David’s Story of Hope
David is an adorable, 9 year old with big, blue eyes and boundless energy. Like most boys, he loves to roughhouse with his brother and go on family trips to the zoo.
But David can’t tell you about the things he loves because he doesn’t speak. He lives with the effects of severe cognitive impairment, autism and cerebral palsy.
David spent his first five days in neonatal intensive care. His parents had to take an infant CPR class before they could bring their baby home.
“A little later on,” his father, Ray, recalls, “we realized he wasn’t hitting his developmental milestones. He didn’t walk until he was two and a half. And we’re still waiting for him to speak more than a few words.”
“Sometimes,” Ray confides, “when David looks deep into my eyes, I think he wants to say ‘I love you, Dad.’ I’d give anything to hear him say that.”
Ray secured as many therapeutic and educational supports for his son as he could. But as David grew, he developed tantrum behaviors that endangered himself and his family.
Ray worried about what his son’s future would hold. He dreamed that David would live a safe, joyful and independent life someday.
He realized that, no matter how much he loved his son and wanted to care for him at home, he needed expert help so that David could learn, and love life, to the fullest.
But he didn’t know where to turn…until he found The Hope Institute.
Ray and David spent a day at The Hope School and campus – they even had lunch with the students. Ray remembers, “The patience and effort of the teachers and residential aides amazed me. That’s when I knew it was the perfect place for my son.”
David’s so proud of his progress since coming to Hope. The structured routine of his classroom helps decrease his aggressive outbursts so he can focus his attention on learning. His teacher, Stephanie, says “David’s really blossomed. He’s eagerly working and mastering basic reading, math and writing skills.”
At Hope, David uses pictures to communicate and create his daily schedule. He loves to help prepare meals for his group home friends, by measuring and mixing ingredients. He’s learning and growing in so many ways now!
David’s story is just one example of the many hopeful futures you provide children with disabilities through your generous support of The Hope Institute.
Thank you for opening your heart to the special needs of all our boys and girls at The Hope Institute.
At Hope, we support children and families to achieve optimum growth, independence and joy.
The Hope Institute
15 East Hazel Dell Lane
Springfield, IL 62712