Let's Celebrate Neurodiversity
Have you ever felt it was a "challenge" for your child to sit still during a photo session? While atypical proprioception may not be in your vocabulary, for parents of children with Autism, ADHD, and/or Sensory Processing Disorder, this may be something you've heard and/or are receiving services to support. I want to share with you some ways that I discretely incorporate this knowledge into lifestyle sessions to support proprioceptive dysfunction.
First thing's first: Proprioception is defined by the sense of where the body is in space and it plays a big role in self-regulation. If your child is clumsy or has difficulty with motor control, lengthy seated poses may be challenging for them. Likewise, they could potentially feel uncomfortable with standing positions that are "still" in nature as they prefer their body in motion. Signs of proprioceptive dysfunction include: unawareness of personal space, crashing into others, agitation when too close to others, aggressive play, and difficulty with transitions. Understanding these needs as a photographer leads to a better session experience.
Incorporating this knowledge into a session:
- Prepping the family for seated poses by telling then what is going to happen first, then next
- Limit traditional poses (I start with these first if necessary)
- Incorporate physical play into "posing" such as piggy back rides, swinging, tossing, animal walks, jumping, crashing into sand castles, etc.
- Encourage crawling (pictured) and/or ball play
- Encourage parents to hold children, swing them by their arms, or assist them in jumping
- Walking with support of others
Location is key to considering a person's comfort level. If your child is best supported with an area to play, have you selected a location conducive to this? These strategies can be adapted for teens and adults as well. Don't hesitate to mention any avoidance or seeking behavior in your inquiry.
Further questions about how I can support your family during a session? Click here and let's chat or send me an email below!