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|Meet Quintin & Juniper.|
“The most interesting people you’ll find are ones that don’t fit into your average cardboard box. They’ll make what they need, they’ll make their own boxes,” –Dr. Temple Grandin
When Quin came to Imagine A Way, he was 2 and a half years old. He had no words. His only method of communicating was crying and screaming. He had no awareness of danger. His parents, Lisa and Jon, constantly feared that he would run in front of a moving car, drown or leave somewhere with a stranger.
“But we knew Quin was in there and we needed to do everything we could to get him out.” –Jon (Quin and Juniper’s Dad)
When Quin’s sister, Juniper, was 2 years old, she was also diagnosed with autism. Juniper’s sensory issues were an enormous struggle. Simple things like transitioning from one activity to the next, would lead to heartbreaking meltdowns. The stress of having 2 children on the autism spectrum is enough to drive a family apart, but Lisa and Jon were determined to stay together. When a family finds out that the therapy needed to help their children is not affordable, it is devastating.
“We have a diagnosis. We know what’s wrong. We know how to treat it, as much as you can treat it, and the only thing standing between those things is money.” –Lisa (Quin and Juniper’s mom)
With two small children who both needed expensive therapy, Jon did whatever he could to bring in more money. He worked his full-time job as a police officer and then worked 90 hours a month of over-time. The family took out a loan and refinanced cars. Jon was constantly working and was missing critical time with his family.
“A child with autism has a hard time connecting. We took away the one person they needed to connect with the most. We had to because he had to work. That’s when it became devastating.” –Lisa
Imagine A Way began to sponsor both children.
Today Quin is 6 years old and is communicating at a level that Lisa and Jon never thought they would see. With each milestone in communication, behaviors like crying, hitting and kicking decrease. His family is no longer in a place of survival. Quin is now working on complex social skills like how to be a friend and how to talk about problems in a respectful way.
Recently, Quin was grounded for turning on the TV without permission and lying to his parents about it. His parents were thrilled! When his mom and dad talked about the number of days he would lose privileges, Quin said, “Well, I hope it’s just one day.”
To progress from a child who did not speak to a child who understands morals and poor choices is an amazing thing. Juniper has also had amazing progress. Where Juniper once struggled with language, she now speaks at the same level as her peers. She has also developed into a little girl who is artistic and creative. She spends hours coloring and drawing self-portraits.
“Juniper delights everyone she meets, is begging to start dance classes and wants to be a ballet teacher when she grows up.” –Jon
Imagine A Way has given this family more than just therapy. It has given the gift of time to be together as a family.
“It has given us back a dad who can be with us. How can I ever express enough gratitude for someone who has helped me connect with my child?” –Lisa
Save the Date
October 12, 2017
Stephen F. Austin Hotel, Austin, TX
If you are unable to join us, please consider making a donation for the continued work of Imagine A Way! We appreciate your support