The Arc Of Massachusetts: The Milorin Family's Story

Henry and Evelyne Milorin with son, Reggie, and daughter, Mirlyne. Photo: Courtesy of Henry Milorin

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Henry and Evelyne Milorin had only been in the United States for a few years when they started noticing developmental changes in their son, Reggie.

The couple emigrated from Haiti in the early 1970s, and their two children were born a short time later — Reggie in 1972 and daughter, Mirlyne, in 1974. Reggie developed ahead of schedule when he was a baby and a toddler. But at 2 years old, he started regressing.

 “We were right in the middle of learning the way of becoming an American,” Henry said.

At that time, developmental disabilities resources were limited. Henry and Evelyne did not get an official autism diagnosis for their son until he was 7 years old.

“What kind of life [is] this child going to have? Couldn’t even stay in school,” Evelyne said.

Read More: The Arc of Massachusetts: Jonathan Gardner’s Story

“The only thing they were offering us was to place him into a mental institution. We had no place to go,” Henry said.

In 1980, Reggie spent 10 months in a behavioral program at Kennedy Memorial Hospital – now named Franciscans Children’s Hospital.

“And when he came back, he came with some language,” Evelyne said. “For the first time in 1980, Reggie went to school and stayed in school.”

Reggie is now 51. He remains mostly nonverbal, but with some assistance he’s able to live on his own. And he’s held down a job since age 14. He’s happy and loves his family.

Henry and Evelyne attribute much of that success to The Arc of Massachusetts.

“The Arc taught us how to advocate, find the right connection,” Henry said.

The Arc of Massachusetts is celebrating its 70th year with a gala on Nov. 9, 2023. The non-profit is dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Click here to learn how to donate.

WBZ NewsRadio's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports:

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