Breaking Through Barriers/Dispelling Myths

A photographer from the United Kingdom is trying to bust some myths surrounding Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) through her photography. Sara Dunn’s quest began soon after her 23 month-old son was diagnosed with Autism. At first she started taking pictures to document the difficulties her son was having. She soon found there are many reasons for hope. Dunn is now photographing her son and other children diagnosed with ASD so people can gain a better understanding of what the ups and downs of life with an Autism Spectrum Disorder are like.

The first myth she broke was the belief by many that Autism does not exist. People were telling Dunn that these children were just behaving badly. She told reporter Tom Airey of BBC News, “Some people have said to me they don’t believe in autism, my son’s just a naughty child. I’ve been told autistic children don’t know how to love. They do.  Usually these children are having very complex sensory experiences and they’re in distress, with some adults perceiving it as misbehaving. It’s pretty scary.”

Awareness and Insight

The project may take on a much larger scale. Dunn is hoping to put her photos on display next year during Autism Awareness Month. So far, 15 families are participating in “Admiring Autism.” The UK’s The National Autistic Society has called it an “inspirational project”. Dunn is hoping to raise funds in support of her exhibition through crowd funding. She’s asking for funding through Patreon Dunn is also hoping to expand the scope of the exhibit to include older children and adults on the spectrum.

Find Out More

You can find out more by linking to Airey’s report: Admiring Autism: Busting ‘autism myths’ with a camera. There’s also a gallery of photos of Dunn and her son, Frank, available through the Chester Chronicle.  Mum’s project admires autism.