On a chill day in late November 2012, a group of parents met at a center in East Harlem, New York. Gathered in a circle, speaking in Spanish and English, they generously recounted their stories. Most were new to the language and culture of New York, immigrating from countries in Central and South America. Their shared bond however, was not just language, or origin, or culture. They were all parents of children with autism, and their stories were of the trauma of discovering their children were different, the absence of a clear diagnosis from doctors and therapists, and the struggle to tell their families, their communities, and sometimes, themselves.

Note: This video is the result of a collaboration within the New York City Department of Education's Division of Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners, the Division of Family and Community Engagement, and the parents and employees of Sinergia Inc., who generously offered their time and opened their hearts in giving voice to the experience of raising a child with autism.

Permission to reproduce this video for not-for-profit educational purposes is hereby granted by the DOE, provided no party is charged for its use.

The video contains:

Parents' Voices/Voces de los Padres

The Making of Parents' Voices with Angelica Infante, CEO, Office of English Language Learners and
Jesse Mojica, Director, Division of Family and Student Engagement

A Reflection on Autism with Lisa Goring, Vice President of Family Services, Autism Speaks

Resources:
schools.nyc.gov/Academics/ELL/default.htm
sinergiany.org
autismspeaks.org/

Note: Sinergia, Inc. is a non-profit community based multi-service organization that services individuals and families with special needs and operates the Metropolitan Parent Center in New York City.

Susan Abdulezer
Video Producer
District 75 New York City Department of Education

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