‘I have autism but autism does not have me’

David Pedemonte-Forte: From an autistic child to a genius of a man

Gigi Tinsley | 8/21/2014, noon
Because of the prayers, persistence, and patience of a mother, Gloria Pedemonte, a Honduran, who believes there is nothing too ...
David Pedemonte-Forte holds a guitar-2002-while at Cutler Ridge Sr. High School.

Because of the prayers, persistence, and patience of a mother, Gloria Pedemonte, a Honduran, who believes there is nothing too hard for God to do, demonstrated through her untiring efforts that what could have been a devastating ending now simply is, “A walking miracle.”

Her son, David, 28, a native of Miami, is autistic. But people who meet David constantly remark that “He is a genius.”

When Davis was enrolled in the Miami-Dade School System he was evaluated and diagnosed as being “profoundly autistic”.

Autism is a disorder that affects the ability of the brain to process information. The disorder severely damages social interaction by preventing one from understanding verbal and non-verbal communication. Autism is usually detected in the child’s first two years. Signs included restricted and repetitive behavior. Early detection can help a child overcome some deficiencies caused by Autism.

Gloria said she was told her son’s condition would never improve. She refused to accept her son’s diagnosis

“I will find a better solution,” Gloria said, and went straight to work on helping David.

“During that time Hooked on Phonics was very big,” Gloria said. “I bought that instructive game, among others, spoke to him correctly, and insisted he look me directly in my eyes, every day.”

“ As a toddler, until he was nine years of age, David never talked and constantly bit his arms, rocked back-and-forth, and never looked anyone in the eyes. The sores and scars were so horrendous that Gloria says, “I dressed David in long sleeve shirts so that people would not think that I was hurting my child.”

The irony of what Gloria accomplished was done while she raised eleven children-six of her own and six from other family members. Davis is the youngest.

Gloria was not alone in her fight to help David. She was aided, tremendously, by David’s Cutler Ridge Middle School teacher, Ms. Patricia Nieves, who worked tirelessly coaching David on his speech. His sister, Glorianna Saballos and other siblings, where also involved in the effort. They constantly talked with to him to make sure he understood conversations. They also defended David from bullies, who constantly “picked on him.”

The family’s efforts have been paying off.

David’s first word was “Mom,” and his second “colors.”And, as they say, “The rest is history.”

David’s history is so extraordinary that in most instances, one has to see the drawings, paintings, clothes designs, videos and characters he developed and brought to life, to believe what this young man has accomplished.

He graduated from Coral Ridge Senior High School in 2002 with a straight A’s. He graduated in 2005 from American Intercontinental University in Plantation/Weston, FL with an “A” average and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Visual Communications. He wrote, sang and produced the song, “I Am Free” as a testament to where he now is in life. The song is produced by DEPF (David E. Pedemonte-forte) Productions

He also wrote and produced a video called Tata Madiba, which means, according to David, Father Mandela in Africana. The production took “three days of continuous work in his bathroom, for great sound effects,” after David heard of Mandela’s death.