The video is called Autism is my Superpower as this is a slogan the children in the program relate to and use to celebrate their unique talents and interests, and to celebrate the lens they have on the world. The video follows the stories of two children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), one boy and one girl, at home, in school and at the beach attending surf therapy. It depicts the isolation that many children on the spectrum experience in under-served communities that we work with. It tells the story of families understanding the diagnosis, often feeling abandoned by family and friends and trying to find the support they need to cope. It first shows the impact of the brilliant schools (Beacon School for Learners with Special Educational Needs, and Noluthando School for the Deaf) and how they support children to meet their potential, and to achieve more than their families ever thought were possible. It then shows children at the beach in surf therapy. The Waves for Change (W4C) specialist morning surf therapy program is targeted at children with ASD and aims to improve their mental health and wellbeing and reduce levels of isolation. Children with ASD are referred by Beacon and Noluthando schools to W4C. They attend a weekly surf therapy session for a minimum of 12 months. In these sessions, children are supported to manage feelings of anxiety, help regulate emotions, improve self-esteem and ultimately support them to cope outside of the home and school environment and be able to access wider services.
While studying Anthropology at the University of Cape Town in 1990, Nic Bothma started working as a freelance photographer. Nic started developing his photography skills while documenting South Africa's transition out of apartheid alongside established international photojournalists James Nacthwey, Kevin Carter, Ken Oosterbroek, Joao Silva, Mike Hutchings and Guy Tillim. In 1994, Nic joined The Cape Times newspaper and shot sport, news and feature images for 3 years. In 2003 he joined the European Pressphoto Agency as the West Africa chief photographer with his first assignment there being the brutal war in Liberia. Over the past 27 years, Nic has worked in more than 80 countries. Nic captures the extremes in life, as the powerful intersection of intensity and meaning where, with photography, time can be stopped and life can be studied, analysed and appreciated in detail.
Some of Nic’s publications and awards include:
The Surfers Journal www.surfersjournal.com/feature/war-and-waves/
Canon Olympic Blog http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/news/winter_sports_blogs.do
EPA Rio Olympic Blog http://www.epa-photos.com/rio-sailing/
Award of Excellence, Pictures Of The Year International (POYI), USA 2018
First Prize Olympic Action, Pictures of the Year International, USA 2017