Challenged

Ever since I came to this area about 8 years ago, I have seen this person playing in the sand on the side of the river on Sunday afternoons. I have watched him grow up from a boy of indeterminate age, into a man with facial hair. He used to be afraid, as we walked past, and would guard his supermarket bag of chips and sweets, never looking toward us. He has always avoided all eye contact, and never responded in any way when I greet him. Today I asked him for the first time if I could take a photo, not knowing if he would even understand me. However for the first time he acknowledged me by nodding his head, although his head was hanging down looking at the sand he was doodling in with his wooden spoon. It was only when my face was hidden behind my camera that he lifted his head to look at my lens and give a sort of smile. When I saw his little smile through my viewfinder, I felt like I had done something good!
What a touching story behind your lovely portrait Desi, maybe the start of some communication for you and him?
posted July 22nd, 2018  
@365anne Thanks Anne. Yes, perhaps if I see him next week I should ask him again if I can take his photo - and maybe attempt to talk to him a bit with my face hidden behind my camera. I wondered if perhaps he might be severely autistic, but I know nothing about him so I can't make guesses.
posted July 22nd, 2018  
A lovely shot and wonderful story.
posted July 22nd, 2018  
@seacreature He looks a little like he might have Downs Syndrome? Would be great to be able to forge a connection with him. We never know when little things can mean so much to people do we?
posted July 22nd, 2018  
@365anne Perhaps you are right. The only Down Syndrome kids I have known in the past all seemed happy and friendly and willing to engage with anyone, but I know next to nothing about any of these disorders. But if he smiled at my camera, I must've made him feel a little happier, and that's all that counts.
posted July 22nd, 2018  
@ludwigsdiana Thanks so much, Diana
posted July 22nd, 2018  
A lovely story and I'd agree with @365anne - looks to have Downs Syndrome - you never know how he's been brought up - maybe you could show him or give him a copy of his photo that might really please him!
posted July 22nd, 2018  
Sometimes, although I know none of the statistics, Down's Syndrome births occur to older couples. If this is the case for this young man, may be he's lost a/both parents and finds his world much changed. We have a Home at Paimpont for several such people, not just DS or Autistics. They can and do thrive with care and attention and your gesture has shown you that such care counts...and more then we might ever realise. Good call, Desi. Well done!
posted July 22nd, 2018  
Great capture
posted July 23rd, 2018  
Nice for both of you to connect
posted July 23rd, 2018  
What a touching story!
posted July 23rd, 2018  
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