Can you imagine having a little girl or boy who is unable to tell you that they love you? Can you imagine the frustration of the child as the are unable to express clearly what they want or need? That's what 25% of autistic children and their parents face today (One in 45 children are born with some form of autism). Natashia Kletter is looking to help.
Recently I photographed images for a book series entitled, "I want to tell you..." by Natashia Kletter. The books teach non-verbal autistic children and their parent's sign language. The assignment was simple - photograph a young girl signing in ASL on a white background. Corresponding photos on the opposite page will show the action. Also, there will be a button that can be pressed, that "says" the word aloud.
Currently, there are apps that do this. However, as a mother of a non-verbal child, Natashia found that the technology often got in the way. The screen was too appealing and frequently the attempt at communication was abandoned in favor of playing. So, she created a series of books for his son so he could point to what he wanted. Others parents have asked her to create books for them... Since then the books have evolved into teaching them to communicate with signs as well.
Sometimes you take photo and years later you realize it was extremely important. Other times you know that you are working on an extremely important project from the start - that your humble contribution could actually do some good in the world. This project was one of those moments.
The first interactive book in the series, "I want to tell you.." should be available in the last quarter of 2017.