How the Federation “Changed Everything”
Ana Beatriz felt completely unprepared when she received her son Igor’s Autism diagnosis when he was three years old. Although she was a nurse, she understood very little about the condition and feared she would not be able to communicate with him. Originally from Colombia, Ana Beatriz felt alone and overwhelmed in this country as she fought to ensure that Igor got the services that he needed.
“Everything turned so dark for me,” she said.
Then Ana Beatriz was referred to the Federation’s Latino Outreach Coordinator. She attended FCSN workshops to learn about Igor’s diagnosis and received training on the special education process. She gained inspiration and strength from talking with other parents who had been through similar struggles and learned how to be an effective advocate for her son.
“The most important thing the Federation gave me was the opportunity to educate myself about my son’s condition. That changed everything.”
Today, Ana Beatriz is raising Igor with the support of her ex-husband William, Igor’s stepfather. Igor, now 25, is a musician and an artist who plans to study animation. His goal is to live independently. “Igor is the most amazing person I’ve ever seen” she says, beaming.
“When 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.”