Symptoms can range from mild to severe and span 3 general areas:
-Social development and behavior
-Repetitive and odd behaviors
No two children with autism are alike. My nephew Elijah is more severe than his older brother, Noah. Elijah is 10 and is nonverbal and often gets frustrated with his inability to communicate his needs.
One last thing I wanted to share on autism--and if you're still reading at this point, you are awesome!--are some early signs of autism. These are important to know so that you can watch your own children and possibly help other parents out who you know. The earlier autism is detected the more successful treatment can be. Here are some "red flags" to be on the watch for:
No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter
No babbling by 12 months
No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
No words by 16 months
No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age
Remember that autism is very complex and mysterious at this time so no two children will display the exact same behaviors or symptoms. But these are some general things to look for.
So this will be my 6th annual Walk for Autism. And I plan to keep walking, sharing and raising money until the cause and cure is found. The walk is taking place in Phoenix on Saturday, October 6th. If you'd like to join us in the walk or if you are willing to make a contribution towards helping to find the cause and cure for autism, you can join here (it's so much fun & everyone is welcome!! Make sure to select our team -- We Love Noah & Elijah! -- in the drop down) or contribute here. If everyone who reads this blog donates just $10, we would being doing something HUGE. Please consider a small donation that will make a lasting difference in a HUGE undertaking.
Thanks so much for reading! I can't wait for the day when we will look back on this time in history with gratitude that we have beaten this awful disorder!
Highlight of the week: I was blessed to get the chance to interact with SO many photographers this week. I spoke at a local networking meeting for 50 photographers on 5 lessons I've learned in my 9+ years in business. Also had a great lunch with a Phoenix photographer and a Skype coaching session with a photographer in Newfoundland. I love the part of my job where I get to share knowledge and encourage others along their journeys!
Yes, I did this:
1 -- Bookended a 13 hour wedding with two 14+ hour travel days. I've been fairly useless the rest of the week.
2 -- Ate two pieces of cake at the wedding.
Loved seeing and cuddling this cuteness when I got home from Pennsylvania.
Celebrating: The Olympics start tonight! If you need me anytime during the next two weeks, you will find me camped out on my sofa with my Tivo remote, a box of tissue and my Dixie Dog.
Can we talk about The Bachelorette? Best season EVER. Usually the cast seems to be the dregs of society, but Emily is SO classy and she was thoroughly entertaining to watch at the same time. I'm SO happy that she picked Jef. He seems to be a really good fit for her. Any wagers on whether they'll last? The show doesn't have a good record, but I'm pulling for them!
Since reading The E-Myth Revisited a few years back, I've been on a mission to systematize every part of my business. Systemizing everything you do is SO important to giving your clients a consistent experience, being able to stay efficient with your workflow, making sure nothing falls through the cracks and creating a business that is scalable and able to handle growth. It also happens to be something I really enjoy doing. Every time I run into an issue I ask myself, "How can I change my systems in order to make sure this issue doesn't come up in the future?" And every time I want to add something new to my client experience, I ask "What do I need to do to make sure this happens for every future client without having to recreate the wheel each time?" Yep, I'm a nerd!
Over the course of 9 years, I have developed a very organized and efficient wedding workflow that offers my clients a high-end experience. In order to save other photographers -- who might not enjoy the business, organizational, and systemizing parts of their job as much as I do -- some time and headaches, I've decided to make all of my workflow forms and resources available for purchase! These are a great way to jump-start your way to an organized workflow or to take your current workflow and client experience to the next level.
Wedding Info Sheet
Tips for Getting Your Best Wedding Images
Wedding Workflow Checklist
Getting to Know You Questionnaire
Final Details Questionnaire
Album Revision Form
Client Experience Surveys
And if you are interested in multiple forms and resources listed above, you can purchase a bundle of all 9 of my workflow forms and resources, and get a discount of over $100! Plus I throw in a .pdf of my package and pricing information!
Anya and Andrew met at Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Arizona. Anya was a dragon boat racer and Andrew an outrigger which meant they both spent a lot of time at the lake - time that Anya thoroughly enjoyed... because she thoroughly enjoyed watching Andrew smile. Then, in July 2010, Tempe Town Lake (for lack of a better word) broke. All water sports were cancelled until the lake could be repaired. And while Anya missed paddling, she missed seeing Andrew even more. She decided to take a risk and sent him an email inviting him to dinner so they could catch up. Later that week Anya and Andrew came together for the first time off the water. Great conversation and very little eating ensued and by the end of the night they knew... broken lake or not, they would be spending a lot of time together.
When Anya invited me to photograph her wedding in her home town in Pennsylvania, I was beyond excited! A destination wedding outside of Arizona in a barn? Yes please! Although I only just met Anya and Andrew in person on their wedding day, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them and capturing their day -- a day that incorporated all the people and things they love.
We started at a local salon and Anya was so positive and excited about all the day held:
Then we stopped by her childhood home where Anya slipped on the first of two gowns for the day -- a Priscilla of Boston beauty:
Frivolous: playful, lighthearted, trivial; the little things in life that should be savored.
Favorite Outfit of the Week: Printed skirt: Sorry -- I can't remember wear I got this -- I've had it for over 10 years I think (!) / Ivory top: Boden / Nude heels: Aldo / Red belt: Target / Earrings: Nordstrom
Highlight of the week: Rain. You may be thinking, "She must not have had a very exciting week." But if that's the case, you wouldn't be from a city that average 8 inches of rainfall annually.
Yes, I did this:
1 -- Looked at Pinterest for the first time in awhile and suddenly needed a donut. And a new outfit.
2 -- Cried over an injured bird in the road. Want to cry thinking about it again.
I'm in Scranton, PA today visiting Dunder Mifflin. I'm shooting a wedding near here tomorrow, so I thought it would be fun to stop by and say hi to Pam and Jim. They send their love. Dwight does not. Stay tuned for super-fun wedding photos Monday!
Celebrating: Made it to PA in spite of United Airline's attempts to thwart us. Two delayed flights, one cancelled flight and a 1 hour line to find out we could wait two days for another flight or figure out how to get from Newark to Scranton ourselves = worst customer service EVER. Oh, how I love you Southwest. Rented a car and drove the 2+ hours in very spooky rain and fog, finally making it to our hotel at 2:30am after 14+ hours of travel. TRIUMPH!
THE OLYMPICS START IN ONE WEEK!!
Feeling Blessed: So thankful to have been born in a country with so much opportunity and freedom. I'm currently reading a novel based in North Korea and it's such a different world. We have no idea how good we have it.