Celebrating the lives of children
with developmental disabilities
Dr. Nyre’s Heart of Hope
Contents Every day we see children with developmental disabilities struggle
Angel of Hope ............................... 2 with basic life tasks that you and I take for granted. These children
Hope Is Counting On You inspire us to work hard to ensure we care for their every need.
Travis Finds His Voice Hope’s work is not without its own struggles. Right now we are in the
Living ............................................ 4 midst of an unseen effort to maintain adequate state funding for our
Supporting Struggling Youth programs and services.
Taking Care ................................... 5 The state of Illinois counts on Hope to provide children with
Hope’s New Dental Clinic
developmental disabilities the kind of specialized educational,
Discovering Hope.......................... 6
Helping Adults with Autism
residential and healthcare services that it cannot. The state funds
Hope to do so.
Hope’s Children Depend on You .... 7
Become an Angel of Hope But Illinois is in financial crisis. Human service organizations like Hope
Giving the Gift of Hope ..............7-8 often are the first to be affected by public fund shortages. That’s why
Hope’s Generous Supporters we always are on high alert for funding cuts.
Hope has a long-term financial plan. We are saving and spending
money wisely to ensure the continuation of our services even when
the state is unable to do the same.
Last summer, the state told Hope we would need to send home 41 of
our most severely compromised children. Immediately we called their
parents and vowed to fight to protect their children. Still, nothing we
said could quiet their fears that their children would lose the gains
they have made at Hope. Some said they likely would need to quit
their jobs to care for their children.
One mother asked through tears, “Are you telling me our tax dollars
can go to rescue big companies … but a child with life-threatening
health conditions will have services discontinued?”
Sadly, I was left to say yes.
This mother’s fear and anger captures why Hope refused to back
down in the face of budget cuts. And why we constantly reevaluate
how we spend money to ensure the support you give directly
improves the lives of Hope children.
Thank you for your continued support of the children of Hope. Your
Hope weathered a state ﬁnancial friendship has never been more important.
crisis to protect the care of children
like Kristyn. She has cerebral palsy
and a seizure disorder requiring
the kind of one-on-one support
only Hope can provide.
Dr. Joseph E. Nyre
A publication of The Hope Institute for Children and Families, formerly known as The Hope School
Angel of Hope
Hope Is Counting On You
Could you be an Angel?
Absolutely! Angels of Hope are devoted In fact, The Hope Institute takes into
friends who support Hope’s children with account the support of our generous
regularly scheduled gifts. Angels when determining its annual
budget. Angels help make sure
The frequency and amount of your gifts thousands of children struggling with
is completely up to you. And, because developmental disabilities have access
your Angel of Hope commitment to Hope’s state-of-the-art educational,
reduces other Hope requests for your residential and healthcare services.
support, your donation helps us cut
printing and mailing costs. Your gift will do more good than you
could ever imagine!
Hope counts on its Angels.
Become an Angel of Hope today. It is
easy! Just fill out the reply card on page
7 and mail it with your first gift. Or
visit www.thehopeinstitute.us to donate
Thank you for being an Angel to Hope’s
David and Dr. Joe Nyre,
explore nature on Hope’s
To refer a child
The Hope Institute
me is a publication of The Hope Institute for Children and
or to learn more
Families. For inquiries or comments, please contact us at
217-585-5119, www.thehopeinstitute.us or about Hope services,
PO Box 2817, Springﬁeld, IL 62708-2817. please call
Writing by Courtney Reed
Photography by Kimberly Smoot
and Suzanne Plunkett
2 Spring 2010
Travis Finds His Voice In Hope’s Chicago Program
Travis had not spoken since age two. People believed he never would. Children
who fail to develop language by age ﬁve rarely ever speak.
But something extraordinary happened appropriate social interaction. Hope’s
to Travis at age 14. At The Hope behavior specialists are helping Travis
Institute’s Chicago program for students learn to use words to connect with
with autism – he found his voice. classmates and communicate his
thoughts and needs, such as saying hello
“I always thought he had the ability to instead of grabbing or poking.
talk but something was holding him
back,” says Gail, his mom, who lacked Surprisingly for a young man his
access to experts who might have helped mother describes as shy, Travis’ favorite
her break through Travis’ barrier. communication tool is the karaoke
machine. Individuals who have difficulty
Her son communicated by gesturing and speaking words often can sing them.
pointing. He always smiled, so Gail never Travis’ words have brought him another
knew how he really was feeling … except benefit – improved self-esteem. He does
when it came to school. Travis fell far not give up like he once did.
behind his classmates.
