I will be honest that I do not recall much of my years before 2nd grade, including my years in New York. For most of this story, it comes from experiences with my parents.
I was born in Brooklyn, NY. While growing up in Brooklyn, my Autism affected me in many ways: I had no eye contact, I did not respond to anyone who called my name, and I was completely nonverbal. Also, I did not like anyone to touch me, and I did not like anyone picking me up. I had temper tantrums, and I liked everything in a routine. I was isolated from my siblings: my older sister Samantha and my younger brother Jon; and I did not engage with anyone. I was pretty much in my own world.
By the time I turned two years old, I was diagnosed with Autism in Down State Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. Right away, my parents researched and got my early intervention services, which included all of my therapies. I had therapies every single day, seven days a week. I had very intensive services. I will discuss about these services more in depth in a separate blog story. Also, I attended a special education school for children living with Autism called, “Thursday’s Child”. I attended this school while growing up in Brooklyn, NY. I received therapies not just at home, but in school too.
By 2001, my family and I moved to New Jersey. I was three years old by then. My parents were in search of a good school for me to attend as soon as we moved. They found Children’s Center of Monmouth County. I will be honest, I do not have that much memories when I was in Children’s Center, but I do remember the Hawaiian dance I did with my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Lauren, because we practiced it so much that I still remember that day. I will be sharing more about this school in a different blog story.
If it weren’t for my supportive family, I would not be where I am at today. Parents, educators, and anyone who helps an individual with Autism, it is so important to research and get the services that best go with that individual. Do not give up on an individual living with Autism; We thank you for all you are doing for us.