A special graduation

 Last Thursday, June 4th of 2015 I attended for the first time a graduation of Middle School students. This was a truly emotional moment, of course! Any parent, uncle, grandmother or relative will be excited to see someone they love graduating. However attended this graduation involved more than that. Carlos, a 13 years old boy was born in The USA, since he was born everything seemed good. When I met him he was 1 year old and I remember that was a very special moment, because it was the first time I saw my nephews in person! Carlos for being the smallest attracted more attention of the whole family, especially because all the time he was smiling, and used to do very cute things that babies use to do.A very difficult moment for Carlos parents and family was when he was 4 years old. After several appointments with a specialist, Carlos was diagnosed with Autism.  Hearing that word that we did not have much idea of what meant, in itself it was already very difficult, especially when parents try to understand what that means in the life of a child. According to www.autismspeaks.org, the Autism is “a disorder of brain development. This disorder is characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors”. So, Carlos parents have learn little by little what Autism means, although it has been a difficult process, and I still remember the conversations of the family trying to understand  what autism was, and if Carlos really had that medical condition. A very sad moment was seeing Carlos’ mom crying, after a meeting with the specialist, she could not imagine that his son would never say "I love you mom" and that he might not be able to do other things like children of his age. Unfortunately many people do not understand what autism means, that there are more and more children with this diagnosis. According to www.autismspeaks.org: ” Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 American children as on the autism spectrum–a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Careful research shows that this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and awareness. Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States”. Children with autism have been victims of mock, misunderstanding and even bullying. And I must confess that even for me it was difficult to understand the life of a person with autism, even if someone was very close to me took me time to understand many things. There are different levels of autism, but the major characteristics that I have identified are that children do repetitive movements, some did not speak, people say they are not sociable (I’m not agree with this), etc. etc. You can check out this page for more information www.autismspeaks.org. Each child and family face different processes, but at the end all children with autism are like other children, all are human, they are people, they feel, and they live! Carlos graduated from Middle School, with other classmates from special class. Maybe he cannot do many things as other kids of his age, maybe people do not understand his conversation, or the ways that he demands what he wants. But this is Carlos that I know, he kisses people, he plays with kids, even he argues with others as other children do. Carlos shows his feelings; he hugs and tells her mom “I LOVE YOU”. Hooray Carlos! You did it! Go for more! 

A special graduation
7 Jun 2015 - 3:05am

 Last Thursday, June 4th of 2015 I attended for the first time a graduation of Middle School students. This was a truly emotional moment, of course! Any parent, uncle, grandmother or relative will be excited to see someone they love graduating. However attended this graduation involved more than that. Carlos, a 13 years old boy was born in The USA, since he was born everything seemed good. When I met him he was 1 year old and I remember that was a very special moment, because it was the first time I saw my nephews in person! Carlos for being the smallest attracted more attention of the whole family, especially because all the time he was smiling, and used to do very cute things that babies use to do.A very difficult moment for Carlos parents and family was when he was 4 years old. After several appointments with a specialist, Carlos was diagnosed with Autism.  Hearing that word that we did not have much idea of what meant, in itself it was already very difficult, especially when parents try to understand what that means in the life of a child. According to www.autismspeaks.org, the Autism is “a disorder of brain development. This disorder is characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors”. So, Carlos parents have learn little by little what Autism means, although it has been a difficult process, and I still remember the conversations of the family trying to understand  what autism was, and if Carlos really had that medical condition. A very sad moment was seeing Carlos’ mom crying, after a meeting with the specialist, she could not imagine that his son would never say "I love you mom" and that he might not be able to do other things like children of his age. Unfortunately many people do not understand what autism means, that there are more and more children with this diagnosis. According to www.autismspeaks.org: ” Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 American children as on the autism spectrum–a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Careful research shows that this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and awareness. Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States”. Children with autism have been victims of mock, misunderstanding and even bullying. And I must confess that even for me it was difficult to understand the life of a person with autism, even if someone was very close to me took me time to understand many things. There are different levels of autism, but the major characteristics that I have identified are that children do repetitive movements, some did not speak, people say they are not sociable (I’m not agree with this), etc. etc. You can check out this page for more information www.autismspeaks.org. Each child and family face different processes, but at the end all children with autism are like other children, all are human, they are people, they feel, and they live! Carlos graduated from Middle School, with other classmates from special class. Maybe he cannot do many things as other kids of his age, maybe people do not understand his conversation, or the ways that he demands what he wants. But this is Carlos that I know, he kisses people, he plays with kids, even he argues with others as other children do. Carlos shows his feelings; he hugs and tells her mom “I LOVE YOU”. Hooray Carlos! You did it! Go for more! 

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