My name is Mario Gabriel Nedelcu. I am 5 years and five months old. At the age of two years old, following a neuropsychiatric consult, I was diagnosed with autism and mental retardation, with an IQ of 30, at the Alexandru Obregia Hospital, in Bucharest. My grandmother noticed that around the age of one I did not seem to behave as other babies my age: I screamed, I threw myself to the floor, I hit myself, I had feeding issues, I did not make eye contact, I did not respond to my name, I did not like any toys, I could not be toilet trained, and I did not talk. After I got my diagnosis, my dad abandoned me and my mom, telling my mom that she had given birth to a crazy child. My mom had to go work outside the country to cover the cost of my medical testing, medicine, and clothes, leaving me with in the care of my maternal grandparents.
One day I was out in the park with my grandmother. Two parents who had a child with autism saw me screaming and hitting my face and head with my hands. They started talking to my grandmother, and asked her not to be offended, but that I seemed to have behaviors similar to their child’s behaviors. They told my grandmother about the Cristi’s Outreach foundation.
Soon after, my grandmother took me to the foundation. Following the initial evaluation I was accepted in their program. In time with therapy, I started to make eye contact, to respond to my name when called, to use the restroom, to talk, to recognize objects in my environment, to count, to write, to read, and to recite poems. My behavior has completely changed.
All my progress is due to the entire staff of Cristi’s Outreach foundation. Presently I also attend the foundation’s School Preparation Group, through which I am making significant progress. I am going to be integrated into a general education program because of this foundation
With great respect, my grandparents, my mother and I, thank you for all you have done and are still doing for me.