Through a Mother's Eyes

The May Center truly recognizes the special needs of children with autism and, more importantly, that every child is different. That is exactly what Michelle needed — a place that responds to her specific needs and strengths. It is the most remarkable type of programming that I have witnessed in her lifetime of schooling.

For Michelle, the schedule, the predictability, and the expectations are so clear that she has been able to thrive and reach her potential. She is happy. I know she is in the best place for her because my little girl wants to get on the school bus every single day.

I have seen Michelle's progress from school applied to her life outside of school. She is learning skills that she can now generalize at home and out in the world. Whether it's at the playground, waiting her turn for a slide or a swing, or sharing the computer at home with her brothers and sister, she understands that beautiful concept of taking turns. She can enjoy interactions with people, and just have fun. She can play games with other children, which has added such a dimension to her life. I think that kind of generalization in learning never would have happened without the May Center. Never.

Although Michelle doesn't always communicate with words, she is now able to let us know what she needs. Her confidence in her ability to communicate and be understood — even though it may not always be verbal — is fantastic. The more confident she is, the happier she is.

I think now there are no boundaries for her. Even if she still dependent in her adulthood, she will find lots of things that satisfy her and make her life complete. I thank the May Center for that. It's what a parent wishes for every child — that they grow up to feel that they make a contribution and feel happy in the world. Michelle is on her way.

— Teri Connors

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