At age 4, Tracy Whitfield’s son Reggie was diagnosed with autism. She was told Reggie would have echolalia, the unsolicited repetition of vocalizations made by another person.
But Tracy and her father worked with her son to help him cope with his condition. He was able to graduate from Tuscaloosa’s Hillcrest High School in 2020 and is enrolled in the CrossingPoints Program at the University of Alabama, which is geared towards adults with disabilities.
Reggie, a big Alabama fan, attended the Night to Shine Prom in Tuscaloosa where he met former Crimson Tide football stars Jalen Hurts and Najee Harris, both now in the NFL. Night to Shine is the ministry started by football great Tim Tebow’s Foundation. It works with local churches to hold events like a prom for those with special needs.
Tracy has a baking business, Mandy’s, named for the grandmother who taught her how to bake. She wants to teach children with autism and Downs syndrome how to bake as an outreach of Mandy’s.
In honor of Autism Awareness Month, we offer the story of Reggie Whitfield as told by his mother, Tracy.
(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)