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Alexandra’s Story

When Luisa called AFC’s Helpline, she wasn’t sure what to expect, but she knew that her younger sister, Alexandra, needed help. For years, it felt like Alexandra had just been passed along from grade to grade, never receiving the support she needed. Now, at age 18, Alexandra was about to graduate from high school, but Luisa was concerned that her sister wasn’t prepared for the transition.

Luisa and Alexendra’s parents had struggled for years with language and structural barriers to advocate effectively for the supports their daughter needed. Although her mother had expressed concern at Alexandra’s lack of academic progress at every IEP meeting, the IEP team continued to push Alexandra through 13 years of school without appropriately identifying or meeting her needs.

With help from their AFC attorney, Luisa and her parents were able to secure a thorough evaluation, which diagnosed Alexandra with autism and an intellectual disability. Armed with this more accurate information about Alexandra’s needs, AFC was able to help the family find a more appropriate school placement and began advocating for make-up tutoring and effective vocational services geared specifically towards Alexandra’s future goals. Although it wasn’t easy to change schools less than a month before she was set to graduate, Alexandra has more than risen to the challenge, and her hard work has been paying off!


I’ve noticed an exponential growth in Alex. She is pushing herself more to advocate for herself, she’s growing more confident every day. She even mentioned she wants to get a tattoo of a lotus flower when she graduates from school because a lotus flower symbolizes ‘doing things outside your comfort zone’.”

Luia, Alex's sister