Saturday, May 22, 2010

Photographs of the Disabled and Things I Must Overcome

I just can't get over how gorgeous this woman's pictures of her children are. Particularly her baby daughter with Down Syndrome.

http://www.kellehampton.com/

See, I have issues with photographs of disabled people. I hate pictures that show the disability more than they show the person. They make me cringe and look away. There are a couple of people I know of who are in the business of photography of the disabled, and working to show the person rather than the person's disability. But I don't know, I can still see it. I think the problem is me. I need to get past the fact that mentally disabled people are going to have a different expression on their faces than those who are not. I just hate that "disabled" look. Everyone has something going on in their heads, and I like for their faces to show what they are thinking.

I need to get past this and accept that when a photo displays evidence of its subject's disability, it is showing that true person. It's not criticizing or reducing that person, it's just presenting that person as he or she really is. Like this picture of Zack.



He jumps and wrings his hands and makes odd noises, and really creates a spectacle of autism. And he's doing that in this picture. It may not be pretty, but it's Zack. It's who he is. Then there's this one:



This picture illustrates how Zack likes to stuff things in his mouth, and he's truly more confident and agreeable when he's mouthing something. Not attractive, maybe, but it embodies him.

AJ more often displays a very typical child's face to the camera, but he has his quirks too.






AJ licks, chews, and mouths his fingers constantly. Reach for his hand and you'll get a good feel of slobber. That is just AJ. If I could explain why he prefers his fingers to other chewing objects, I would in a second. It's a sensory issue I just don't get.

These are my babies. I tend to print and publish only the pictures that show them looking as typical as possible, but that isn't their true story. And I want to be honest and faithful to them, and never let them think for a second that I disapproved of anything about them. Because the day is going to come when they will look at these pictures with knowing, discerning eyes. And on that day I want them to know we loved them purely and completely. Every part of them.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Labels

#youmightbeanautismparentif 2012 in review 9/11 memories ABA therapy Acceptance acronyms advocacy affection aggression AJ Aliza Aliza the playwright All I really need to know... Alphabitty Moments American Girl Ann Coulter antibullying anxiety anxiety in parents of children with special needs apple orchard apps for autism AppSmitten Arbaclofen Arbitrary Thoughts ARC autism autism brushing autism portrayed in TV shows Autism Shines awareness backyard band baseball bath toys beds behavior problems being tall Birthday Boys biting blog change blog hop blogging books bottles brushing bubbles Burnsville Fire Muster bus Cabin Fever in Minnesota candy Carly Fleischmann Carly's Voice cats cats and dogs chewys Chicago childcare for special needs children childhood Children's Museum chocolate Christmas Church circumin clinical trials Clonidine CNN Hero of 2011 coffee communication comparisons computer Conference cost of special education Courage Center Curcumin daddy dance dance competition dance moms Dental surgery dentist developmental milestones diagnosis diapers Diego Disability Day dogs Dolphin Tale Doomsday Preparation Dora Doritos drug trials DVD player early intervention earrings Easter ECSE Parent Retreat electronic gadgets electronics Everything I need to know... Evil Overlord fall falling asleep at school families family fashion fear Featured Feel Good Friday field trip fireworks first day of school Flash Gordon Food Chronicles food issues in Fragile X and autistic children forms forts Fragile Face of God Fragile X Fragile X advocate Fragile X and autism Fragile X Awareness Day Fragile X carriers Fragile X in the news Fragile X presentation Fragile X statistics Fragile X Writers friends fundraiser for Fragile X funniest Funny Gabrielle Giffords Galveston games getting carsick Girls' Night Out Giving Spirit glasses global warming going home Good Morning Great Quotes guest blogs guest post haircuts Halloween hearing test Heaven is for Real hippotherapy holidays Holland Holly home life homework hotel hugging human behavior hyperactivity IEP Meeting IEPs in the news inclusion inspiration integration iPad iPad apps iPad apps for autism IQ testing Jack Jablonski January First Joke journal entry kids with Fragile X and animals Kindergarten Kindle kisses language study learning to talk leaves lemonade stand Lily Little Einsteins losing teeth Mad Gab makeup mall Mall of America marcia braden McDonalds media sensationalization medications Melatonin Miami MIND Institute Minnesota Bloggers Conference minocycline Miracle League monkeys mosquito bites Mother's Day movies MVMOM Used Clothing and Equipment Sale nail trimming names naughtiness neighbors nicknames nightmares normal off topic one thing leads to another online dating Operation Beautiful oral sensory orphan drug act other bloggers Our Wedding outside overstimulation panic attacks parade parental stress Parenthood park Partners in Policymaking penicillin people with disabilities pets pharmacy fun photography Photoshop picnic Pictures pinching pink shirt Pinterest playing outside playing with toys poem politics poop potty training Presents protecting autistic children rash reading to kids research Retreat riding a bike Robin Williams Roger Ebert routine RSS feed RUSH University San Diego Sandy Hook Elementary Santa schedules school school bus school notes school pictures screaming self image self-checkouts sensory Seroquel siblings with developmental delays sick kids sippy cups sleep smile snow pictures Snowstorm social situations speaking of the unspeakable special education special education evaluation special needs kids special needs parents Special Needs Ryan Gosling Special Olympics spelling spoon feeding spring break staying positive stimming Strep STX209 Stylish Blog Award suicide summer Sunday School Sundays sunshine survival mode swimming talking talking to kindergarteners Target teacher's aides Teeth brushing Tegretol Temple Grandin Ten Commandments textbook case of Fragile X thankful thanksgiving that window/mirror thing The Autism Store The R Word the rapid passage of time The Right Things to say to parents of special needs children The Santa Experience the Shedd Aquarium The Twin Thing The Wiggles therapeutic horseback riding therapy This is Autism topless trampoline traveling with special needs children TV twins with special needs Twitter typical Fragile X characteristics typical kids typing vacation Vacation Bible School video games videos volunteering Waisman Center water play way-back-Wednesday What I've Learned What's your song? when a special needs parent dies Wiggles Wii games Winner Winner Chicken Dinner winter wonder Wonder Pets Wordful Wednesday Wordless Wednesday Words of Wisdom World Autism Awareness Day YMCA You Tube Zack Zoloft zoo animals

Fragile X Blogs