TWO years ago Javed Henry was happy his friends did not treat him with indifference because he is autistic, but today his happiness transcends to his recent success in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
“I feel very excited and glad about the passes. I feel blessed to know I came out successful,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
Henry sat five subjects and received grade two in mathematics, social studies and accounts. He received a grade one in principles of business and electronic document preparation management. Henry did English language in grade 10 and received a grade three in the subject. But it was his mother, Joan Parker, who could not contain her joy though she shared that initially she was nervous about seeing the results.
In an interview with the Sunday Observer‘s Career and Education in 2018 to mark Autism Awareness Month in April, Parker said when she learnt she was pregnant, she expected a healthy, bouncing baby, and right up until her child turned two, she believed things were going as planned. “Javed Henry was born on the 27th of April, 2002.
He seemed to be a healthy child and the only thing was that two days after he was born he had jaundice. When I took him home everything was okay. He rolled himself and turned on his own before he was six weeks old and he walked at nine months. The only thing is that he did not speak,” she said in that interview.
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Parker had also revealed that after doing a series of tests to determine why he would not speak and being referred to a neurologist, she was informed that Javed Henry had severe autism. “I had no idea what this was. He is my first and only child. I cried and cried every day. From there on I didn’t know what to do or where to go. I was just lost.
The worst part about it was when I got a letter to take to The University Hospital of the West Indies and was told to go to ward 21. I wanted to turn back, but I went ahead. I was given an appointment to come back within four weeks. When I went it was an assessment they did for him,” she said.
“I was still crying. I didn’t know what to do. I started doing research to find out what would happen to him, if he would ever talk, be like normal children.” Eventually, Parker began feeling optimistic and got Javed Henry into a school at age four, even though he still wasn’t speaking.
But it was at age five when he started speaking that she knew things would change,” she said. Regarding his CSEC results, Parker said she was excited, happy and proud to see that the time, effort and help invested in her son was paying off as the journey has not been easy.
To top it off, Henry recently got accepted to Excelsior Community College to do computer graphics and animation, a change from his accounting dream, which he expressed great passion for two years ago.
“I really want to do computing now. I am selecting my courses so I haven’t quite started but, I am excited to get going,” Henry said.
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