We’d like to thank our hosts at #oxforduniversity for your invitation and hospitality. We are grateful for your recognition of this important cause and your support in keeping students safe from restraint and seclusion. It is truly a blessing to work with likeminded educators. #portviewpreparatory #thrivingbeyondrestraint #norestraintnoseclusion ... See MoreSee Less
Missing our students and our team but we’re blessed to be able to advocate for our kiddos, sharing with the world that reducing challenging behaviors without restraint is possible and it works! #portviewpreparatory #theprepgroup #thrivingbeyondrestraint ... See MoreSee Less
Happy Birthday PVP! Thank you for 5 years of living a dream. We are blessed to serve so many wonderful students and to work with so many amazing individuals all in pursuit of enhancing each students educational experience and changing special education for the better. We extend our greatest appreciation to all of you who have supported our school over these last five years! #studentfirstdisabilitysecond #pvpdreamscometrue #portviewpreparatory #thrivingbeyondrestraint ... See MoreSee Less
Next month our Principals will be presenting at Oxford University on eliminating restraint and seclusion in schools. #thrivingbeyondrestraint #norestraintnoseclusionManaging Partners Dr. Miguel and Dr. Erickson Tomaino have been invited to Oxford University to present their research on eliminating restraint and seclusion in schools and discuss current topics in education with administrators around the globe. We are looking forward to hearing new perspectives from around the world! ... See MoreSee Less
When you have the privilege of watching someone climb mountains, defy odds, and cherish life, you keep them close by. We are so privileged to have Edson as our team member and are so very proud of him. #portviewpreparatory #grupdeautismoangeles #thrivingbeyondrestraint
English translation here: Autism does not beat Edson The severity of a diagnosis did not prevent a young Latino from having a paid job.
Is today payday?" Asked Edson Hernández to his father when he arrived at Port View Preparatory, where he was hired as an employee of this school where they serve almost 135 minors and autistic young people like him. "Dr. Edward Miguel [founder and executive director of the place] believed in his ability and offered him the job," said his father José Luis. "He already knows it's a payday." "Edson has his credit card and although we could have asked him to have a direct deposit, we thought it was better for him to learn to go directly to the bank, deposit his check and get the money he wanted to make his purchases."
Every day, Edson is accompanied by Claudia Serna, his work coach. The boy checks and cleans the toilets, replaces the paper and throws away the garbage from the offices; takes copies requested by the teachers and delivers them; does the inventory of the warehouse; checks that the kitchen does not lack spoons, glasses, napkins and is also in charge of the snack shop.
In the small store of Port View Preparatory of Yorba Linda, he carries out all kinds of transactions, with cash and charges with credit cards to his clients, other children and young people with autism.
"Edson is a very smart kid; I'm not doing him a favor, but I've offered a job to a responsible, punctual and honest person, "said Dr. Edward Miguel.
With his performance, we show that in the intervention of the Autism Spectrum Disorders the severity of a diagnosis does not predict his future nor an intellectual deficit.
A difficult diagnosis to understand Edson Hernandez was one year and eight months old when he was diagnosed with autism.
Gloria, his mother, says she realized that her son's behavior and development was different from other children.
"He would hit his head on the walls or if his juice spilled, he would try to suck it from the carpet," he recalled. "He ran and he did not stop; I did not measure the danger. He also did not pay attention to his toys. "
Gloria and her husband José Luis run the Autism Group Angeles Inc., a nonprofit organization in Anaheim, comprised of parent volunteers of autistic children who work closely with professionals.
"Our goal is to help our children to have a dignified and independent life ... And we provide support to families whose children have been diagnosed with autism," says José Luis.
The couple indicated that Edson did not speak and that his behaviors were notified to his doctor, who spoke to them for the first time about autism, something they did not know.
They say that after that, the boy passed a five-minute exam with a neurologist who, after saying: "Look in my eyes, stand up, walk ...", they noticed that the boy was just sliding backwards.
That neurologist, the parents say, gave them to understand that they were the ones who were wrong, and that Edson was only suffering from a delay in his development.
"We went back to the doctor and she referred us to someone she knew at the Children's Hospital of Orange (CHOC). After three sessions of auscultation, autism was diagnosed, "said Gloria.
"That opinion hurt me a lot, it was like dying in life. I felt devastated and it took me a lot of work to understand that he was different, I thought of the dreams that as a mother I had of my son: to see him married in the future, with his wife and children ... everything fell apart, "she confessed.
Before the diagnosis, they say that both Gloria and her husband had liked the film Rain Man (The Rain Man / 1988) starring Dustin Hoffman as "Raymond Babbitt", the older autistic brother of Charles Babbitt (Tom Cruise) .
"They told me Edson was autistic. What is that? Do you remember the movie? "Gloria asked her husband.
"Like every mother, I wanted my son to be independent, to have a career ..."
A blessing in disguise
For the mother it was more difficult to face the situation. However, his father says that he later took it as a "blessing in disguise". Although the man of the house seemed to be the strongest, the truth is that he hid his pain.
"I tried to be strong in front of my wife; I saw that she was destroyed but once I confessed that I grabbed my son and locked myself in the room to cry with my child, "said José Luis.
"I did it so no one would notice my suffering and as a man it seemed that everything was fine ... Otherwise, if I fell, we would all fall into the house."
The struggle of Edson's parents - who is now 23 years old - was so that he could be independent. This, they say, led them to fight against an educational and health system that did not provide the same opportunities and services to autistic people of Latino origin.
"Knowing how to manage the system to get services was a big problem, especially for the community, they did not speak English well," said José Luis.
"In the idiosyncrasies of Latinos, if a psychologist or the director of a school tells us 'this is what you have for you, we accept it' and we always say yes, but we said 'no' and we fight to find the best education and the best services our son deserves. "
For Gloria, the biggest obstacles were that the people who interacted with Edson trusted his capacity and learning potential.
"Many gave up on him; They did not understand that autism is not an impediment to work, "he said.
"It was difficult because when he was in the fourth grade of elementary school he and other children were sent to the famous relaxation rooms, which were only places where they were left alone for a long time, they restricted them and the children just wanted to escape from that punishment. " "To restrain it took up to four people, that was routine, but his aggressive behavior was over when we found the school where they believed in the intelligence of my son," said his mother. The day of this interview was pay day and Edson Hernandez would receive his check in the afternoon. His parents said they would take him to Walmart to buy what he needed. "He is always waiting for payday", added José Luis Hernández. "Maybe I'll take money from the bank to go to Legoland, to the Circus Circus casino in Las Vegas or to go bowling."
For José Luis and his wife Gloria, his son is an "angel", where innocence lives. He is an incredibly sentimental person. "When he looks me in the eyes and tells me mommy, my heart melts with love," Gloria said. "He is the inspiration of our lives." And her husband concludes: "That's why I said that my son is a blessing disguised as a problem ... because it totally changed my life and helped me discover the talents I needed to fight for his well-being and that of many Latino children who are autistic".
The statistics in California According to official figures from the California Department of Education, autism rates in the states public school's increased by 7% in 2016. That total indicates that the diagnoses have multiplied seven times since 2001.
In the same way, the figure represents a jump of approximately 6,500, or 7%, from 2014-15 to 2015-16.
The increase was especially noticeable among kindergarten children, where cases of autism increased by 17%.
This indicates that 1 out of every 65 kindergarten children in public schools in California is classified as autistic.
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