Twelve years ago, my son was diagnosed with autism. At that time, I remember wondering if my son would be able to speak and read. Thankfully, we were introduced to Judy Newman and a local organization she oversees called Early Childhood CARES, which provides early intervention and early childhood special education services to infants and children with disabilities.
These services are a lifeline to families. They helped my son get the jumpstart he needed, and they provided me with the parenting tools I needed. More importantly, Newman and her team helped me look beyond my son’s label to see a beautiful child with so much growing and learning and achieving yet to do.
Today, my son is in his sophomore year of high school, reading and learning alongside his peers. I support Newman for the Eugene 4J School Board because she is a strong advocate for neurodiverse students. She supports more inclusive classrooms and she wants to help close the achievement gap for marginalized student populations. I look forward to casting my vote this May for Judy Newman and inviting her to my son’s high school graduation in 2024.
Laura Dahill, Eugene