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Family Photographer for Parents of Children with Autism – The Adventures of Johnny & Paddy

Home Lifestyle family photo shoot of two little boys with Autism, following their adventures with their Volunteer carers for a play session!

I had the pleasure of photographing Johnny & Paddy in the comfort of their own home playing with their lovely carers, It was great to be a ‘fly on the wall’ just following the boys around being themselves.

Please read this statement for my personal photography project The Adventures of Johnny & Paddy:

Johnny & Paddy are two brothers with Autism, from which their is currently no cure. However, where there is hope there is recovery and Johnny & Paddy are now on the road to recovery with an Intensive Holistic Home programme. Following Johnny’s diagnosis in October 2011, his parents were advised that there was little help available for him and he may never speak. He would remain a little boy locked in his own world with limited ability to communicate.

His parents, Mark & Fiona were not prepared to accept that there was no help for him and began to do their our own research. It was during this research that they discovered an intervention called ‘Son-Rise’.

Son-rise is a child-led play therapy based on love and acceptance which seemed to fit his persona – he is full of life and loves to play. The home-based programme was quickly set up with direction from Sarah from Autism at Home and an army of willing volunteers.

The long journey to recovery had begun. In March 2012, Johnny’s younger brother Paddy was also diagnosed with Autism and the two brothers would now journey together.

With Son-Rise, the boys both have their own specially designed distraction free playroom and play one-to-one with a trained helper/ volunteer. The helpers follow a programme to encourage the boys to use eye-contact; voices; share play and engage with the adults in the room to improve their sociability and imagination. In this way it is possible to recover the boys from Autism.

Since setting up the Home Programme the boys have made great progress in their challenges with Autism, Johnny has started to find his voice and is learning new words and sharing them all the time; Paddy is becoming more sociable and is now wanting to talk although he has no words yet.

They have met and played with so many amazing people who have given their time so freely to help them prosper. We are also indebted to the expert support we have received from Son-Rise specialists and of course from family and friends who have supported the boys so willingly.

Other interventions have been added such as dietary changes as the boys follow a gluten and dairy free diet. Removing dairy products from Paddy’s diet dramatically improved his eye contact in just a few days. The boys will soon be following GAPS protocol – (Gut and Psychology Syndrome).

Mark and Fiona joined Treating Autism a charity set up by parents to support and educate parents and professionals to help autistic people. They have also attended a Handle course to help the boys sensory issues, and follow a homeopathic treatment – to help detoxify the boys.

The programs are costly and the majority of the costs are met by Mark and Fiona, but with help from friends organising fundraising events this expense is lessened. There other ‘Son-Rise’ families in Birmingham and they have also contributed to training, advise, equipment, support and have helped ease the path for Johnny & Paddy.

Son-Rise has given the boys an opportunity to live life to the full – an opportunity they are loving.

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