This work explores my relationship with my son through photography as we learn and grow together. Over the past three years, my photographic work has been focused on my immediate family. This ongoing project was influenced by my son’s enthusiasm to learn through imagery.
Communicating through photographs and documenting life has always been a passion of mine. When I became a “mum,” I was inspired to document my children’s lives in a similar way. In 2016, my youngest son (then aged four) was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Later in the same year, I received a preliminary diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. These diagnoses haven’t impaired our lives—they have enlightened them.
From a young age, I knew my son was going to be a visual learner. He didn’t speak until he was four years old, but he could easily memorize and hum songs, along with act out parts of movies perfectly. My son regularly struggles to understand the concept of time, which consequently impairs his ability to remember experiences without visual cues. Using photography, along with other visual and audible methods, together we have created a record of his life, sometimes using the creation of these images as a joint composure by myself and my son, and we work together to create an expression of his emotions, and the things he wants to remember.
Photographs have helped me become a better parent and teacher to him. These images show my family’s ongoing experiences, struggles, and emotions regarding my son’s autistic superpower.
Jennifer Hodgson is a loving parent to two young children, and recently received a BA (Hons) photography degree. During her study, her youngest son received a diagnosis of ASD. In the same year, Jennifer received a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. She has applied her personal experience into creatively communicating her son’s relationship with photography. More of Jennifer’s work can be found on her website and blog.