Yes, I was the one behind the camera, checking my settings, angels, etc. but credit must be given where credit is due.. Keri, my sister assisted me that day and thank goodness she did.. With simple commands again and models given, she was able to help me get some of the most beautiful shots of Frankie & his sister Lia.. Happy Holidays to all! And thank you again for all of your kind words!! Kim


  1. I love all your photos. I like the concept of putting your baby on a basket. What I like most is your family photo. Great job by the photographer.

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  2. I really understand the difficulties of the parents who have children with ASD. However, I salute and admire them too. They are going through these struggles but they still manage to live a life to the fullest. Anyway, you got cute kids. symptoms of autism