Ms. Ojeda is a Bilingual Information Specialist at the Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) serving the families of children with disabilities. The Autism spectrum diagnosis given four years ago to one of her two children significantly changed what she thought her role in life would be. She decided to learn more about special needs resources and committed herself to helping Latino families who have children with special needs navigate through the maze of educating their children (running time: 2 min. 17 sec.).
The first day we actually drop him at school it was a crowd of children, a bell, and many teachers who just told him, you know, just stay with us. So I delivered my boy to the teacher, to the lovely teacher, but still I was very anxious and then he just he stay there and he just cried and cried the teachers told me just leave and I left. And then we went to have a coffee close by to wait, that is, hour to pick him up. And I really thought that I was fainting because I was. I was very anxious about what was going to happen and how was he going to feel if he was going to feel that mommy’s not there anymore and all these anxieties. So basically what I started doing was trying to help him realize that he won’t be alone that he will be back home after his day at school. And I asked permission to take pictures of several parts of the school including the entrance, and his class and the things they have organizing his class, several spaces they have and at the end I included him coming back in the bus and mom will receive him. So that really helped him I think. He loves the pictures and the album pictures and that reassured him that he was going to be back to his house. They should probably, if they have a chance, meet one on one with the family because we, I remember they did an open house and then we had a chance to you know, talk and see but it is not the same, if they meet at the house that would be great. Because it’s not the same to, you go to a place and you are the stranger in the place and that they go to your house and see what the child has been exposed to before going to school. Like in every sense you know, what is his environment, what does he like, what language do they speak at home, what does he understand.