April is Autism Awareness Month. Petra Mann speaks to an Ellesmere Port mother of an autistic toddler who is taking part in a photographic exhibition to chart the highs and lows of the condition.
Lying back in his pram Jonah Josephs smiles as he watches sunshine flickering between the branches of the overhanging trees.
As Jonah’s mother Georgina pushes the two-year-old through Grosvenor Park in Chester she is pleased he is happy.
Parks or woods are Jonah’s favourite places because he is free to play with the leaves and stroke the bark-clad trees.
“Jonah is very sensory - it’s part of his autism. He loves to feel the texture of the leaves and bark.” said Georgina.
As part of Autism Awareness Month mother and son are taking part in a photographic exhibition to highlight autism in an honest light.
Georgina’s photographer friend Sara Dunn, of Vicars Cross in Chester, who also has a two-year-old son with autism is behind the online “Admiring Autism: A Photographic Exploration into the World of Autism”.
Sara hopes images of enjoyable days will lift parents when they are having a challenging day.
“Sara has taken lovely pictures of Jonah. My favourite is of a particular look he has. Sometimes he stares off into the distance in a very peaceful, calm way.” said Georgina.
Since its launch in October the project has attracted more than 1,600 followers on Facebook and has won backing from the National Autistic Society.
Fifteen families from Liverpool, Preston, Wigan, Nottingham and Leicester are now involved.
Sara added: “I’m really pleased Jonah and Georgina agreed to take part in the project.
“I want people to really stop and admire all aspects of autism.
“I want parents to admire themselves when they’ve coped with a rough patch and I hope we’ve achieved that.”