Sunny Spectrum Inspired Family Beach Session on Padre Island

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As a mom to a beautiful little boy with autism, I was thrilled that an organization like Spectrum Inspired existed! I know how difficult it can be to show up to have photos taken and have a less than understanding photographer, so I wanted become a contributor to give the gift of photos to families of autism! Renee was referred to me through a friend I had previously done photos for. She applied through the Spectrum Inspired website and from there we started to plan her session with her son, Tristan! We chose a sunny day on Padre Island Beach, when the dunes were bright green and the wind was blowing.

We talked about her son, our similar situations, and their growth in their journey. Autism has a way of transforming parents to be more than their best, because it requires more than their best every single day! Renee told me about Tristan's sensory issues, he didn't like the waves but enjoyed the soft sand. Alot of my inspiration in how I shoot comes from the way I have to let Kane be, with the freedom to do what his heart desires! Tristan had that same freedom from his mom, while he played in the sand, she cuddled next to him as he allowed her in his space. You could tell how close they were right off the bat, as they talked about MInecraft building castles! We couldn't resist a run in the dunes, sliding down the dips in the sand, and letting the sun drench our skin. Their session was filled with so many kissy faces, hugs, moments of laughter! Tristan loved to joke around and make funny jokes and I loved as his face lit up while he looked at his mom.
Renee shared this about their journey when she first applied for a Spectrum Inspired session:

Tristan was diagnosed with ASD when he was 18 months old. I started quite early getting him into therapies and neurologists, and did lots of research as soon as I starting seeing the signs. I learned so much. I caught his autism very early on, so I was able to get him into therapy and assistance as young as 2 years old. He didn't really start talking until he was 5 years old, so it was always difficult trying to understand what he wanted or what he was always upset about. But eventually he became more verbal and was able to feel better about his message being put across. He has his routine that he likes, his cereal with the milk on the side, and his toys all lined up in a perfect row, but despite all the therapies, appointments, tears, triumphs, milestones, ignorance, struggle, strength, and patience, I will say everything is more than worth it. Tristan is the most warm hearted boy I know, he has a heart of gold, and has so much wisdom. As much as Tristan likes things to be Tristan's way and as much as I have to always be careful what I do and say, I wouldn't change a thing.

I am taking on one Spectrum Inspired session a month, from May-August! Apply for your session with me today and mention Kerlyn Van Gelder Photography to book me.

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