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special needs

Janet’s Story: Beyond Epilepsy


I first heard about Janet through her mother, Joyce, at a BNI meeting I was attending. Joyce showed one of Janet’s paintings, which was translated into a beautiful top of the same design. As I got to know Joyce, I also got to know Janet. Janet went through many challenges as she was growing up… she had uncontrollable seizures due to epilepsy and was diagnosed as intellectually and developmentally delayed.

Despite her challenges, she displayed determination to succeed in life. In 2011, she started her own business selling artwork, home baked cookies and fashion wear using her paintings as her main design. After years of hard work, Janet also graduated with a Diploma in Small Business Management in 2017.

She dreams of being financially independent by growing this business and to be recognized and accepted as one of us.

Janet’s achievement in life has really inspired me! It goes to show that all things are possible if you truly put your heart to it. (backed by an amazingly supportive and entrepreneurial mother!).

If you would like to support Janet in what she does, please visit her website to view the products she has for sale. All the best to you in your journey, Janet!

Credits:

Photographer: Grace
Hair & Make Up: Pearl Tan
Location: Stories studio

Love Someone With Autism

Did you know that 1 out of 68 children are affected with autism? Autistic children face various challenges in life. We partnered with The Hope Project, the non-profit arm of Early Autism Project Malaysia to create a video about autism awareness.

So what is autism?

Autism is a lifelong development difficulty that affects how an individual relates, communicates and interacts with other people as well as how they perceive the world around them. In essence, they face deficits in social communication/ interaction and have restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour or interests. It is a spectrum disorder in which their symptoms and severity vary widely across the core characteristic symptoms. This means, while all individuals with autism share certain similar difficulties, these symptoms affect their lives differently. (extracted from EAP’s website)

If you would like to find out more about diagnosing your child, you can find out more information here.

Watch our previous video on how to create a successful environment for a photo session with an autistic child.

Credits:
Photography & Videography team: Chi Yin & Grace assisted by Abigail

Photographing Children With Autism

We rarely photograph families with children with special needs like autism, and we wondered if it was because parents were simply too intimidated by the whole process. We decided to work with the nice folks from Early Autism Project Malaysia to equip ourselves as well as make a video to provide some tips on how to manage a family photo shoot session with a child with autism.

We started off with an interview with Jochebed Isaacs from EAP Malaysia who gave us some insights into the specialised therapy offered at their centre for children with autism. We were later introduced to Juan and Nancy, who welcomed us into their home for a photo shoot session with their sons Danny and Tommy.  The experience proved to be quite tough but we soldiered on and even received hugs from Danny at the end!

Here are some of the pointers we picked up through this experience:

1. It is important to communicate with the child
Prepare in advance before the session. Communicate clearly what is to happen and what is expected of him. The use of visuals like schedules, social stories and role-plays help to familiarise the child to the event and venue, the people involved (especially if they are unfamiliar to the child), the flow of events and the special equipment used (like the camera!). It should also spell out the rules and expectations.
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