Jean’s Story of Hope

Mar 26, 2013 | Uncategorized

Jean was a sweet, bright-eyed, baby girl who loved the attention of her brothers and sisters.  But around her first birthday, Jean’s mother and father noticed her “drifting away.”

She stared and was unresponsive.  She wouldn’t imitate others when they played with her.  Her parents sensed something was wrong, so they took her to the doctor.

They were stunned when they heard the diagnosis: autism and cognitive impairment.

On the way home, Jean’s mom, Linda, remembers thinking, “This is still our daughter.  We’re going to do our best because we love her dearly.  She needs us now more than ever.”

They enrolled her in early intervention speech and occupational therapies and observed everything so they’d be able to help their daughter at home. But by the time she was 3, Jean developed violent tantrum behaviors.  She’d scream endlessly, sob, bite and throw herself on the floor.  It was almost impossible to calm her down.

As Jean got bigger, her world – and her family’s – got smaller and smaller.  They had to lock the windows and doors to keep her from wandering outside.  They rarely left the house because of Jean’s constant screaming. And the other children couldn’t have friends over to play.

Linda and her husband desperately wanted their love for Jean to be enough.  But they weren’t professionally trained to care for a child with her severe disabilities and they were concerned about the toll on their other three children.  Slowly, they realized that, no matter how much they wanted to keep her at home, Jean really needed individualized, expert care…

… expert care they found right here at The Hope Institute.

Hope’s specialists immediately knew how to make Jean more comfortable and relaxed so she could learn – and love life – to her fullest.  Her teachers, doctors and therapists constantly perfected the ways they helped Jean and it really shows.  She’s a peaceful, happy and healthy girl today.

Since 1957, The Hope Institute has been caring for children like Jean, who do their best to live with autism and other developmental disabilities.  Our state-of-the-art living, learning and wellness services combine personalized education and leading edge technology, allowing each child to achieve their own greatest potential.

The Hope Institute creates hopeful futures for children like Jean every day.  But we couldn’t provide this critical care without the heartfelt generosity of friends like you.

Thank you for opening your heart to the special needs of Hope’s children.

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About us

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