Echolilia – Autism in Photographs

Autistic Son 1

It can be hard to communicate, even for two people who speak the same language.  For Timothy Archibald, it was nearly impossible to communicate with his own son.  Elijah’s strange ticks and and incomprehensible rituals were an endless source of frustration for Timothy, who began photographing them for doctors when Elijah was 5, hoping for some kind of diagnosis.  What he discovered was a language he could share with his autistic son.

Echolilia is a series of photographs Timothy took of Elijah consumed by own rituals – lying in the garden listening to music, curled up in a laundry bin, smelling flowers.  But so much more than that, the photographs bridged the gap between father and son.  Those things that once unnerved Timothy became a part of their shared visual language. Elijah grew eager to participate in the photos – even taking some of his own, and Timothy began to understand his role as Elijah’s father.  They learned how to communicate through the lens.

I am just so moved by the photos and the love you can see in them.  I can’t help but think of all the times people give up on trying to understand each other over the most trivial of things – yet here is this family, struggling, no doubt, but doing it with such grace and imagination.  See more here!

Autistic Son 5

Autistic Son 4

Autistic Son 3

Autistic Son 2

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