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Look Me In the Eye

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Views
3,529
Score
4.38 / 5.00

Uploaded
Apr 13, 2011 | 2:18 PM EDT
Category
Fine Art
File Info
1000 x 1242 px
JPG
258.9 kb
Tags
robert
catfish
autism
godfatherstudios

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Author Comments

There is wondrous depth in the eyes of someone with Autism.

This is Robert. 15 and a Sophomore in high school, Robert is very high on the Autistic spectrum. We work together every single day, on everything from the water cycle and times tables to verbal communication and personal space. After almost an entire year, he has become my considerably taller little brother, towering over me by almost a foot. But the level of attachment we have to one another is almost unheard of in the autistic world.

Fond of echolalia by proxy and wild self-stimming, Robert will get RIGHT in your face for a conversation consisting mainly of movie lines and Disney song lyrics. Not many people can handle this super-tall, noodly-armed ball of pure autistic energy.

It's a rare occurrence when Robert speaks his mind; and it's taken me nearly a year to coax him into telegraphic speech. The secure attachment we've developed is beautiful to behold. We speak in terms of TV commercials, and jokes about buttery catfish and stained aprons and Peter Rabbit characters. I've yet to meet another person who speaks our particular language.

Perhaps even more rare than verbal communication, however, is Robert's willingness to look you in the eye. Playing with my Nikon D70 one day, I managed to capture one such moment. His little semi-smile indicates an unusual level of comfort with this eye-contact. It was a beautiful moment, and one of the first times we've ever connected this way.

I hope I've captured the beauty of this split second connection.