Matthew’s Story of Hope

Oct 31, 2013 | Uncategorized

Matthew was a typical baby boy. He loved playing and getting into mischief with his brother and sister.

But then, at three and a half years old, Matthew was diagnosed with autism.
As he grew older, Matthew’s behavior became more aggressive. He experienced unpredictable, explosive tantrums and struggled to communicate. He often ran away. His special education teachers felt they could no longer help and sent him home.

Late one night, the police found six-year-old Matthew riding his bike alone in a neighboring town.

Matthew’s autism threw his family into crisis mode. Keeping him out of harm’s way became everyone’s first priority – they were constantly on alert.

“The wheels were falling off the cart,” Matthew’s mother, Lori, says. “We were struggling to help him ourselves because we wanted him at home. But we knew in our hearts that Matthew needed more help than we could provide.”

Thanks to compassionate individuals like you, Matthew and his family found Hope at The Hope Institute for Children and Families.

At Hope, Matthew is thriving in a consistent, structured routine designed just for his needs. His teachers and therapists help him focus, imitate tasks and follow instructions so he can make the most of his classroom learning time. He loves to work on the computer and iPad.

After school, Matthew keeps busy with Drama Club, Youth Council and Boy Scout troop meetings. In his group home, he helps with laundry and cleaning his room – skills that not only prepare him for his new off-campus job, but also for a successful transition to independent living.

The Hope Institute has been caring for special needs children like Matthew since 1957. Our state-of-the-art learning, living and health services offer true hope to children and families facing the extraordinary challenges of autism and other developmental disabilities.

But we could never make this critical difference without the generosity of friends like you.

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

Donate Now

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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