STEM pilot program for children with autism to begin this October

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An Oak Park mom is working on a 24-week program for children with autism after she says she couldn't find any resources for her son that let him continue to grow to his full potential.

Charlie, 14, has autism and is on the spectrum. It has been a long road, and for a long time he didn't speak. 

Nina Gordon recalled the first time her son Charlie Harris spoke. And it was his brother Dallan memorizing a line from his favorite show that got him to do it.

"We were driving somewhere and he says mom, watch this - and he said a line to his show," said Nina Gordon. "He jumped right in and said that next line like it was nothing. I stopped the car. I was like what just happened? 

"(His brother) Dallan was younger and he didn't understand, he said mom was it as good, I said it was amazing."

Charlie's mom, Nina Gordon, has been a one-woman powerhouse boosted by family and friends. She not only fights for her son, but for all the kids like Charlie who she knows can reach great heights.

Just like a young lady with autism now going to college girl.

"I was just looking at her in awe," Gordon said. "And I said how dare they put these kids in a box and say what they can't do. Look at this."

Nina is working on a 24-week program costing $400 for children with autism to be paired with a neuro-typical child and learn poetry, art, robotics and even coding to begin this October at the Detroit Public Library.

She's got an informational this Saturday, August 18. She knows what working with children like Charlie can do if they have support, love, friends and the right help.

"The child you see now that is so giggly and talking to you, he wasn't there at the beginning," Nina said. "He didn't talk, he stayed to himself. If we were in a group setting, Charlie was always known as the one off by himself."

"Charlie's Journey" is a pilot program; Nina wants to expand it to a full after-school program.

For more: 

Click here for Charlie's Journey on Facebook.

Click here for the website

Click here for the Eventbrite register information.

Email here for Charlie's Journey