Chester woman's project gives window into autism

Published date: 18 March 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A WOMAN from Chester has set up a unique photographic project which charts the highs and lows of living with a child with autism.

Sara Dunn, from Vicars Cross, started the Admiring Autism project – a project which documents families living with autism – after her son, Frank, was diagnosed with severe to moderate autism when he was 23 months old.

The project began in October and now has more than 1,600 followers on Facebook and is supported by the National Autistic Society.

Sara, a professional photographer, said she started the project to try to raise awareness of what the condition is like to live with. She said: “It occurred to me that I don’t know what other people’s autism is like so I began to document our life as best as we could and put it online.

“Since I started I have about 15 families who I go and spend 48 hours with to see how they live and care for someone with special needs.

“I wanted to show what autism is like for different people because there is such a wide spectrum. There will be good weeks and bad weeks and I try to show what happens as closely as possible. It is a window into autism.”

Next year Sara is hoping to hold a multi-sensory exhibition to try to give people an experience of what it is like to have autism. She added: “We haven’t got a venue yet, we are still fundraising, but the idea is that if there is a picture showing the child distressed then there will also be strong light and loud noise to show what it is like having sensory overload.”

The fundraising efforts have, so far, raised more than £800 and there are more events planned with a sponsored toddler walk in Westminster Park next month to try to raise money for the planned exhibition in 2015.

For more information visit facebook. com/admiringautism and admiring

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