My son, Grayson...

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by pixeldawg, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. pixeldawg

    pixeldawg TPF Noob!

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    I have to tell you, of my three children, my oldest son Grayson is the sweetest of them all. I never have to say to him "Grayson, don't hit your brother/sister". He's a good kid, and as you might be able to guess, I am quite proud of him. At the end of school last year, Grayson's teacher came up to me and asked for a minute of my time. I was shocked when he told me that he suspected Grayson had some signs of autism. Quite honestly, it shook me to the very core of my being. So, needless to say, being all upset and flustered, I went to the dayspa that my wife and I own and told her what the teacher had said. We decided that the best thing to do was research and get Grayson a complete mental and physical going-over. We found out that his motor skills are sub-par and that he had a severe form of Asberger's Syndrome, which not only has the physical complications, but social as well. We also found out that Grayson is in the top .25% as far as IQ and vocabulary, but in the bottom .5% socially. So, we are working on enhancing his social skills- he is now in 7th grade and played football this year (He's 13 and is 5'8" and about 165 pounds, so needless to say, he was a defensive lineman for his team...) he was also elected to his student government association at school. I was really upset with myself for a long time because we hadn't picked up on many of the tell-tale signs of his condition. His motor skill issues were obvious, and I'd always chalked up up to his being a "nerdy, akward kid".

    I'd shot this image of Grayson a year or so ago, and looking back on it, I find it an amaging illustration of him as a parson. He is shy, yet the kindness within him seems to show through his eyes. I hope you enjoy looking at this as much as I am enjoying posting it and telling you a bit about my son.


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  2. ypperin

    ypperin TPF Noob!

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    First I have to say kudos to you for seeing past the lable. My eldest also has a high functioning form of autism, and yet has the biggest heart! He is socially awkward to but when he makes friends they are friends till the end because they appreciate his genuine care and kindness....

    As well I love the picture. It very much captures exactly what you wanted to portray or moreso what you see in it. What's more, it captures that want and need of an autistic child to socialize despite their social weaknesses. Quite often I would find Tyler watching other children playing on the playground and him, completely oblivious as to how to broach the "can I play" questions...... It's a beautiful shot!

    As well, I wanted to say that just from my personal experience, the perspective of a child with autism is so raw, so unique, and truly a blessing. Remember that it is not necessarily a having to force him to be what society is, but rather teaching him how to make his world work in society's. It can be very overwhelming at first, and hard to be a parent and a therapist, but you'd be surprised at the strength and insight you will gain, and the amazing photography that will follow :)
     
  3. invisible

    invisible Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    This photo is beautiful, intense, sensationally framed, and (in light of the background you just gave us) it works as a metaphor. Thumbs up!
     
  4. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think it's an amazing shot. I do think it makes him a bit brooding/angry/lurking, which I don't think was your intent. I still think it's an amazing shot, regardless.
     
  5. jv08

    jv08 TPF Noob!

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    This is such a nice photo. Well done!
     
  6. AlfromLA

    AlfromLA TPF Noob!

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    HERE'S JOHNNY!


    Seriously has an impact.
     
  7. pixeldawg

    pixeldawg TPF Noob!

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    One of the characteristics of Asberger's is that the person tends to have a lack of facial expressions. Grayson has the same look almost all of the time. It's a part of the motor skill issues. This may be why he looks as he does. Another characteristic is that he and others like him tend to take anything said literally. SO, if he came home with a bad grade and I said "Grayson, don't come home with another grade like that again" He will literally THINK that if he gets another grade like this, he can't come home. We have learned that he really needs to change nothing, but we as parents have to think before we say and do. And I get the "here's Johnny" joke, but seriously, he is the most docile person. I never, ever have to say "Grayson, don't hit your brother/sister". Just never happens.

    I appreciate your interest in the photo. He was actually looking to my right at his younger brother and sister, who were playing "Hide and Seek" with him. It was actually a "grab" shot while I was testing a 90mm Nikkor Micro VR lens for Popular Photography & Imaging (I, until recently, moderated their forum and wrote for them...). Anyway, I appreciate your interest!
     
  8. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    ^^^ hey, Mark. I hope you don't take the comments personally. I was personally commenting on the photo... not your son. Big difference. My point was that the photo (to me) portrayed something other than what you said is characteristic of your son. This can be a good thing, a bad thing, or just an interesting thing... it says nothing about your son other than that, at the time, he looked more scary/annoyed/whatever than he actually is.

    Were I him, I would love the shot, because it does make him look very cool in that dangerous sort of way.
     
  9. pixeldawg

    pixeldawg TPF Noob!

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    I totally didn't take it that way, Chris. No worries. I'd just assumed that if you're like me, you don't know too much about Asberger's Syndrome. So, I thought while I showed the image, I'd educate as well... It's one of those PhD in training things... I can't help it, really. Bahaaa! :)
     
  10. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    hehehe, ok cool.

    Oddly, I actually randomly caught a rather informative segment on Asberger's Syndrome, so I probably know more about it than your average joe on the street... though I'm obviously nowhere near as clued in as someone such as yourself... I'm at the "oh yeah, I've actually heard about that and know a touch more about it than nothing." :lol:
     
  11. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Disregarding the true story that goes with this photo, and which must be very close to your heart, too, Mark, I find this is a beautiful photo of a teenage boy - any teenage boy - for no matter the skills they were provided with, I guess they all like to see themselves as kind of "serious, a little angry, strong". I understand that this just is your Grayson's facial expression, with little variations due to his "condition" (if that is the word?), but even if we did not know about him, I would still think this is a good, quite typical, and certainly liked-by-them portrait of a teenage boy.

    By the way, I am very interested in the topic - Asperger's, autism. It is totally alien to me (I admit), but I really would like to know more. So never stop teaching along with showing your photos, ok? Please. We can learn so much all through our lives, in each and every field, it's good to be offered some learning material at all times.
     
  12. pixeldawg

    pixeldawg TPF Noob!

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    One of the big reasons I left the PopPhoto forum is that people there just seemed to be getting meaner and meaner. THat being said, I really appreciate your note and sure am enjoying the discussions and responses I'm getting to my posts here. Thanks again one and all for your interest and comments. I really appreciate them!
     

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