Autistic boy, excluded from class photos, gets "revenge" by becoming a model -
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Autistic boy, excluded from class photos,…
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Autistic boy, excluded from class photos, gets "revenge" by becoming a model

March 08, 2022 • By Mark Bennett

Having a disability shouldn't be scary thing and it shouldn't prevent those affected by it from realizing their dreams. The world should, perhaps, learn to be more tolerant and respectful, but above all, it should not abandon those who are not able to deal with debilitating issues. Gary Aldridge, a 50-year-old man, did not know what to do with his son Alfie, an autistic child who exhibited aggression and was unable to do group work. His school did not support him and, indeed, the child had been excluded from class photos. Thanks to outside help, Alfie changed schools and his personality improved for the better. Today he is 11 years old and not only can he be with other children in the class photo, but he has become a diminutive "professional" model who has no problem being on the other side of the lens.

In his first grade school, Alfie was unable to take part in theatrical performances or be photographed due to the institution's mishandling of his disability. The school had admitted that it was unable to handle the situation properly. Alfie therefore spent the first two years of school in an unfriendly environment, much to the disappointment of his parents. At the age of 6, however, his father, Gary, decided to transfer him to the care of a specialist at the Larwood School in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Thankfully, this change was a fateful one in Alfie's schooling.

In addition to the big change that allowed Alfie to be more comfortable around others and to participate in plays, for example, there was another important event that marked, at least for now, his future. A friend of family and actor, John Christian, saw the potential in the little boy and proposed that his parents take him to a specialized agency that deals with models with disabilities. Since that time, Alfie has discovered not only that he feels comfortable in front of a camera, but that he has a real passion for his new modeling career.

Not bad for a kid who was banned from class photos for his aggression, right?


"Being on the set really relaxes him: it's like he was born to do it", commented his father enthusiastically, who then added: "That's why when we discovered his true passion and I realized he was much more relaxed, it was a such a relief, it seemed to me like taking a weight off my shoulders ". The most important message, though, is perhaps this: "I just want people to know that disabilities can't stop dreams."

"Modeling and acting have made him grow up so much, also because even when he's turned down for a job, he's learning to deal with it and he doesn't get angry like he would have in the past. He's a different guy - he's gone from being angry all the time to being much more self-confident" said the proud father.


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