US mother who dressed son in T-Rex suit for photo shoot did it to overcome his autism

Eight-year-old Levi's mother dressed him up in a dinosaur costume so that he would enjoy having his photo taken, despite having autism.
Eight-year-old Levi's mother dressed him up in a dinosaur costume so that he would enjoy having his photo taken, despite having autism.PHOTO: FACEBOOK / THIS LIFE WITH LEVI

When it comes to photo shoots, many worry about what outfit to wear, or whether their facial expressions will look odd.

Eight-year-old Levi, however, did not need to care about these issues, as he had his photograph taken while he wore a dinosaur suit.

The BBC reported on Thursday (Sept 27) that Levi, who lives in Georgia, United States with his mother, has autism. This often results in him being overwhelmed by stress while getting a family photograph taken, causing the process to take up to two hours.

Last week, however, Levi's mother, 26-year-old Samantha Bishop was able to solve the problem by dressing him up as a Tyrannosaurus Rex (T-Rex).

Images of the subsequent photo shoot, which took only 20 minutes, were uploaded on internet forum Reddit on Wednesday where they received more than 123,000 upvotes.

Ms Bishop also shared the photos on her Facebook page, This Life With Levi, where she described the challenges she had faced raising Levi as a single mother.

She wrote that photographing Levi was always difficult and exhausting, needing "coaxing, bribery, dancing like a fool and a whole lot of bathroom jokes".

This was because Levi found eye contact, smiling, and showing emotion on command uncomfortable.

With the T-Rex suit, however, everything was different.

Ms Bishop said that Levi "loved" the photo shoot, which featured him in the T-Rex suit alongside her niece, who is also his best friend.

"This is him in his element. There are no forced smiles, no bribery, no pretend happiness. This is the goofy, hilarious, kindhearted boy I was given," said Ms Bishop.

Though some parents criticised her for making her son's autism the focus of the photo shoot, Ms Bishop said that she chose to "celebrate his 'labels' and teach him to use them to his advantage rather than see them as an obstacle."