Travis, now 17, brought his mom to tears
“He struggled and gave up quickly,” Gail when, in a deep baritone voice, he sang a
says. “He often became frustrated, left solo at a recent classroom program.
his class and shut himself off completely,
which made things worse.” “I couldn’t
believe it. I was
No one could reach Travis. Then his so happy,” Gail
school directed Gail to one of Hope’s says. “Finally I
Chicago educational programs specially was hearing the
designed for children with developmental voice he had
disabilities. kept hidden all
“We had been told Travis couldn’t speak
or read,” says Cathy Witczak, Travis’
teacher. “Then we began hearing him
sing words to songs. He has worked
hard to develop his words and is putting
Travis is talking now. speak, his family
Unique to Hope’s program for children beautiful singing
with autism, behavior specialists work voice hidden
alongside teachers to encourage within.
communication, independence and
me magazine 3
Hope’s Residential Program Helps Stabilize Struggling Youth
Youth at Hope live in one of ﬁve on-campus or 11 community homes. Continuity
of care from Hope classrooms to homes help youth like Brigitte learn how to live
successfully with the debilitating effects of their disabilities.
Long ago Brigitte was a happy girl, an Coordinator. “One year later she is
artist, musically and mathematically forming relationships with other girls in
inclined. But that little girl is gone, swept her home.”
away by autism and its havoc.
A team of Hope teachers, therapists
By age seven Brigitte was unable to and direct care staff created a plan
communicate and became aggressive. for structure and behavioral support
By age 14 the aggression turned into across all areas of Brigitte’s life, from
violence that her mom Michelle was school to her campus home. This 24/7
powerless to stop. intensive care is helping her learn to
communicate and calm herself.
“When Brigitte was small I could hold
and calm her when she became upset,” Brigitte’s mom lives one hour from
Michelle says. “As a teenager it took five Hope, but that does not stop her from
to 10 people to restrain her.” actively engaging in her daughter’s care
and rehabilitation. Recently Michelle
Michelle lived in fear for her own safety asked the Hope team to help her create
and Brigitte’s. She slept with the house a plan for Brigitte when she visits home.
keys in her
pocket to keep “I know Hope is succeeding with Brigitte
Brigitte from because they’re getting through the
running off. The day with no behavior incidents and I
day her daughter lived with 10 a day,” she says. “I want
bent a full-size to figure out how to get her behavior
door in rage, under control at home so she can be a
Michelle knew part of our family again.
help. She turned “I know Brigitte needs to be at Hope
to The Hope right now, but I want my daughter back,”
Institute. she adds.
“When Brigitte Michelle may not have to wait too
arrived, she long. Brigitte is mastering self-care
isolated herself,” and independent living tasks – all with
says Joan greatly reduced aggressive episodes.
Hope Program “Hope is working,” she says.
Brigitte is enjoying life once again. In Hope’s vocational workshop, Brigitte
prepares Formica® sample boards that will be distributed to dealers across
4 Spring 2010
New Hope Dental Clinic Fills Healthcare Gap For Youth With Disabilities
Kurtis would not open his mouth for anyone. Tooth brushing was a daily battle;
ﬁlling a cavity or extracting a tooth impossible.
Lynn, Kurtis’ mom, took desperate On Kurtis’ first visit, he sat on the dental
measures to ensure his oral health. She chair’s edge. On the second, he sat in
paid $700 to hire a nurse anesthetist for the chair and looked at instruments. On
one procedure; her private insurance the fifth, he allowed Kim to clean and
refused coverage. Kurtis did not need it, polish his teeth.
“I can hardly believe she got it done,”
But Kurtis did need it. He has autism, Lynn says. “Kurtis proved me to be a liar
does not speak and becomes aggressive and that’s fabulous.”
when fearful. His dentist was unable
Hope’s Dental Clinic has enabled
treat Kurtis without anesthesia.
