The Project

Defeating Autism

In silence (campaign for children with autism - read the story)
Play (campaign for children with autism - read the story)
Love (campaign for children with autism - read the story)
Joke (campaign for children with autism - read the story)
All eyes (campaign for children with autism - read the story)
Observe (campaign for children with autism - read the story)
Look (campaign for children with autism - read the story)
Smile (campaign for children with autism - read the story)
I am (campaigning for children with autism - read the story)
Enjoy (campaign for children with autism - read the story)
Turn (campaigning for children with autism - read the story)

When you meet children with autism, you will probably feel ignored. They usually have short attention spam, no eye contact and very often they have incredible amount of energy that forbids them to stay still. Taking their portraits is most of times the hardest thing to accomplish since they don't understand what you are doing nor that you are trying to communicate with them. You are just a disturbing factor to which they react either by rejecting you or by giving you excessive attention.

"Look at me!" will eventually annoy them and unless you start playing with them, holding their hands and constantly calling their names, they will grow tired and start crying.

Smile a lot, comment repeatedly on what they are doing, hug and caress them if they allow it. And most of all, show no pity in your tone of voice. They are incredibly intelligent and very sensitive to your mood.

They are autistic and this disorder will change their lives for ever. Still, the drama does not reside within them, but with their parents. The average wage in Romania is 300 euros per month, but the therapy for one child is 1000 euros per month. And once every 3 months a monitor should come and evaluate the progress of the therapy. This costs 3000 euros. Moreover, the ABA therapy and practitioners are not aknowledged in Romania. And most parents find it difficult to admitt that their children suffer from autism because of what their neighbours and friends might think of them.

I have travelled around Romania, seen 8 cities and met 25 fantastic children. What I will forever carry with me is their parents' philosophy of life:

"The fact that I don't have a normal life, doesn't really matter. I am willingly giving all up for the honest smile of my child who cannot lie, nor cheat, nor steal and who's life is dependent on my strength of caracter and determination."

These are a few pictures of children that need my support and yours.

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Hi there!

thought you might like this story!

http://jpgmag.com/stories/8494

Thanks,
—The JPG team

8 responses

  • Tobias Vogt

    Tobias Vogt gave props (23 Oct 2008):

    Congrats, the B/W picture is the best!

  • F. Robert Openshaw

    F. Robert Openshaw said (27 Oct 2008):

    Having photographed many autistic children for various private and government programs, I can appreciate the time and effort it took you to compile these images. You have done an outstanding job in capturing the spirit of these precious children. I wish you much success in your campaign and hope it will lead to greater awareness as well as solutions for the challenges in Romania.

  • Gabriel Stanciu

    Gabriel Stanciu said (7 Nov 2008):

    Great images, touch story. Thanks for sharing!

  • E. Rosas

    E. Rosas gave props (19 Nov 2008):

    thank you Angel... got my vote!!!!

  • KY M................

    KY M................ said (19 Nov 2008):

    Great work Angel, you have my vote.

  • joe barrett

    joe barrett said (25 Nov 2008):

    this is the way that photography can change the world

  • Sean Blake

    Sean Blake said (10 Jan 2009):

    Wow! Great story!

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