If you have a loved one with autism, you know how important predictability and routines are. All of that goes out the window when you have to pack up your house and move. Whether it’s around the corner or to a new country, relocating can be especially difficult for a family member who is on the autism spectrum. Although you can’t eliminate all anxiety a move may cause, you can do many things to make the process easier on your loved ones and yourself.
BEFORE BEN HIRASUNA showed up for the first job interview of his life, he went for weeks at a time without leaving his parents’ home in Santa Monica. Outside, sun poured down; inside, he looked at the top of his forearm and noticed it was every bit as pale as its underside. To say Hirasuna is shy is to say the ocean is big — it captures nothing of the vastness of the feeling. He managed to attend college at Arizona State for just over a year but returned home for good in November 2017. For a few months, he took some classes at a local community college, but eventually his routine gave way to solitude at home. During the day, he slept; at night he rose to battle the enemy in futuristic cities and pastel landscapes on his PC, or tinkered on another monitor with any of the codes (Java, Perl, Rust, C++ and C#) he taught himself in high school. Finally, last November, his parents insisted that he get a job — any job, at the bakery down the street or at McDonald’s, if it came to read more
Erin Lefevre has been photographing her brother for years to better understand his experiences as a teenager with autism. In the ensuing project, “Liam’s World,” they collaborate as he captions her photos, describing what he felt at the time.