2014 Photographer IndexGall_Anthony 2014_gomez_carter
Sean was a perfectly normal child until nine months of age when he disappeared into a place we couldn’t reach. By age fifteen months he was diagnosed as developmentally delayed, and with autism at age three. For us the diagnosis was a relief as it validated all that we were going through. It gave me a place to begin.
He is the most precocious, animated child I have ever met. He lives and breathes science and creating. In fact, if he is not able to create daily his anxiety levels become uncontrollable.
His dream in life is to be a scientist that, “lives in a tent, travelling around studying insects and reptiles.” He’s loving, funny, blunt, a ham. He can tell me the full details of bioluminescence but unable to tell me what exactly he needs when he is upset. He says, “The words are in my brain but I cannot find them.” But to me, the most amazing thing about him is his profound look at the world. He says things bluntly and out of the blue, then goes about his day as if he merely said hello.
My favorite story happened when he was four, about a year after he really started speaking fluently and with purpose. We had a thirty-minute drive and during that time he would have amazing conversations because there was no pressure to face me. He said, “Mom, God uses me.” I, being surprised because at this time we didn’t discuss God at home, asked, “How so?”
God uses me to give YOU eyes to see what’s really important.”
As I sat pondering his statement in awed silence, I realized he had done just that. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, he has lots of issues that are difficult for him to cope with. But he has blessed me with the ability to slow down and enjoy the little things like a tiny green grasshopper on a blade of grass or a BEA-U-TI-FUL flower.
Sean has shown so many people that life is about more than things or status; it’s about exploring and love and fun. Autism, to us, is an adventure.
Misty, mother of Sean