"These cases are hopeless, it is not worth sending him to school, because he will become the pet of the classroom. It is best to teach him a random occupation to keep him busy." This was the devastating diagnosis Luz Maria received from a Neurologist, after noticing hyperactivity, echolalia, and difficulty in the language of her six-years-old son. Pablo Ulises was diagnosed with autism.
Luz Maria Escalona, mother of the athlete from Special Olympics Mexico, Pablo Escalona Ulises Lazarus, shared her story at the Teletón Center of Autism (CAT) in Mexico. She confessed that it took many years for her to understand that this diagnosis was the engine that motivated her to seek alternatives for the education and rehabilitation of her child. Pablo Ulises joined Special Olympics Mexico at age of 12 to start making history!
These are 10 ways in which Pablo Ulises’ life changed after been part of Special Olympics Mexico:
- Increased self-esteem.
- He had the opportunity to train and prepare to compete.
- He became more energetic.
- At the age of 13 he learned to commute by himself to the trainings.
- He discovered, little by little, how the world worked and how to be part of it.
- He learned to bathe and get dressed by himself in the shortest time possible.
- He became self-sufficient and participated in National Games and World Games.
- He fulfilled his dream of traveling by plane and visited Puerto Rico and Korea.
- He met more people and he likes it.
- He became independent and lives by himself.
Today, Pablo Ulises, 21, is a Special Olympics’ Athlete Leader with several victories and medals. "My disability did not prevent me from having a normal life and move on,” he said. Behind his many accomplishments, you will find, not just his mother, but thousands of people who gave him the opportunity to learn and worked with him. Besides a movement, Special Olympics is a family of love and inclusion.