Autism and a High School Senior
My child with autism is a high school senior.
What does this mean?
First, this past summer, there were his senior portraits.
With a safe opening, the photography studio my son’s high school uses scheduled senior portraits.
The studio contacted all the seniors in the area. We are very cautious during this pandemic, however, we wanted to move forward with a perk or two of a typical senior year. Being a senior is important.
Enough to read the instructions by the studio and move forward on getting our son’s senior portraits.
What were the studio’s rules during this time?
Face mask, face mask, face mask.
Only one person allowed to accompany the senior in the studio.
Very few seniors (and their plus-ones) in the studio at once.
Of course, the senior takes off the face mask during the photo shoot.
How did it go?
We bought a half an hour session, not just the senior yearbook photo. This meant five different poses covered over that half an hour.
I accompanied my child.
We were on time. Our son wore a blue dress shirt and a tie. He did not want to wear a tux or a cap/gown for the photo shoot. We brought a casual shirt for the second half of the shoot.
Our son wore his face mask. He did a great job of wearing it inside the studio.
He took it off when he was seated for a pose, and wore it when he had to move around the studio.
I watched from a nearby position. I held only my son’s extra shirt (or the blue dress shirt/tie)
How was the shoot?
The photographer worked well with my son. She encouraged him to sit up straight and smile.
He needed the encouragement. Why?
My son prefers a grin, not a full out smile.
After that, there’s that eye contact issue.
What is it about the eye contract?
My child has autism and he struggles with eye contact.
The photographer had to continually remind him to look at the camera. In addition, he had to be reminded to sit up straight.
What was my overall impression?
I felt the shoot went well.
In other words, I felt he met the challenges that this kind of minor event presented.
He doesn’t often wear dressy clothes, but he was fine with them (and looked good!).
He doesn’t mind getting his picture taken, but the “look at the camera…smile” does get old pretty fast. However, he tolerated the photo shoot and the photographer’s “encouragements.”
After that, when we left, he said he was happy to have had the experience.
In addition, he liked the photos (so did we).
Is there anything else?
The senior photo goes in the yearbook. This year, my child’s school is asking for “donation” photos to cover the usual school photos that end up in typical yearbooks.
I made sure I sent a few.
We are still hopeful that my child could spend the last two months actually at his school, since those will be the last month or two he’ll walk those halls.
If not, home school has been going well for my high school senior.
Graduation for my child will be a giant hurdle, one we will celebrate.
In conclusion, high school is almost completed for my child. Onto the next great step.
Autism and a High School Senior
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