Seven-year-old Anja Chevalier has Autism, ADHD, OCD and suffers from extreme anxiety. The sweet, generous, loving little lady, started talking early and has never stopped asking questions since!
Below, Anja’s mother Jennifer, explains how her daughter seems to come into her own when modelling and all her troubles seem to leave her at these times. Jennifer describes a beautiful mother-and-daughter relationship and shares with us a little more about how it feels to be Anja and the injustices she faces.
Scroll down to view Anja’s Monday Model feature and Q & A…….
How do you cope on a daily basis with regard to Anja’s Autism, Anxieties, OCD and ADHD? The more time goes by, the more severe Anja’s troubles get but I know how to manage them better. I know how to soothe her anxiety attacks. I can see in her face when something is wrong that other people can’t.
Anja knows she can do anything to me and can tell me anything, that I am listening to her, and that I will always be there for her. The trust between us is very strong. Anja was hospitalized for her autistic disorder and it traumatised her a lot.
Does Anja attend school? Although Anja started school in the first grade, it did not go well for her and I am now homeschooling her.
In kindergarten Anja always stayed back, not knowing how to make friends. The other children thought she was “weird” but her teacher said she was very mature for her age. Anja is a child who does not share the same interests as other children.
Anja cried a lot at school and did not want to do the crafts. However, she participated a lot in oral activities. Learned to read and count by herself at age five. Anja’s teacher said she had never seen a child like that in her entire career.
Why did Anja start modelling? Anja really loves to take part in photo shoots. It is something she seems to really enjoy and engage in.
When Anja was a baby she had a photoshoot and when she was older and saw the pictures of her when she was a baby she asked me if she could have more photos taken of her and I told her we would try. Eventually, Anja joined a modelling agency.
How has modelling helped Anja? At the end of each shoot, she would tell me “it was the best day of my life”. In these moments, Anja has no trouble and stays really focused and is never hyperactive and is always very very happy! It is a joy to see!
How supportive is the agency that represents Anja for modelling? Her agency doesn’t know she is autistic! Sometimes the hairdressers/make-up artists notice that she doesn’t like the noise of the hair dryer (hyperacusis) but that’s all 😉
What do you both like to do together? We are very close! We love to go for a snack. Visiting museums when there are as few people as possible. To walk in the Parisian gardens. Anja is a big fan of fashion and she loves to try on looks. It is one of her dreams. To be in the fashion business when she is older. Anja would love to be an actress or a model! Designing clothes too 😉
What are Anja’s interests? Anja loves fashion and she likes to do my makeup and my hair. Creating looks with real clothes or with an app. As she is dyspraxic, it is more convenient for her. Anja was fascinated by the presidential elections and knew all the programs of each candidate.
Interests change with age. At present, Anja likes volcanoes, and astronomy, and is fascinated by a program that explains everything about it. Anja has many interests like the planet, which she wants to protect at all costs. Anja is a little girl who will ask question after question. I don’t always have the answers 😉 At the moment she is interested in religions.
Does Anja play any sports? Anja is not enrolled in a sports club but we have a small garden and she runs a lot every day.
Anja likes dancing more than anything. I had wanted to enrol Anja to start learning dance. I explained to the teacher that Anja has autism and that I had to be there at the beginning to help her. The teacher did not want me to enrol her. Anja is very angry about the injustices she is facing.
I took my daughter to private skating lessons and she loved it. We do yoga together at home, so she can relax a little more.
What is Anja’s favourite TV series/cartoon character/ Film? Anja doesn’t watch a lot of TV shows or cartoons. I avoid screens as much as possible as they make her ADHD worse. She has never been able to watch a movie completely. She can watch for half an hour and then needs to move around and can’t stay focused.
I always stay positive!
I believe a lot in my daughter’s abilities even if many make her doubt…
Name: Anja Chevalier
Age: 7 years old
Agency: My Agency Kids
Photographer: Virginie Dubois Photographer
Location: Paris, France
Favourite Flower: Anja’s favourite flower is the peony
View our Monday Model & One To Watch features HERE.
Anja Chevalier Monday Model Feature images are by Virginie Dubois Photographer – All rights reserved.
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