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Cherry Blossoms, Through the Lens of Autism

Photographers with autism do their own photo shoot of the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin

Individuals with Autism Celebrate 100 Years of Cherry Blossoms with Special Photo Shoot

Washington, DC—As thousands of tourists flocked from all over the world to witness the 100th year of the magnificent cherry blossoms in Washington, DC, a group of photographers with autism also took aim with their cameras at the District’s most celebrated trees.

A group of four photographers with autism --Brian, James, Matt and Jimmie -- captured the beauty of the cherry blossoms during peak bloom last week with their Nikon Coolpix L18’s.

“These men captured an enduring symbol of friendship and community while experiencing the tremendous joy of artistic self-expression.  This is a chance for Washington to see how individuals with autism view the cherry blossoms through their own lenses,” said Ian Paregol, Executive Director of Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children (CSAAC), who accompanied the group.

Each of the four photographers is a client of CSAAC located in Montgomery Village, Md., one of the oldest and largest autism services providers in the nation.

This is the second year this group of photographers has participated in shooting the cherry blossoms. Photographs from last year’s shoot were featured at a major DC art show, and one photo was recently featured in a story about the cherry blossoms by a high-end publication for executive travelers.

The photographers are enrolled in CSAAC’s “InFocus Project” that enables individuals with autism to build business venture skills by creating unique items to sell in an online store as well as assisting with packaging and mailing items to donors. To view profiles of the photographers or to learn more about the InFocus Project, go to www.csaac.org/infocus/index.htm

The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC commemorates the 1912 gift of Japanese cherry trees from Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki to the U.S. and celebrates the friendship between Japan and the United States.

CSAAC provides educational services, residential living, supported employment and in-home services for children and adults with autism. CSAAC also operates an intensive early intervention program for toddlers newly diagnosed with autism (www.CSAAC.org).

Ayda Sanver March 27, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Individuals with autism need our support. Thank you for sharing their story.
Robin Ferrier March 27, 2012 at 12:19 PM
This is a great story. For those interested in art or who have a connection to / interest in autism, the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus and Madison House Autism Foundation have joined forces on an art show that launches on the evening of Thursday, March 29. Details about the reception: http://www.madisonhouseautism.org/artistic-autistic-a-life-ahead/. The reception is going to be exciting because two artists will be creating art during the reception. One is Christopher Gauthier: http://web1.johnshopkins.edu/~mccblog/?p=1427. The other is a geneticist and sculptor.
Eric Reid April 19, 2012 at 10:03 AM
Awetism Awareness Day on April 28th at Spagnvola Chocolatier from 11-3pm? Get ready to hear some great music, taste some very good chocolate and listen and learn about how chocolate is made. Bring the whole family! See you there! 360 Main St. Gaithersburg, Md. 20878. 240-654-6972.

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