As a single mother of a teenager with Autism, I have advocated for Special Education needs and services for many families. Before I became an advocate, I was confused, outraged, ashamed and scared for my son and his future. One day I woke up and decided to stop feeling sorry, conquer the stigma, get to know my son and be the voice for his needs.
I have assisted many families in empowering themselves to being proactive in their children's Special Needs education and encouraged them to normalize their lives as much as possible. I am the voice of Disabilities, I am the voice of my son.
Price Range: $200-$1000
Gig Length: 30 - 180 minutes
What to Expect
Lets work together. I can give a brief discussion about the stigma, IEP's and triumph or I can have a crowd interactive discussion about disabilities that ends in a Q&A. Tell me about your event and the time span you will offer and I can customize it.
16 and pregnant was far from a show when I had my son Kwesi in 2001, it was a harsh reality and a tough choice to make while trying to survive high school life. I chose his life and the obstacles I would face when making such a mature decision at such an immature age.
I made it through high school and even made straight A's my senior year but just when I thought the hard part was over, I began to notice that my handsome prince wasn't doing so well compared to his peers in daycare.
After being kick out of one daycare for "being bad" and leaving another daycare because "he doesn't listen", I felt like I was spinning in mud with my circumstances. So finally we go to a doctor and they recommended Early Intervention Special Education which I thought was a fantastic idea to help him talk. We ended up having another evaluation would show a far greater concern which was an autism diagnosis....I was 19 and my kwesi was turning 3..
I was so hurt and confused. The doctor said they typically don't see this is such young parents but by the end of the visit he let out a quiet sigh and tells me, "I'm sorry". I was embarrassed and scared.
I started going to intensive needs group with my son and met such great people whom often wondered if he was my brother, but I would laugh and say "No, that's my son".
I learned so much about educating my son at home with "teachable Moments", and studied his individual style of learning. I embraced my sons behavior and realized how much of him was just like me. As he overcame his struggles and regressed in others I became proud of Kwesi. He has came so far from what people thought he would do but he never gave up and he always remained happy through it all.
I worked with non-profits organizations to become an advocate for my son and to help families who needed aide in finding out life after the diagnosis. Its been self rewarding and exciting. As hard as it is, I treat my son no differently than I would treat him if he didn't have the label.
I always say my son is handi-capable not handicapped.
Influences & Inspiration
Lololi Speaks (Mrs. Alkeema Jackson) is a motivational speaker whom has seen the light in me and my journey and has always pushed me to tell my story..
Holly Robinson Peete whom has advocated for her son and special needs for years.
Microphone, Podeum, and an opne mind
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