North Dakota woman spreads autism awareness through photography

March is Women’s History Month, and all month long, KX News will be celebrating local women who are improving their community, one day, and one idea at a time.

Tonight, we celebrate Amber Cummings who uses her passion for photography to spread autism awareness. 

33-year-old Amber Cummings captures moments that last a lifetime with pictures. The people she photographs are unique in their own way, they are all on the autism spectrum. It’s a subject she tackles in her own life every day. 

“Ther are moments when you feel like you are done. Caregiver burn out is a real thing. you get tired of constantly be on edge and running them around to appointments. you jour for the future you thought your child was going to have,” said Cummings. 

Two out of five of her children were diagnosed with autism. 

“My daughter she is five, she does 15 hours of therapy a week, between speech therapy occupational therapy physical therapy,” said Cummings. 

She has a story to tell and is telling others. In 2016, she started “Faces of Autism” where she photographs kids with autism and shares their stories on her blog, Dear Me Photography. 

It’s a month-long project, and each day in April she features a child with autism. 

“I take the pictures and do an online interview with the parents and they give me information about their child such as age of diagnoses, the signs they saw, their strengths,” said Cummings.

For many who question what autism looks like.

“There is no look, the faces of autism are just faces. They are real people, they have a lot of similarities. I just wanted to bring awareness and acceptance,” said Cummings. 

Since she started her project she photographed nearly 100 kids in Bismarck and Mandan.

The pictures won’t cost you a dime. 

“This is all out of pocket. This is all an awareness project. I do thins because it needs to be done,” said Cummings.

She hopes to continue this effort and expand it. 

Amber is taking clients for it until the end of March. For more information click here.

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