Friendship between a boy and his dog put Keswick mum on photo contest shortlist
Last updated at 22:44, Thursday, 14 June 2012
A Keswick mum has been shortlisted in a national photographic competition after capturing a heartwarming snap of her autistic son and his pet dog.
Lin Atrill, 41, of Low Mill, Greta Side, beat 500 competitors to make the shortlist in the National Autistic Society’s 50th birthday competition, which has a theme of friendship.
Her photo, Bathtime, shows eight-year-old Evan Holt in the bath with his best friend Scruffy.
The competition is being judged by a panel led by photographer John Swannell, who captured the official portrait to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The winner will be announced at the Autism Show in London today.
About 4,900 people in Cumbria have autism, including more than 1,200 under-19s.
A recent survey showed that more than 20 per cent of young people with autism said they had no friends and more than half said they would like more friends.
Lin said: “We’ve had Scruffy for about a year and it’s the first real friendship I’ve seen Evan experience.
“There’s something amazing about the dog. He’s just so patient and caring with him.
“I took the photo last September when Evan suddenly picked him up and plonked him in the bath.”
Lin added: “Evan responds really well to visual things and he’s also an only child so I take hundreds of photographs of him.
“This is one that he and I both love, which is why I entered it in the competition.
“I think the picture shows what a gentle and lovely boy Evan is.
“It’s actually a very peaceful photograph. when sometimes children with autism can seem anything but.”
Evan was diagnosed with autism at three and Lin was supported by the society to understand the condition.
Lin, a single parent who home schools Evan, said: “It’s amazing to be shortlisted and I was incredibly emotional when I found out.
“Just to think it will be on display is phenomenal and Evan wants to come to London to see it, which will be a massive challenge as he’s never even been on a train before.
“If he can do it, it will be a huge achievement and certainly something he wouldn’t have tried otherwise.”
Mr Swannell said: “The connection between this boy and his dog is so clear to see.
“This little boy is holding the dog’s face with real affection and the expression of glee on his face shines through. These soapy friends are clearly having the time of their life and the happy frogs in the background only add to the feeling that this was a particularly special bathtime.”
First published at 19:23, Thursday, 14 June 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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