Taking a look at any of these men, women, or children you wouldn’t guess there was something different about them.
That was the goal in mind when photographer Paul Stonehouse set out to capture 100 portraits of those who have autism or were connected to the condition.
“It was trying to find a little fragment of time, what did they look like,” said Stonehouse. “They look just like you and I. There’s no red sign on their nose that says that ‘I have this’ or ‘we have that. We walk around with it.’ So it was an interesting journey with a certain level. The rest was trying to not reveal was actually one of the hardest, not to include people.”
Stonehouse kept the portraits a secret project and didn’t tell those who he photographed what they were for until very recently.
Then he collaborated with Turning Pointe Autism Foundation for their celebration of Autism Awareness Month, and turned the project into a fundraising exhibit and auction.
“What we hope is, we know that the rate of Autism is probably increasing. So if we can bring individuals in here, show them what we’re doing, show them that there’s hope for the individuals and their families, and if they know somebody who’s struggling with Autism, hopefully they can get the message out,” explained Howard Weiss, Turning Pointe’s board president.
And almost all of the portraits feature people from around the Naperville area.
Turning Pointe will be holding open houses every Thursday throughout the month of April and you can learn more about them on their Facebook.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.
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