“With all my heart, as his mother, I believe that somewhere deep inside my handsome son, a smart young man is looking for a way out into the world,” is the first thing Wesley's mom said when we asked her to describe him.
Wesley is 24 years old and has nonverbal autism. Ms. Greene explained that unless you have something he wants he tends to avoid interaction. It’s difficult for him to express his knowledge and abilities, so he instead withdraws to his “own private world.”
It’s been a long journey since Wesley received his diagnosis at age three. Some of the memories are sad for Ms. Greene to recount. The family was devastated to learn he had autism. Ms. Greene grieved the plans she had for her son but was also relieved to have a label for his symptoms.
While she faced the challenges of divorce, downsizing, and disability, Ms. Greene was able to find support in ECC at just the right times: both soon after his diagnosis and again once Wesley finished high school, which she described as “losing a safety net.”
Most recently, Ms. Greene was once again relieved to find the new ECC Life program for young adults. It was “ideal” because she knew and trusted the staff. They would respect her insight into his needs and help build a foundation for the long future ahead of him.
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