{Autism Awareness | Meet Emma}

{Madison WI Photographer}

Ahh, Emma. I’ve been waiting for you to meet her! When I arrived for our session, Emma was feeling a bit shy, with her face hiding in a couch pillow. But, once she warmed up to the idea of me and my camera, I felt an instant connection to Emma because of so many reasons! One being, she and I have a lot in common (including a love for our Golden Retriever’s and macaroni and cheese). But, I think the first thing you notice about Emma is her big and bright smile. It’s infectious and she stole my heart right away!Madison WI Photographer

Emma is friendly and talkative, she loves Legos, digging through a box of beads, giving her dog a bone and spending time with him.

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At risk of repeating myself *cue broken record* I absolutely LOVE theses sessions because every.single.family I’ve met has been incredible. Wait until you hear about Emma’s parents-Karl and Mary. I really think that kids dealing with an Autism diagnosis are so strong. They carry the weight of something most of us will never fully understand. I could go on and on about what it may be like for these children, and honestly I probably will another time. But I want to touch on now is, what can be just as hard—being their caretaker.

Madison WI PhotographerEmma has a beautiful relationship with her mom and dad, which is so evident. Their connection is so strong, which I want to highlight because it is a common fear of parents when their children are newly diagnosed-they are worried their children won’t be able to express love to them.Madison WI Photographer

Madison WI PhotographerWhen Emma was diagnosed with Autism, Karl ended up changing his career path from restaurant management to working with the Birth to three program. He and Mary, have run support groups,  done leadership training, participated in MCH LEND through the Waisman Center, presented at autism conferences, and Karl sat on the board for the autism society.  Moms and dads are often the unsung heroes. And that is such a shame.

Parents-you do it all. You are mom and dad, provider, comforter, caregiver, disciplinarian, tutor, friend, chef, taxi service, therapist, maid, professional bather, teacher,  and advocate. You are up all hours of the night and worry tirelessly throughout each day. Each new therapist, each new treatment, each new program you introduce to you child carries hope and anxiety. You do it all. YOU are it.

Madison WI PhotographerMadison WI PhotographerKarl said, “Basically, Mary and I have taken it upon ourselves to help families just getting the diagnosis, to help guide them, where we had nobody.  Basically [the Autism diagnosis] it has changed our lives for the better, we love the people we have met because of this, and we have helped so many others and that feels really good!”

I feel so blessed to have met this wonderful family. I know they will continue to bring great things to our community.