Faces of Autism Alex
April has traditionally been Autism Awareness month, but we are trying to do more than become aware, we are driven to accept! I have been planning this campaign for months and have had the absolute PRIVILEGE of photographing some of the most AMAZING people! Throughout the month of April we will be featuring them and their stories. I pray that you find love for these INCREDIBLE humans and their passions!
My name is Alexander and I’ve had autism my whole life.
I’ve heard many things about autism, and because of these things, for the longest time, I denied that I had autism due to the picture of what an autistic person was in my head, but the truth is that Autism is a spectrum.
Nonspeaking autistics, intellectually disabled autistics, autistics with high support needs, and high functioning autistics like myself. This autism awareness month what I’m asking for is that you listen, not only to me, but all those who have lived their lives with autism, and most importantly, to let us speak for ourselves
So here’s what Autism is like for me
I work best with a consistent routine, getting into a flow really helps me work and focus, and when that routine is broken I get incredibly stressed and can even shut down. I never really learned the value of money, so I have trouble putting a price on things without reference. I have sensory hypersensitivities, so when things are too loud, I get a lot of movement in my vision, or when there’s too many smells I get incredibly stressed, and I’ve had to quit jobs over these things. Most importantly I can’t do something that's asked of me without clear instructions, vagueness and ambiguity confuse me and, you guessed it, make me incredibly stressed.
My current passion is painting WarHammer Mini Figurines. If you'd like to see more of my work or interested in hiring me for commission work.
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We come from all walks of life, Autistic people are people of color. Autistic people are immigrants. Autistic people are a part of every religion, every income level, and every age group. Autistic people are women. Autistic people are queer, and autistic people are trans. Autistic people are often many of these things at once. The communities we are a part of and the ways we are treated shape what autism is like for us.
So what I’m asking from everyone is not for awareness, but acceptance, and to listen to the knowledge that we and organizations like the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) tell you.
From Alex's parents: "When Alex was very small the Dr was amazed at all the words he had at a very young age. Around the age of 2 1/2 he lost his consonant sounds. He still talked a lot but it was not understandable. We took him to the Dr and he would fail the hearing test, they would then send us to the audiologist and he would pass the test. This was long before we knew he was on the autism spectrum, but looking back it makes sense. The audiologist was a dark room with no outside stimuli which we now know had been an issue for him. Looking back this was the first sign we saw that may have helped us with his early diagnosis.
Alex is is an INCREDIBLE young man with a huge heart! He has taught us how to see the world in such a WONDERFUL way!"