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Golisano Autism Center,
What Happens Here Changes Lives Forever
No parent wants to hear that their child has special needs. In an instant, all the hopes and dreams you have for your child are altered. For hundreds of families in our community, this news brings about anger, grief, and fear. Our journey started when we were told that our youngest son, Jack, would most likely never walk or talk. He was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder and would be intellectually and physically disabled.
Thankfully, there are wonderful organizations in our community like Happiness House that assist families in dealing with this type of adversity. They exist to help families put one foot in front of the other when the path isn’t always clear. Happiness House is truly a community asset and a valuable resource that deserves our support.
We are so very appreciative for the compassionate care that Jack has received. We are impressed with the amazing team that has become like family. His teachers, aides, and specialists have loved and cared for Jack and have empowered him to maximize his potential. We are pleased to report that our little boy, the one who would ‘never walk or talk,’ is now walking independently!
Greg and Stephanie Constantino
Our daughter, Scarlett, was born in 2011. Like her siblings, she was developing into a healthy and happy child. However, what we didn’t know is that Scarlett possessed a rare, genetic heart arrhythmia condition called catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. Because of this deadly condition, our little girl suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in 2013 which resulted in an anoxic brain injury from the brain being deprived of oxygen for 10 minutes.
While there are medications and surgical options to help Scarlett reduce the risk of suffering another cardiac arrest, it is the teachers, paraprofessionals, and therapists at CP Rochester’s Augustin Children’s Center who are helping her live a very full life! We were so pleased to find a preschool program that would accept our daughter as any other typically-developing child.
Scarlett is learning, having fun, and interacting with her peers. She and her therapists are working hard to regain some of the abilities she had before her cardiac arrest. Scarlett’s recovery has been steady, and she is progressing beyond our expectations!
My 19 year-old son, Ty Coppola, has Down syndrome. He was born prematurely and came with a counterpart, his twin brother Austin, a typically-developing child. We knew right away our lives were not going to be ‘normal’ anymore, as some people would say. So we had to redefine normal – for our family and the twins.
Integrated programs like those at Happiness House helped us to do that when the kids were young. Our journey started with Happiness House in 1997 when Ty was 18 months old and was evaluated through Happiness House’s Evaluation Clinic. It was such a challenge to coordinate all the services we needed – and it still is! But…Happiness House makes service coordination smoother for us today because of Ty’s Service Coordinator. I know firsthand what a difference Happiness House makes to families like ours.