Echolilia: A Father’s Photographic Conversation with his Autistic Son

Timothy Archibald / Redux Pictures
Timothy Archibald / Redux Pictures
My eldest son was born in 2001. He was always a kid who went to the beat of his own drummer. When he was 5, we began making photographs collaboratively as a way to find some common ground and attempt to understand each other. Soon after we began the project, Elijah was diagnosed on the autistic spectrum. Though the diagnosis gave me the words and history to understand my son better, it didn't take away the mystery and the need to try to find an emotional bridge to him.
We were preparing a special issue on children and mental health, and photographer Timothy Archibald’s project “Echolilia” came to mind. Archibald had photographed his son Elijah, who suffers from echolilia, as a way to find an emotional bridge. Following are some of the photographs he and Elijah made together, along with text from his book Echolilia: Sometimes I Wonder, plus photographs that the father and son created exclusively for TIME.



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