At the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, William* was struggling in the pre-K class at Upbring Karam Center Head Start. Though the 4-year-old boy was advanced for his age — able to read, write and more —  he had trouble communicating and self-soothing, and he was easily overstimulated. 

William would throw temper tantrums which had his mom, Wyleisha Robinson, scared that her son might hurt himself at school. William’s Family Engagement Advocate, Lauria Brown, reassured Wyleisha that Upbring was the right place for her son. “She pleaded with me that I should give Upbring a chance to nurture my child,” Wyleisha said. 

After observing William’s behaviors, the Head Start staff referred his mother to a doctor who evaluated William and made a diagnosis: autism. This led to more support for the family. Head Start teachers Ms. Simmons and Ms. Harvey adapted and enhanced classroom activities, empowering William to communicate. 

“He’s doing very good and he’s loving school,” shares Wyleisha about her son, now a kindergartner. William is talking more and expressing his feelings more. “Before, when I asked him, ‘William, how was your day?’ He couldn’t answer that question for me. Now he says, ‘I ran in the gym,’ or ‘I read a book in the library!’” Establishing new routines at home, as recommended by Upbring Head Start, has improved William’s sleep and his school life. 

“My thanks and gratitude have no measure to the Upbring Head Start staff. I want to thank everyone for all their help, time, patience, and most of all your love for me and my family.” 

Through your support, parents like Wyleisha receive wraparound services, as well as a safe place for children to learn, grow and thrive. To learn more about Upbring Head Start Preschool, visit Upbring.org/head-start-preschool/ 

*William’s story is true, but we used a pseudonym to protect his privacy. 

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