Lynn Johnson
Lynn Johnson
Lynn Johnson
Lynn Johnson

People with autism have minds that work in astonishing ways and, often, physical behaviors that don’t necessarily conform to societal norms. These behaviors can be unique and challenging. When we are faced with differences, we often turn away. Understanding begins by looking.

The goal of this project is to create a conversation between those whose brains are wired differently and those considered neurotypical. Offering an intimate look at the lives of those with autism, this project aims to inform, sensitize, and challenge all of us with these questions: Where is my place in society? Will you welcome me?

Please look. Please consider the lives of Max, Morgan, Abigail, Brandon, Becky, the young lovers, the fearful, the bullied, Thalya — the artist and her magical mind.

Autism is recognized as a disorder of communication and emotional connection. Many people on the spectrum can’t convey their thoughts through conventional speech. They may communicate with monotone sounds or choose not to speak at all. Nonspeaking is not nonthinking. The rich lives of people on the autism spectrum exist in many ways: they are poets and artists, scientists and bakers, parents and activists. We are all enriched by their unique perspective.

Artist Bios

  • Lynn Johnson

    Lynn Johnson

    Lynn Johnson photographs the human condition. A contributor to National Geographic, Johnson is known for finding beauty and meaning in elusive, difficult subjects—threatened languages, zoonotic disease, rape in the military ranks, the centrality of water in village life. She collaborates with the people she portrays to honor their visions as well as her own. At National Geographic Photo Camps, she helped at-risk youth around the world find their creative voices.


  • National Geographic

    National Geographic

    Established in 1888, National Geographic is a trusted print and digital publication offering stories that illuminate, inspire, and reveal. Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultures, the sciences, and the natural world. We advance that mission by creating visually stunning, richly reported photojournalism and distinguished, impartial coverage of the globe’s most pressing issues. National Geographic (@natgeo) has more than 284 million followers.

  • NYC Parks

    NYC Parks

    NYC Parks is the steward of more than 30,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens  and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 1,800 basketball courts, 550 tennis courts, 65 public pools, 51 recreational facilities, 15 nature centers, 14 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. We care for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. We look after 600,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. We are New York City’s principal providers of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. We are home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.

For autistic youths entering adulthood, a new world of challenges awaits

 archive : 2022

Featuring: Lynn Johnson

Curated by: Kathy Moran Alexandra Moreo

Presented by: National Geographic
  • National Geographic
  • NYC Parks


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