First let me say, it’s certainly a superb pleasure and honour to share our success story with the people who laid the very foundation to create this beautiful ending we are currently enjoying. Beautiful, because, our lives, though far from perfect, would be very unproductive without the intervention of Ms Dorothy Ramsay now Mrs. Dorothy Daniels and the entire 3Ds family.
My son Delano was born at the Spanish Town Hospital, August 28, 1992, a healthy 8 lbs baby boy in good physical condition with a healthy appetite for his food. However, he was diagnosed with autism at the tender age of eighteen months by his paediatrician Dr. Sandra Williams. The same diagnosis was subsequently confirmed by Dr. Molly Thorbourn, a specialist doctor in the behavioural science of Autism, stationed at 3Ds Projects (Dedicated to the Development of Persons With Disability) now called C.B.R. J.(Community Based Rehabilitation Jamaica), situated at 14 Monk Street in Spanish Town.
The news of his Autism diagnosis hit me head on. With the news came a great deal of self-denial. I reluctantly began to seek help far from my community. I went all the way to the Early Stimulation Project and Jamaica Association for the deaf, in Kingston and St. Andrew, but was soon directed to 14 Monk Street, a facility that was nearer to our home address. This allowed Delano and I to receive home visits from the 3Ds Project in our community.
The patient, loving, caring, sympathetic, empathetic Dorothy Ramsay paved the way with her home visits and parent training sessions, making sure that potty training was attained, nutrition was good and the path to obtain the correct education was created. She believed in and encouraged us; and so in spite of the stigma, the stares, the phobias, the eating disorders, the unkind statements and predictions, we pressed on. From one school to the next: Rondel’s Day Care, Gem Glo Kindergarten, The Children Centre, Hampton Green Missionary, St. Catherine Primary School, Portmore Learning Centre, Hope Valley Experimental, each school a total misfit for his autism disability.
In the summer of 2005, the opportunity to attend the Promise Learning Centre, afforded us the privilege for the first time to place my child in an environment that catered to his disability. Situated at 1 North Avenue in Kingston, we struggled on six vehicles daily to get him to and from school. I glimpsed a ray of hope and this gave me additional energy to continue our journey. My bother Corville and I were able to get Delano assessed done that summer at the Mico Care Centre and we were formally registered at the Promise Learning Centre now called the Promise Learning Centre Group of schools.
Delano was now in an environment where he could build on the only thing he was gifted at, music. He developed a great love for musical keys. He also learned House Keeping, Cooking, Information Technology, English, and Mathematics and Social Studies. He was awarded several gold and silver medals from JCDC competitions. He is currently a pianist at his community church, Spanish Town Seventh Day Adventist (SDA). He also plays the piano for several churches in and out of his community. Delano was the Head Boy at the Promise Learning Centre where twice he attempted English Language at the CXC Exams in the General Proficiency level, obtaining 2 grades 5 with and without a scribe.
In 2017, he was selected for the National Youth Service Work Programme and was placed at the Mustard Seed Community in Spanish Town where he worked as a Data Entry Clerk. He graduated from the program as the most aware participant of the group cohort. Delano is currently employed by the Promise Learning Centre situated at 58 Hagley Park Road where he travels independently to and from work. He still struggles to dress himself and to behave appropriately in public spaces, and still desires to be accepted by a large percentage of our society who needs sensitisation. Despite this, we give God the praises for the Early Stimulation and the tremendous assistance of the 3Ds Project at Monk Street Spanish Town, now known as Community Based Rehabilitation Jamaica. Our journey was made much easier and our burden lighter because you care.
We currently minister to churches from time to time. Sharing the story of our journey, sensitising and bring hope to others with autism.
Shared By Mother: Andrea Hylton