Autism is a mystery to many people. It keeps children inside and isolates them from their families, friends and future lives. Not many people understand the condition or autistic people themselves, so a father by the name of Timothy Archibald wanted to change that. He and his son with autism, Elijah, worked together to create a series of photographs that stunned the world and raised autism awareness.
Elijah has autism.
His father wanted to photograph him in an attempt to show the world what autistic children are experiencing.
Some people don”t like the photos, thinking that Timothy is exploiting his son.
But, he is actually just attempting to raise autism awareness. Not many people can understand what it”s like to have a child with autism – or to have autism themselves.
Time and time again I get notes and photos from parents who really feel they see their kid in these photographs Eli and I made.
Timothy wants others to accept the “imperfections of life.” Just because a child has autism, it doesn”t mean they are any less special than other children.
People, nature and this world aren”t perfect.
Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by difficulties in social interaction, communication and repetitive behavior. Its unfortunately incredibly misunderstood.
By taking the photos together over the course of years, the father and son bonded.
Timothy began to learn his sons quirks and relate to him better.
They now look back on the pictures and recall fond memories together.
As the boy got older, he began to see doctors and starte medications that have effectively relieved some of Elijah”s autistic symptoms.
The 3 year-long series of photos are collected in a book called “Echolilia/Sometimes I Wonder.” Timothy hopes that people read it and learn more about autism and how to connect with people who have it, just like how the photographs helped him connect with his own son.
“We have challenges. But I do think he and I did form some small tether at the time we made these photographs that seems to help us along.”