Rigid routines are important for many children with autism to help them make sense of the world. And Lucy Harris is no different.
The 9-year-old, who also has Down’s syndrome, started insisting on a daily selfie with her family before bedtime – or she refused to go to sleep.
And the adorable girl shows needing a routine doesn’t have to be stifling, as she laughs and smiles with her father Terry and mother Karen in this cute video of all the selfies she and her family took over a year.
Lucy’s parents explained how the nightly selfies became something joyful for them all to look forward to.Mr Harris, a photographer, said: ‘Probably the most significant part of Lucy’s autism is sensory overload.’
Mrs Harris, who is a full-time carer to Lucy, added: ‘She began requesting a selfie every night before bed, a small insignificant routine that became something wonderful for all us to look forward to.
‘A routine that to Lucy was as important as cleaning her teeth, she could not go to bed without that all important selfie.’Routines mean a lot to Lucy, they help her feel safe and grounded.’Without these routines Lucy can become overloaded and scared to the point where anxiety can cause unpredictable behavior.’Mr Harris collated all of the selfies he and his wife took with Lucy at their home they share with their son Luke in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
This week he released the two minutes 25 second video to mark World Autism Awareness Week and hopes people who see it will realise that ‘we’re not so different after all’.
Mr Harris said: ‘Autism is a lifelong condition which affects more than one in 100 people in the UK.’Autism can have a profound effect on individuals and families, but understanding and support can make a huge difference.’