Who We Are

Omar's Story

Omar's Story

Left: Omar on the way to prom.  Right: Omar's graduation photo.

Omar is a student on the autism spectrum who graduated from high school last June and is now thriving in college! 

Omar’s mother first called Advocates for Children’s Helpline for assistance when Omar was a 13-year-old seventh grader without a school to attend at the start of the school year. They had recently moved to New York City from out of state, and despite repeated requests from Omar’s mother over the course of the summer, the Department of Education (DOE) did not offer a school placement until October—at which point Omar had been sitting at home without instruction for a month—and the only school offered was inappropriate for his needs. Omar was performing on grade level academically and had delays in social and emotional functioning, but the proposed placement could not provide the structured socialization and therapy he needed to make progress and had a curriculum designed for students functioning at a much lower level.

AFC helped Omar’s mother navigate the system and secure his placement at The Child School, a specialized non-public school that serves students with disabilities. Omar flourished at The Child School, where he received both academically appropriate coursework and the social-emotional supports and skills training he needed to be successful in the classroom. We are so proud of all of his accomplishments: Omar was valedictorian, served as class president for multiple years, and is now studying politics and economics at St. John’s University in Queens. He loves college and has become a strong self-advocate!

Omar’s mother recently wrote us to say, “I know our journey was a winding and difficult one and we thank you and your organization for helping Omar through it all so he could arrive to this point.  Without your help I doubt he would've had these amazing opportunities… Again, I thank you so very much.  I can't imagine how different my son's circumstances would've been without your advocacy.”