How a 21 year old Youth with Autism uses has found his Voice in Photography

Aaron Tierney is a 21 year old young man from Wausau, who loves photography. He loves to be in the open, photographing landscape and nature.

Aaron Tierney Photography
21 year old Aaron Tierney has found his voice in the art of Photography

What makes Aaron stand out, is his struggle with ASD. Aaron faces difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communications, finds social behaviour difficult and exhibits repetitive manners.

Unpredictable behavioural patterns often exhibited by people and animals alike, does not get along with his autistic nature. A talented photographer, he prefers the quiet nature to pursue his hobby.

His photos have been in display at Center for The Visual Arts, Wasau, Wisconsin. The exhibition titled Unique Perspectives : Artists with Autism has been sponsored by Autism Society of Central Wisconsin.

The exhibits are still on display till 31st of December, features number of works by more than ten artists, who struggle with autism and yet manage to express themselves creatively.

As per the census, back in 1991, only one in 500 children was diagnosed with autism and in 2014 one in 68 children are diagnosed with the spectrum.

Though there is no evidence and explanation for this drastic rise in numbers, changes in the ways possible diagnosis being carried out along with advancement in technology might be a factor.

Aaron Tierney Photography
Aaron being thoughtful, just before his exhibition at the  Center of Visual Arts,  Wasau

Even though, it was difficult to talk to strangers Aaron decided to share his story in an interview to read awareness about autism and his creative venture.

I take pictures of stuff I enjoy

, Aaron said. His interest in photography started when he was gifted a smartphone a few years back. It has been observed that smartphone and its easy to use apps interest a lot of people with autism, leading to a number to research in autism apps.

Aaron, accompanied by his father Jim Tierney, did a brave job of facing the reporters during the interview. Jim’s support during the interview, helping him relax when he felt anxious, goes on to show that Parental assistance is probably the most beneficial way to counter autistic symptom.

When the topic of discussion shifted to things he liked about photography and his photos, in particular, Aaron’s face brimmed up with a smile as he dived into explaining his work.

The lighting for the one with the yellow flower was no easy task. The conditions that day, it was cloudy, and I got up close

, he explained. However, his favorite shot was taken from a bluff in La Crosse where the scenery was wrapped in mist.

It is heartening to see Aaron who has found a way to channel his creativity. People with ASD, struggle on a daily basis on expressing themselves and understanding others.

Society is just starting open up to the different needs and talents of people with ASD, and Aaron’s story is a hope for many.

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