Let me start by introducing myself, My name is Hoooov(in my Jay Z voice) NO, just kidding. I am Cassandra, proud mother of a 17 year old non-verbal young Man who happens to have a diagnosis of Autism.
My pride and joy is Malik....dubbed Jaffey "The King" Jofur! Malik is a smart, inquisitive, technical, loving young Man, who has come a looooong way.
Our journey started way back in 1997. We had no clue about what Autism was. All we knew was our son wasn't progressing, he was not meeting his milestones, he wasn't talking or taking interest in playmates, he had a serious regurgitation problem, and we were having concerns about his hearing. We eventually got Malik a hearing test, coloscopy, and a neurological exam. All the test came back good....his hearing was good, his reflux could be treated with meds but his neurological results were devastating and life changing! Every parent wants the best for their children and when you're told your child will never be so-called "normal" its desolute. Now, back in '97, people weren't talking about Autism...there were no Autism walks, no celebrity endorsements or co-signs. I know because I remember my frustration looking for help! Our entire journey has been trial and error. For many years I was very angry because I felt no one cared or helped!
Don't get me wrong, I am ecstatic there are so many Autism organizations and info is abundant now but, a few years ago I noticed my son was getting older and a lot of the services available he did not qualify for because of his age. Everything is geared towards children with Autism. But, what happens when these children become Adults? This is my concern. My son will be able to stay in High School until he is 22 years old....... then what? My platform now is to highlight inclusion programs for Malik and those like him and of course to give a peek into our lives ....Our Journey...from Our Eyez