Jamaica – Kimberly Brown-Muthra is a credit and collections analyst at the Digicel Foundation, a nonprofit charity, who is volunteering at their annual 5K Run/Walk. Brown-Muthra was inspired to help because of her son Kareem Muthra whose on the autism spectrum.
Brown-Muthra took her son to be evaluated at the offices of developmental pediatrician Dr. Adrea Garbutt in 2013. After the two-hour long session Garbutt concluded that Kareem was a child with high functioning autism. While high functioning people still have classic challenges such as trouble socializing and meltdowns, they often possess a talent in language, music, art, or academia.
According to the Jamaica Observer who interviewed the awesome mother, Brown-Muthra said she cried over the news:
“I thought this was something that I gave to him, but really no one knows the cause of autism. After the assessment, Dr Garbutt said Kareem is actually ‘Einstein brilliant’.”
After hearing that Brown-Muthra knew she had to do everything she could to give her son an education. 5-year-old Kareem attends a non-learning differenced school and his talents are already shining through. He’s in 1st grade but studies 2nd grade level math. In two months, he’ll move on to 3rd grade level work. But with his academic success comes the stress.
“The meltdowns are the worst; sometimes when he doesn’t get what he wants he doesn’t take it well and it takes a while to calm him down. But you have to know how to deal with special-needs children and it requires a lot of patience. You have to remember that getting frustrated does not help the situation,”
Also like other children on the spectrum, Kareem has special dietary needs and Brown-Muthra is weary of the times he’s left in the care of someone who doesn’t understand his learning difference. But, also like other mothers, Brown Muthra knows her son will do well.
Due to a back injury, Brown-Muthra won’t be able to run Digicel’s 5K Run/Walk on October 11. But that’s not stopping her from raising autism awareness with her membership at the Jamaica Autism Support Association, and getting friends and family to run in her place. All proceeds of the run/walk will go towards scholarships at 10 learning differenced schools across Jamaica.
The original article on the Jamaica Observer web sire can be read here
Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingswood