Milo (age 21 ) from Los Angeles, CA is currently a Junior at UC Berkley majoring in Computer Science and Math. Milo receives support from Berkley's Disabled Student Program where he is learning to advocate for himself. The Disabled Students' Program promotes an inclusive environment for students with disabilities. The program equips students with appropriate accommodations and services to achieve their individual academic goals and is dedicated to supporting students and collaborating with the campus community to remove barriers to educational access and embrace the University’s values of equity and inclusion. The program operates under the belief that "an accessible environment universally benefits everyone."
Milo presented with Hyperlexia teaching himself to read by age 3. With encouragement from Milo's grandmother, teachers and other parents - Milo's parents Ceilia and Chris who were hesitant to accept a diagnosis of Autism took Milo for testing at age four when he was officially diagnosed with Autism.
Milo attended Cheerful Helpers Child and Family Study Center a therapeutic preschool for ages 2 through 7. The experts there were able to bring Milo out of his solitary world where he was able to participate in activities with his peers.
Established in 1958, the Cheerful Helpers Child and Family Study Center provides services to families with young children, ages 2-7, who are having difficulties with social and emotional development, including delays in speech and language, sensory-integration, motor-planning, self-regulation and socialization. Their family-oriented, relationship-based intervention programs are for children with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders, attachment disorders, developmental delays, and processing, learning and emotional difficulties.
The Center operated for 49 years in the Thalians Department of Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center prior to moving to its own home in Fall 2007. Cheerful Helpers remains the only program in the Los Angeles area that helps children with special needs by treating the entire family.
After graduating form Cheerful Helpers, Milo’s teacher suggested that Milo start 1st grade at The Frostig Center in Pasadena. The Frostig School offers a full range of academic and support services for children in grades 1-12 who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dysgraphia, ADHD, and/or Autism Spectrum Disorders (High Functioning Autism, Asperger’s and Pervasive Development Disorder). Milo’s parents explained to him that, while he didn’t have a learning disability, his disability was that he had a hard time making and keeping friends. Milo was able to move on after the 5th grade, as his academics were well above grade level.
The therapists at Frostig recommended Bridges Academy in Studio City, CA as the best fit for Milo. Bridges Academy is known for being a “2e” (twice-exceptional) school. The term “twice-exceptional” (or “2e”) often is used to describe students with high ability and potential who simultaneously experience learning, executive functioning, production, and/or social challenges. They are challenged in most schools by a misalignment between their learner profile and the school's curriculum and instructional approach. The students are exceptionally bright but would have difficulty getting individual attention for their learning challenges in a public school setting.
Milo is proud to have Asperger's and feels confident that he will be able to get a job after graduating from college and live independently.