Amir started going to The Children’s Center when he was just 4 years old. Shannon, his mother, had lots of experience with children; her own, working as a daycare attendant, and as an employee at Child Protective Services. Yet, she had never had a baby quite like Amir. Growing up just seemed a little more difficult for Amir. There were many challenges along the way.

Amir’s day care teacher, recommended Amir be evaluated for developmental delays. She noticed he wouldn’t nap, wasn’t vocal, and was not potty trained. He was first diagnosed with autism at another community mental health organization in southeast Michigan, but they recommended that he receive services at The Children’s Center because it was better suited for someone so young. “I was working and going to school and once he got diagnosed, I put everything on the back burner. He wasn’t getting the services from the school that he needed so I had to go out and find it,” said Shannon, describing the first few years after Amir’s autism diagnosis.

The Children’s Center was able to help coordinate services for Amir to receive in and outside of school for his benefit. His parents started to see the benefits of his hard work and were able to begin to connect more with Amir. Amir was learning how to effectively express himself and his parents were learning how to understand Amir, simply put: how to let Amir be Amir!

The Nelson family learned about Amir’s autism to be able to connect with him in the way he wanted and needed. Their effort and hard work are apparent when meeting the Nelson Family today. Speaking with Shannon and Edwin they shared that “we are so grateful to the Children’s Center. They were able to help [Amir] learn how to deal with life.”

Shannon has been able to utilize her community at The Children’s Center and other areas of her life to create a welcoming and accepting network of support for Amir and children like Amir. She’s recommended The Children’s Center to other mothers she knows and regularly sees them and their children at the lobby or an enrichment event!

Amir’s journey is inspiring and a message of hope to other families that may be struggling similarly. Through their journey, Shannon, Edwin, and Amir demonstrate the values The Children’s Center hopes to bring to other families and children; the ability to shape their own futures.

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