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2016 Photographer Index

2016-mengini-armani 2016-oryl-alex

Ashley Miller
The King's Daughter Photography


Marissa was formally diagnosed with Aspberger's Syndrome when she was 8 years old, that was in 2002 when the word autism automatically conjured images of Dustin Hoffman's character in the movie Rainman.

While Rissa was attending school, I had a massive support network; family, friends, therapists and her pediatrician. School was a maze of IEP meetings and my stubborn insistence that mainstream classrooms were the best choice and they were; she earned her varsity letter in band while in high school and I was a proud momma when she walked across the stage to receive her diploma.

Things changed after school, the support network has dwindled down to family and friends. Insurance no longer pays for therapy and Rissa made the decision to stop taking the medication that helped her focus but made her feel empty.

As a parent, we will always worry about our children; but my worries consist of who will take care of Rissa after I'm gone? She doesn't has the skill set to be on her own and is too naive and trusting of people. Autism doesn't just end because she reached adulthood.

I will forever be blessed by the 12 year old mindset living in an adult body; The girl who loves reading, writing stories, drawing pictures and talks to her cats like little furry people; the girl who is slowly recognizing sarcasm, the woman who is trying to find her place and purpose. The woman who is Marissa.

Kathy, Marissa's momma
New Tarewell, TN