Good Shepherd Center
is reaching 130 displaced Iraqi students in Jordan, 75 from the neighborhood of Al-Hashemi
where new arrivals from Iraq are now settling.
One of the children is Patrick, a 7-year-old boy recently diagnosed with autism
who was introduced to TSI supporters in our fall newsletter. At the time, Patrick was non-verbal and prone to outbursts in class. He struggled to connect with his teachers or make friends.
Patrick’s mother asked Principal Dawlat Hijazeen and her staff to work with him intensively before she resorted to medication that could dull his personality. Tasked with the challenge, the staff got to work. After two months of focused instruction by the Good Shepherd team, Patrick is now making eye contact, remaining calm, and listening to instructions from his teacher.
“His behavior is changed 100%,” said Hijazeen. “The only things we’re still working on are his speech and pronunciation. He can say letters, he can explain himself with sign language, and the teachers can understand him.”
Patrick is making friends as well. Students were afraid of him at first, but now they are building relationships with Patrick. “This is amazing what has happened to him,” said Hijazeen. “Every morning he hugs his friends.”