Everyone should be admiring autism – an interview with Sarah Dunn

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arousing or deserving respect and approval


Being a mother of an autistic child is difficult at the best of times. Even in modern society people often misunderstand autism and ASD’s in young children. Perceptions of public meltdowns are usually observed with a critical and analytical eye, and for a parent it’s very difficult to cope with not conforming to unspoken social norms.

One mother who decided to document both good and bad sides of bringing up a child with autism is Sara Dunn from Cheshire. Autism Daily Newscast first reported on Sara’s photographic diary of daily life in  March. Her Website Admiring Autism  has caught the attention of National news sites, and is getting some well deserved attention from the general reading public.

Sara has been documenting all sides of life from 15 other families with autistic children as part of a bigger agenda – to show in photographic form how admirable children with autism really are, and to portray this to anyone with an interest be they part of, or interested in the autism community. Her main aim is to sate those who ask, how on earth can autism be admirable. There’s a lot to admire.

Her personal story is also admirable. Sara’s son Frank was 14 months old when Sara and her partner realised something was not quite right. She said:

“We thought he might have a hearing problem, because he was regressing in his abilities. The signs were always there. He was having quite public meltdowns which were pretty intense. It was really difficult to cope with, so I decided to pick up a camera. I needed to document the good and the bad times.”

When the initial diagnosis came, Sara grieved for her son. She explained that her photography came as a therapy for her also, but they documented far more than reality of life. They also document Frank’s small triumphs, holding eye contact, cuddling. A child overcoming.

She said:

“I hope that the page is raising awareness with the general public. It’s all about shared difficulties, shared experiences and shared communication.”


A full interview with Sara will be available to read in the June edition of ASDigest. May’s edition is now available to download.