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2016 Photographer Index

2016-ancineax-hendrix 2016-cotugno-brandon

Eugene Cottrell
Eugene Cottrell Photography


TJ was diagnosed at the early age of 22 months with Autism. As his mother, I knew there was something wrong, but I didn't know what. Growing up with a sister with Down Syndrome and being exposed to various levels of disabilities and diagnoses, I knew something was not quite right with TJ's developmental milestones. In 2002 I finally had a diagnosis to go along with my concerns. The reality of Autism is still sinking in. I learn what Autism means for TJ and my family every day. As TJ grows up, the level of impact changes. Behaviors, stimming, educational needs, therapy needs, social needs, and medical needs. Autism is constantly evolving for our family. What worked 5 years ago, or even 2 weeks ago, doesn't work now. His abilities continue to grow and he is learning and teaching us day after day.

TJ enjoys very limited things, however his leisure interests continue to grow as he is exposed (and tolerates) more activities. One thing that has never changed, and I hope it never does, is his love of swings. The smiles and happiness are clear as day when he gets to swing. Watching the innocence of TJ swinging with his eyes closed and a big smile on his face almost makes me forget my own worries and troubles.Michelle, mother of

Michelle, mother of TJ
Piscataway, NJ