Mynor came to the United States, like many immigrants, with the hope of building a better future for his family—specifically for his only son, Iquer. As life would have it, Mynor soon saw his entire life change when he separated from his wife. Amidst this painful process, a doctor determined that Iquer was on the autism spectrum. With limited resources and unable to speak English, Mynor was terrified for his son and the future of his family. Fortunately, one day while waiting for the metro, a woman approached him noticing he was visibly upset and frustrated. In conversation, Mynor shared his concerns regarding Iquer’s diagnosis and she recommended he visit CentroNía to learn about the resources in the community available to young children like Iquer. Upon visiting the center, Mynor applied for the waitlist and was eventually able to enroll Iquer into CentroNía’s Pre-K program when a space became available. 

When Mynor’s son joined the program, CentroNía’s priority was to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for Iquer to ensure he received the proper services he needed to thrive. As part of this plan, Iquer is visited by therapists throughout the week who assess his behavior, physical functioning, and speech development. His team of therapists then work with CentroNía teachers to ensure the learning environment matches his IEPCentroNía partners with local agencies such as Strong Start and Early Stages in order to provide these specialized services to early learners and their familiesAs a result of this care, Mynor has seen much improvement in his son’s behavior in just a few months. 

 “My son’s teachers are spectacular!” Mynor says. “There are no words to express my gratitude for the patience and love they have for Iquer.”

Mynor poses with Iquer after picking him up from the extended day program at CentroNía’s center in Columbia Heights.

In particular, Iquer struggles with speech—a common challenge for children with autism. While his speech therapist continues to work with him on speech development, Iquer has shown incredible improvements in other areas. He has become very social with other children in his class and he’s taken an interest in helping with routine tasks at home. Iquer dresses himself in the morning, washes dishes with his father after meals, and loves to paint. 

The support from CentroNía is a huge relief for Mynor and allows him to focus on other areas of his life. He can go to work in peace knowing Iquer is safe and cared for during the day, and he’s especially grateful for the program’s extended hours which allow him the flexibility he needs. Outside the classroom, Mynor receives diapers and hygiene products on a weekly basis from CentroNía’s Family Center thanks to a partnership with the Greater DC Diaper Bank. Mynor also seeks guidance from the Family Center Manager, Michael Yacob, who Mynor refers to as a great friend and mentor. 

“Michael is such a generous, kind person. Whenever I see him, he always asks how I’m doing and if there’s anything my son and I need,” Mynor shares. “At first my son and I were alone in DC, but now we have found a family at CentroNía.” 

 Mynor is grateful to CentroNía and excited for the future now that he has the support he needs to grow and thrive alongside Iquer.