They Taught Me to Advocate for My Son

Jennifer Delgado is a full-time certified pharmacy technician and a single mom of three beautiful kids. She loves to read and work out. Although 5-10k obstacle courses are her favorite activities, she recently completed her second half-marathon.

Jennifer’s youngest child, Gabriel, is a happy, smiling 10-year-old boy who loves to give hugs. When he was 5 years old, he was diagnosed with autism. Jennifer recalled, “Even before his diagnosis, I knew something was going on with him. Little did I know, our lives were going to change forever.”

Once Gabe had a diagnosis, Jennifer began identifying what next steps she needed to take. She worked to separate those areas that were simply part of his unique personality from areas where Gabe really needed help to develop his skills. She remembered, “If it hadn’t been for tenacity, a deep fighting strength that came from the support and love of friends and family, I don’t know where I’d be today.”

At one point, someone in her circle of support recommended she call Raising Special Kids. Jennifer shared, “When I called, they listened, guided me through the IEP process, helped me understand how to deal with mean comments from teachers, gave me resources to seek help for my son, and encouraged me; they taught me to advocate for my son.”

Having a student with autism has been a learning experience for Gabe’s school as well. Cooperating with his IEP team has become easier for Jennifer. She is happy the school’s increased awareness of autism will help them more easily accept future students with autism, effectively address their behaviors, and provide them with appropriate academic challenges. His increased school support and private tutoring have helped Gabe’s academics soar to new heights, giving Jennifer a sense that the future will be OK for him.

Jennifer is now a volunteer parent leader with Raising Special Kids. She shared her thoughts on why she wanted to become a parent leader, “You can’t put a price tag on kindness, compassion and peace of mind. Every parent struggles with making the right decision for his or her child and they all need encouragement, hope and acknowledgement for doing the best he or she can with the resources they have.” She added, “If I can help just one person and make a difference in their life it is all worth it. When I hear back from a parent with good news I am so thankful this process has come full circle. What was once a difficult time in my life, helped me grow into a better mother and person. I’m grateful for this special life.”

Please consider helping families like the Delgados, like yours, or someone you know by making your donation to Raising Special Kids today. Your generous donation ensures Raising Special Kids can be there for families who need help to get health care, education, and disability-related support services.

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