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Photographer Index

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Charles Cotugno
Charles Cotugno Photography


When parents have a diagnosis dropped on their child, we usually have a lot of grief about all the things he or she will never get to do or be. When Patrick was four, we entered into this dark post-diagnosis place unprepared and scared. But what we discovered instead is this non-typically wired brain is actually a free pass into some amazing and unexpected gifts.

It is not typical for seven year olds to use summer break to find out what 2 to the 200th power is, to create his own code for numbers.

It is not normal for an eight year old boy to intervene when larger boys are hurting a small bird and not understand the consequences.

It is unusual that a child can teach himself four different musical instruments and converse with the piano tuner about “growlers.”

It is unprecedented that a fourth grader would stand before his classmates and explain why he is not like them and tell them that bullying is wrong.

We are done grieving all that our child will never do. Now instead we tell others about our amazing boy with autism. If enough people only knew what we know, his future would be without limits.

Joe, father of Patrick
Seattle, WA