Shared by his mother, Joy
My journey with my son Elkan started long before he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at age four and a half. The late diagnosis contributed to our challenges, but our major struggles started after we moved from Maitland to Brooklyn and had to take Elkan out of his old crèche, where he was loved by teachers and friends.
It took an entire year to find a new crèche that would take him in. Then I was called 30 minutes after dropping him off on the first day and was told he was lost. As a parent of a non-verbal child, you ask yourself how such a thing could happen – and just when you think you have found a place for your child.
After we found Elkan, we vowed not to take him back. It was a decision that led to many rejections from schools saying how unsuitable my son was for their facilities. One place after the next turned him down. I thought how can they not see how great this boy is? How can they not give him a chance?
We got more anxious with every school we visited. We were a nervous family praying for a breakthrough. Then we found Mindstretch. When Jennifer told us they would take Elkan, we breathed with relief, and we knew we had found the perfect place after his first happy week.
Looking at his peers, I worried if he would ever catch up and talk like they do. I was amazed at how much he progressed at Mindstretch, and also amazed by the friendliness of the staff and other parents. Mindstretch didn’t just accept my son, they accepted me. The school contributed a lot to getting Elkan ready for Alpha School, where he is currently in his first year.
Mindstretch Preschool gave Elkan words and independence.