Matthew: Photographer!

Lego Island Snapshots

All parents want their child to find a hobby that inspires them; to be an author, pianist, paint or sculptor, etc.  Parents with special needs children are no different.  But when your child is nonverbal and has trouble with fine motor skills it’s not always easy to pinpoint what it is that he can do…or do well.

I say this knowing those around Matthew will quickly point out how much he loves to play on the computer, work puzzles, care for soft furry animals, and loves to read (and share) his TV Guide.  Yes, those are good hobbies and keep him busy but they are “different”.  They point more to Matthew’s obsessions than to any noteworthy achievement.  Today he achieved a new title: Photographer.

Matthew’s European Travels

Over the years Matthew has had great fun taking pictures.  I’ve shared some of them with you.  Gotta love the digital cameras.  Sometimes there would be dozens of shots of the back seat of the car or the cat hiding underneath the table or the puppy’s soft, soft ear…   We noticed long ago that Matthew’s pictures gave us a special insight to how he views things.  But it was still somewhat surprising when we discovered hidden among the expected pictures some real gems.  Grandma even thought Matthew should have a special display wall which we printed as part of our redecorating project.

A few months ago an organization called Mosaic, provider of services for handicapped kids and adults in the valley, sent an email about their special 25th Anniversary celebration.  (You can read more about their locations and services by clicking link: Mosaic.)  They invited community members to participate by providing artwork.  Since Matthew’s pictures are a such unique perspective I wrote them and offered some of Matthew’s some for display.  Not only did they say yes, but wanted to meet Matthew and see more of his work.  Well, what can I say?  We were happy to share.

Master of the Mouse!

To answer your question, no, I did not let Matthew pick all the pictures.  Had he done so they might have all been like the pictures above on the right.  You don’t recognize them?  Of course, they are from the Lego Island computer game that Matthew loves so much.  He takes pictures of the game, lots and lots of them.   He also would have chosen shots of taken as he is playing.  Sometimes he sets the camera on the table and takes pictures of his hand playing the game like on the left. Sometimes he takes pictures of himself looking at the game. And when bored with the computer, how about taking pictures of the well worn videos…  No, mom chose the pictures.

Matthew was allocated a whole table for his display!

We managed to narrow it down and selected a stack to take down to the Mosaic office.  They delightedly took all the photos and invited us to be guests at the celebration.  I knww Matthew was excited as he took a zillion pictures last week just because he was thinking about it…  Sister and some friends also joined us for the celebration with Mosaic (but you know we were there mostly to admire the pictures.)  One friend asked if we considered entering some of his pictures in photography contests.  Maybe we will.

Today Matthew is not autistic, brain injured, multiply handicapped. No, today Matthew is a Photographer.

Matthew’s Display Information
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2 thoughts on “Matthew: Photographer!

  1. Catching up with you! This a great story, but what about your poor reader that wants to see the photos you actually selected for the show?! I want to see the ones you picked for Matthew to display! He looks so proud at the table! I can kinda see some but would love it if you would post them with Matthew's permission of course! 🙂

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