NewsAround Acadiana


Mother encouraging other parents not to lose hope when coping with autism diagnosis

Posted at 11:32 PM, Jan 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-06 02:35:35-05

A Lafayette native is encouraging parents of children with autism to never lose hope.

Eighteen-year-old Glenn Stokes III was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of 2. As a child, he didn’t speak, but now, Stokes says he was able to overcome that challenge.

Today, he and his mother, Angela Gachassin, met with one of Stokes’ teachers from Ernest Gallet Elementary School who he hadn’t seen in a decade.

“Truly amazing to see a student I had ten years ago, nonverbal, walk up to me and give me a hug and say my name,” his former teacher said.

Stokes has improved over the years and gives much credit to his mother.

Gachassin has been a teacher for 27 years and used different techniques to help him communicate and learn.

“Communication was crucial for us to have a pattern of communicating, so I actually started working with Glenn with phonic cards daily… sight words. And, at 5-years-old, he could actually finger spell nouns to me to communicate to tell me what he wanted,” said Gachassin.

The mother has written two books in hopes to help and inspire others who are facing challenges similar to what their family experienced.

For more on Gachassin and her story, go to