Robbie’s Story of Hope

Feb 24, 2013 | Uncategorized

Robbie is an adorable boy with big, blue eyes and a wonderful smile. Like most boys, he loves to ride his bike and watch baseball games.

But Robbie can’t tell you about the things he loves because he doesn’t speak. He lives with the effects of severe cognitive impairment, autism, cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder.

“Robbie went through endless tests to understand and address his delays,” his mother, Joan, explains. “He was finally diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of two. But nobody could really tell us anything about his cognitive issues at that point.”

As a single mom, Joan struggled to care for Robbie and his brothers. “I was so worried about Robbie, but I needed to work to support my family,” she says. “I spent a lot of time and money organizing day care and babysitters who could handle Robbie’s special needs.”

As Robbie grew, caring for him at home became more difficult. He was increasingly frustrated by his inability to communicate, and that frustration turned into violent behavior. “It was dangerous,” admits Joan. “I was concerned for everyone’s safety.”

Joan worried about what her son’s future would hold. She dreamed that Robbie would live a safe, joyful and independent life someday. She knew she needed expert help so that Robbie could learn, and love life, to the fullest.

Finally, Robbie and his mother found the help they so desperately needed, right here at The Hope Institute.

The Hope Institute has been caring for children like Robbie since 1957. Our personalized living, learning and wellness services offer true hope to children and families facing the extraordinary challenges of developmental disabilities.

But we could never make this critical difference in so many young lives without the help of caring friends like you.

Robbie’s proud of his tremendous progress since coming to Hope – and you should be, too. Robbie’s therapists and teachers helped him learn to communicate more effectively by pointing and signing, so he can better control his behavior. And, now that his mood is calmer, Robbie is enjoying many extra-curricular and social activities.

“In fact, Robbie’s so active now,” Joan says, “it’s sometimes hard to schedule a visit! But I couldn’t be happier knowing his life is so rewarding and fulfilling. Hope has really opened the door to a future of possibilities for my son.”

Robbie’s story is just one example of the many hopeful futures you provide children with disabilities through your generous support of The Hope Institute.

Robbie, and all of us here at The Hope Institute, thank you for bringing Hope into their young lives.

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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