Meet Felipe De Jesus Jr. Carranza, Hope For Three’s talented and innovative September Autism All-Star. Felipe comes from a devoted and caring family and is the youngest of two. He and his older sister Carmen are incredibly close. He loves attending church, riding his bike, gaming, music, and Chick-fil-A.
At age 2 ½ years old, Felipe’s parents noticed that he was not developing and meeting age-appropriate milestones. He was completely nonverbal and had sensory sensitivities that caused him to overstimulate easily, which promoted behavioral problems. After numerous doctors’ appointments and tests, his parents enrolled him in Early Childhood Intervention, where he started speech and occupational therapies. His mother also researched Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy and performed the therapy herself at home. At three, Felipe was enrolled in the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD). He has pushed through every obstacle and overcame every hurdle along his path to accomplish every goal he has set, including potty training, and learning to express his needs, wants, and likes. One of his families’ most cherished memories is when Felipe was able to say, “I love you” for the first time.
Now 12 years old, Felipe is a 7th grader at Stafford Middle School, where he enjoys taking drum lessons from Mr. Rude and has developed into a talented drummer and singer. His family has a unique nickname for him, Hummingbird, because when he was younger and completely nonverbal, he loved music so much he would hum to every song. Felipe has been able to find his voice and learned to express himself through music. He is also an extremely skillful and creative gamer who loves to play Minecraft. He has built every single restaurant, store, and all vehicles within the game. Felipe takes pleasure in helping assist his family with dishes, cutting the lawn, and doing laundry.
Felipe brings so much love and joy to those around him. He has a relentless spirit and an unbreakable determination to excel, and that is what makes him an Autism All-Star.