I did some research for this blog including interviewing parents of kids with special needs and a few photographers with expertise in this area. About 1 in 6 children in the United States had a developmental disability, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism. About 1 in 59 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in 2018. My son being one of these children I understand a parents frustration with just being a parent not to mention trying to fit a photo shoot in the scheduled of a child with any type of special needs. My son has two appointments a week so I understand the struggle.
Taking pictures of a special needs child can be different depending on what the needs of that child are. Some will take bribes just like any child but some are not so easy. Some kids make a funny face and will not smile and sometimes they won’t even look at the camera. I just keep taking pictures! The ones that are candid and usually the ones the parents like the best anyway.
This is Sadie and she will be four in August. She loves to sing and dance and she was adorable. She goes to Easterseals for Speech, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. She is Autistic and like most with ASD she was not so interested in looking at the camera and we didn’t stay in the studio long because the flash on the studio lights frightened her. I just decided this would now become a outdoors session. We moved to my back yard and she did great out there. Its not the best circumstances in the world in the middle of the day when it’s 90 degrees but we found a shady spot and took all the photos right there. I am so glad to have gotten some beautiful photos of her for her family to have and remember her at this age. This is the first time she has ever had professional photos taken and I hope her mom will do it again. She is such a beautiful and sweet little girl.
If you would like to read other parents stories about their experiences with getting pictures of their special needs children you can check out this link.
If you are interested in Child photography session, find out more here.