Autism and a High School Senior

Autism and a High School Senior

My child with autism is officially a high school senior.

Even though it’s the summer, it has begun.

How do I know?

Senior portraits.

We live in California and when our state partly “opened” during the pandemic, the photography studio my son’s high school uses began to schedule senior portraits.

I took that as a sign that my son was now done with being a junior.

He was now a senior.

What happened?

The studio contacted all the seniors in the area and suggested scheduling their senior portraits.

While we are still being very cautious, we also wanted to move forward with our son’s schooling. Being a senior is important.

Enough to read the instructions by the studio and move forward on getting our son’s senior portraits.

What were the studio’s rules during this time? 

Face mask, face mask, face mask.

Social distancing.

Only one person allowed to accompany the senior in the studio.

Very few seniors (and their plus-ones) in the studio at once.

Of course, the senior takes off the face mask when they’re getting their portrait.

How did it go?

We bought a half an hour session, not just the senior yearbook photo. This meant five different poses covered over that half an hour.

I accompanied our son.

We were on time. Our son wore a blue dress shirt and a tie. He did not want to wear a tux or a cap/gown for the photo shoot. We brought a casual shirt for the second half of the shoot.

Our son wasn’t all that used to wearing his face mask.

However, it turned out he did a great job of wearing it inside the studio.

He took it off when he was seated for a pose, and wore it when he had to move around the studio.

I watched from a close position. I held only my son’s extra shirt (or the blue dress shirt/tie)

How was the shoot?

The photographer worked well with my son. She was encouraging, which he needed.


My son prefers a grin, not a full out smile.

Also, there’s that eye contact issue.

What is it about the eye contract?

He has autism and still struggles with eye contact.

The photographer had to continually remind him to look at the camera. Additionally, he had to be reminded to sit up straight.

What was my overall impression?

I felt the shoot went well.

In other words, I felt he met the challenges that this kind of minor event presents.

He doesn’t often wear dressy clothes, but he was fine with them (and looked good!).

He doesn’t mind getting his picture taken, but the “look at the camera…smile” does get old pretty fast.  However, he tolerated the photo shoot and the photographer’s “encouragements.”

After that, when we left, he was happy to have the experience.

In addition, he liked the photos (so did we).

Another hurdle for my…senior in high school!!!

Wow, I must let that sink in some more! In conclusion, onto the next senior event/issue/whatever.


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