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Al-Yasid’s Story

Al-Yasid is a 21-year-old high school graduate on the autism spectrum. His sister, Ina, first contacted AFC when Al was 10 because he was being isolated in a classroom by himself for fighting with another classmate. Al was not receiving any of his mandated special education services and hardly any instruction as he sat in a room by himself all day. AFC helped find a new program at a public school for Al, and he continued to attend this program into high school. AFC also successfully sued for Al to attend a residential summer program for seven years in a row.

In his senior year, Al’s family became aware that his high school had completely failed to prepare him to receive a high school diploma, something he was very capable of achieving. His school had neglected to administer the state tests that Al needed to graduate and had not provided the required credits. Instead, the school had let Al fall through the cracks, slating him to receive a special education diploma that would not allow him to attend college.

As a result, AFC requested a hearing to secure funding for Al to attend Gersh Academy, a private school for students on the spectrum. AFC succeeded in obtaining payment for the cost of Al’s tuition, as well as the cost of his meals while at school. For two years, Al worked to obtain the final credits he needed and prepared for the state exams. Al thrived at Gersh and graduated last June with a bang—passing his final Regents exam with an 89! Al-Yasid says that the day he found out he would finally be graduating “was one of the best days of my life!” Al is currently applying to college and aspires to a career in music production or media.