Ana Beatriz felt completely unprepared when she received her son Igor’s diagnosis of autism. Even though she was a nurse, she understood very little about his condition. She was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to communicate with Igor, and that was devastating to her. Ana Beatriz is originally from Colombia, and she felt very alone and overwhelmed in this country fighting for Igor to have the services he needed.
“Everything turned so dark for me”, she said.
Then Ana Beatriz was referred to the Federation’s Latino Outreach Coordinator. She attended trainings at the Federation to learn about Igor’s diagnosis and how to navigate the special education process. She gained inspiration and strength from witnessing other parents who had been through the same struggles as her. She learned how to be an effective advocate for Igor.
“The most important thing the Federation gave me was the opportunity to educate myself about my son’s condition and that changed everything.”
Today, she is raising Igor with the support of her ex-husband, William, who is Igor’s stepfather. Together they are a family for Igor, and they are excited about his future. Ana Beatriz says that “Igor is the most amazing person I’ve ever seen in my life.” He is a musician and an artist who plans to study anime. His goal is to live independently.
The Federation will continue to be a partner to their family as Igor moves to independent living.
“…When the time goes by you start to accept and understand and love whatever life throws at you. At the moment it was so hard, but now I am so grateful to have Igor in my life.”