Autism Awareness Month | Austin Child Photographer

I have typed, deleted, retyped, and debated everything I want to say.
April is Autism awareness month. On April 6th 2013 my daughter, Natalie was
diagnosed with mild to moderate Autism.
According to the Autism Society, “Autism is a complex developmental disability
that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability
to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors
and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.
There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.”

Our Natalie is considered non-verbal. She does speak, just not full
conversation yet. I say yet because we are hopeful and work with
her on a constant basis.
I would like to encourage everyone who reads this to look into different ways
that you can spread Autism awareness. There are many companies you can
donate to that offer resources to parents like myself who are completely
lost in the beginning.

So, for Autism Awareness month, I’d like to tell you some things about my
sweet girl.
She is extremely musical. She sings just about every song she learns, and sings
them all day long. Even when she is angry she sings. Her voice sounds like
the sweetest little bird you could ever hear. She loves to hit the high notes!
She has learned to play several songs on the kindle piano and can also drum along
to most songs in perfect rhythm.
Natalie has an amazing sense of humor. She is quirky, funny, and the sweetest
little girl. She loves hugs, loves to wrestle with her daddy, loves being
tickled. She likes her toe nails painted. She is so smart.
I can only hope that when you read this, you realize she is just a little girl.
Autism isn’t all that she is. Not everything she does is because she is autistic.
Just like everything your “typical” child does is not because they are “normal”.

Here are a few photos of our Natalie. She doesn’t sit still for long, so it’s
not easy to get photos.

So again, I’d love if you could find a way to spread awareness. Look into your
community and see what you can do to help.
Leave a comment and let me know if you have been able to do something.
Thank you for reading this.

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  • Heather Clark - I’m so glad to hear these details about Natalie. (I only see her pictures, so I didn’t know she was musical, like my daughter!) What a blessing you and Natalie are to each other. <3ReplyCancel

    • - Thank you, Heather. She sings all day long. It’s so beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - This was so a beautiful post, Jenna! Natalie is such a wonderful girl, and I love seeing all these pictures of her. She has so much personality. The sorority I advise volunteers with a local group that serves children with autism. I love that they’re able to see how these people, some of them teenagers not much younger than them, are like them in so many ways. I’m going to send them this post so they can see your sweet, precious girl.ReplyCancel

    • - Courtney, that is amazing! It’s really all I want. For people to see that people with Autism are really just people. They just see things a little more in depth. <3ReplyCancel

  • Bekki - I’m so proud of you for having the courage to write this. I know people have said and done some unkind, ignorant things when it comes to Natalie. If only more people could become aware and view Autism as much a blessing as it is a “disability” (I hate even using that word). Natalie is indeed both beautiful and smart, and has the sweetest heart of any child. That little songbird has been a light in all our lives, especially mine.ReplyCancel

    • - <3 She is amazing. No other words. xoReplyCancel

  • Pamela - Jenna,

    This is a beautiful message on Austim and on our precious Natalie. You and Tony are doing a wonderful job and she is a blessing to all of us. God will always take care of her and she will be a blessing to all those she comes in contact with throughout her life. She is going to be just fine.


    • - Thank you <3 love you!ReplyCancel

  • Jess Curkovic - She sounds so amazing and you are the most amazing mother! This was beautifully written. She is a gorgeous little girl I hope to meet someday!ReplyCancel

    • - Thank you! And that would be amazing. I’m pretty sure there would be an overabundance of photos. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - You have an incredible, beautiful daughter!ReplyCancel

    • - Thank you. We think so!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Natalie is such a beautiful little girl, who I couldn’t imagine being anything but sweet. We love little doodle!ReplyCancel

    • - Thank you! <3ReplyCancel