It’s Not the End of the World for My Child

    January 29, 2018

    Ashely (32) and Barrett (4)

    When asked, “What was it like for Ashley (32) and Allen (34), at the time of their 2 year old son, Barrett’s diagnosis”, so many things come to mind for them. 

    Before his diagnosis, they had never heard of autism or what it was but they remember very vividly being told by their pediatrician, your son will never be like “normal” children or adults. 

    Ashley remembers, “Barrett was diagnosed with severe autism the day before Thanksgiving in 2015. “It was a day of sorrow and disbelief that changed our lives forever.  Read more


    Noni’s Perfect Plan

    January 11, 2018

    Andrew (9 years), Nicholas (10 years), and Noni

    When Andrew was 2 years old, Noni noticed a change in his speech development compared to her first child’s behaviors.  He stopped making the sounds and babbles (saying ba-ba-ba or ma-ma-ma) to begin making words.

    Andrew’s pediatrician sent them to a specialist who diagnosed him to be on the autism spectrum disorder.  Diagnosed at age 3, she remembers feeling very confused, quite scared, nervous and concerned for her son. Noni enrolled Andrew in Jabber Gym which provided speech therapy and occupational therapy for Andrew. 

    Noni was paying for speech therapy and occupational therapy services. No one had mentioned to her that these services would be covered by the Alta California Regional Center. The services were becoming a financial burden when her Alta California Regional Coordinator called her.   The first step the Alta Regional Coordinator did was arrange a home visit. A report was completed and Alta Regional began paying for Andrew’s sessions at Jabber Gym.  Read more


    I Felt Excluded!

    December 12, 2017

    Lisa Cooley, 49 years old

    At the age of 2 years, Lisa was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when her parents noticed she was not as flexible as other children.

    Lisa did not realize she had cerebral palsy until later.  “I was 10 or 11 years old and I was left out of the school’s square dancing event. I did not understand why I was being excluded. Up to that point I was just me who needed to use a walker.  Even today, as an adult I still ask myself why am I being left out and excluded,” wondered Lisa.

    As a child, Lisa used a walker to get around, but needed to use a wheelchair as a teen. Her teenage years were the most difficult because she couldn’t attend events. Lisa felt left out because venues weren’t wheelchair accessible. She wanted to attend a concert at the Memorial Auditorium (Today, it is fully ADA compliant), but it wasn’t wheelchair accessible at the time. Lisa didn’t feel that this was fair or right.   Read more


    A New World for MacKenzie

    November 28, 2017

    Al, Arthur, Nancy & MacKenzie with cutout of Alex.

    When the phone rings late at night, how often does it bring good news? Al and Nancy’s late night call delivered a chilling message: the amniocentesis showed that their third child would be born with Down syndrome!

    Al and Nancy’s initial reactions were vastly divergent. Nancy, who grew up in a town with a traditional State Hospital, envisioned her child being institutionalized. Conversely, Al received the news as if he heard the baby would be left-handed: it was simply one of her various characteristics.

    Nervous to take on the world, Al and Nancy resolved to raise their child to live a life without limits. This meant not shielding their child from reality, but encouraging her to participate in life as much as possible. Read more


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