NEW BRITAIN, Connecticut -- Luisa Cintron, 25, is sitting up as straight as she can, perched on the edge of the neatly made bed that doubles as a couch inside her dimly lit apartment. She is wearing a sweater and slacks, talking about the government program that she says changed her life, and trying -- without much success -- not to get distracted by the 4-year-old talking loudly about Batman in the next room.
The 4-year-old is Luisa’s son, Maliek. And not so long ago, Luisa explains, Maliek wouldn’t have been talking about superheroes -- or anything else for that matter. At 18 months, well past the time that babies usually start forming words, Maliek was still “non-verbal” and communicating almost exclusively through gestures. “It was always pointing at this, crying at that,” Luisa says. Read More