‘Faces of Autism’ launch party — Lakeville
April 2 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
When Tera Girardin’s son was diagnosed with autism seven years ago, the Burnsville child and family photographer felt compelled to photograph children with autism and tell their stories. Her work has culminated in “Faces of Autism,” a book which features 30 children with autism and tells their stories through photography and messages of inspiration, admiration and celebration.
Through the book, Girardin hopes to change the conversation people have about autism from mere awareness and acceptance to admiration.
“I wanted to show others what I saw in children with autism — the beauty and magic of each child despite the diagnosis and sometimes because of the diagnosis. The children I photographed are in many ways no different than any other child. They laugh, they play, they learn, they love. And in some ways they are quite remarkable from writing philosophical poetry (despite being nonverbal) to being acutely aware of sounds, to being incredibly empathetic. These are gifts that can often be overlooked when other autism traits mask them,” she said.
Girardin said an autism diagnosis can be really hard and there are many books to talk about the ins and outs, therapies, ideas, and difficulties. This isn’t that kind of book. Girardin intended it to be a chance to view autism through a different lens. One of hope and inspiration. The book is not only for autism parents but also for extended family members and educators who are touched by autism.
“Faces of Autism” will be released on April 2. To celebrate the release and also World Autism Awareness Day, a launch party is planned for the same day from 1-3 p.m. at Christina Huddleston Elementary in Lakeville. The party is open to the public and will include a book signing, temporary tattoos, face painting, a photo booth and more. Event organizers are expecting more than 200 attendees.
Girardin is the owner and photographer of Tera Photography LLC. She is mother to three boys, the youngest of whom is diagnosed with autism. “Faces of Autism” is her first book. For more information, visit www.facesofautismbook.com.