Kurtis to experience success, often
So when Lynn heard Kurtis had an a rare occurrence for children with
appointment at Hope’s new Dental developmental disabilities. His resulting
Prevention and Intervention Clinic at Noll confidence transferred to a social
Medical Pavilion, she thought, “If they experience. Kurtis works at the YMCA,
can, that’s great … but there’s no way it’s where he saw Dental Hygienist Kim.
going to happen.”
“He tapped on my shoulder and waved
Oral healthcare is off-putting for children to me,” she says. “When I first met
with developmental disabilities. It Kurtis he could barely make eye contact.
invades personal space; instruments Now he’s connecting with me and
make odd sounds; lights are bright; that’s why I love my work. I’ve made a
smells are unfamiliar. These children difference in his life.”
require multiple visits to become
comfortable before they can receive
“While most dentists would love to
help children with special needs,
operating a private practice that
way is not possible,” says Kim
Trapani, Hope’s Dental Hygienist.
“Private insurance doesn’t cover
multiple visits and Medicaid doesn’t
come close to covering costs.”
Hope’s Clinic, funded by donations,
can support multiple visits.
Any child with developmental
disabilities may visit the Clinic,
regardless of ability to pay.
Kim Trapani, Hope’s Dental Hygienist,
polishes Kurtis’ teeth – a feat his mother
doubted would ever happen.
me magazine 5
The Autism Program Reaches Nationwide to Help Adults with Autism
The Autism Program of Illinois, The Hope Institute, partnering with Autism
Speaks, The New York Center for Autism and other leaders, launched Advancing
Futures for Adults with Autism to plan for the futures of adults with autism. For
more information, visit www.afaa-us.org.
Jacob is only nine, but already his parents Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley opened
are worried about his future … with good this first-ever conference live in Chicago
reason. Few services exist for adults with and via teleconference to 16 other cities.
Hundreds of participants in major cities
“In the blink of an eye he will be 18,” like Philadelphia and Dallas discussed
says Jacob’s mom Becky. “Where will he topics such as housing and employment.
live and work? How will connect to the Small-group moderators uploaded
community?” ideas to autism experts in Chicago, who
determined common themes and asked
Within the next 10 years, an participants nationwide to prioritize them
unprecedented number of youth with via simultaneous keypad voting. Final
autism will enter adulthood. The race recommendations will be presented to the
against time has begun to ensure adult U.S. Congress.
autism services are available – and The
Autism Program (TAP), operated by The Becky and her husband BJ drove three
Hope Institute, is leading the pack. hours to attend because they wanted to
know what is – and is not – happening to
TAP brought together 2,000 parents, plan for the futures of children like Jacob.
experts and individuals with autism in a
national town hall meeting to create a “No plan exists to help people with
national agenda for adults with autism. developmental disabilities secure
affordable housing,” Becky says. “How
will we keep these vulnerable adults from
falling to the edge of society?”
Becky and BJ know about society’s edge.
They have felt alone trying to help Jacob.
but he shares
an especially In crisis, Becky Googled “autism family
tender help” and found TAP offering behavior
relationship therapy and social skills groups to help
with his Jacob communicate and make friends.
brother Having stabilized their family, Becky and
Joshua, age BJ are turning to TAP’s national efforts.
“For Jacob, I want what every parent wants
– college, a career and independence,”
Becky says. “TAP is helping thousands of
parents make that happen.”
6 Spring 2010
Hope’s Children Depend on You
Become an Angel of Hope
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Giving the Gift of Hope
Hope’s Generous Event Supporters
We wish to thank our special friends who have provided major support to The
Hope Institute’s fundraising events.
5Flavors Catering Brian and Kate Flanagan
Ameren CILCO Kevin Flood
Appearances Salon & Retreat Frye-Williamson Press, Inc.
Asthma Allergy Center, Sudha Prasad MD FWAI Architects Inc.
Don and Linda Bast The Gallery Hair & Body Spa
Robert and Carolyn Blackwell Hanson Professional Services, Inc.
Kevin and Courtney Boehm William and MaryPat Hay
BOKA Restaurant Group Heartland Credit Union
Brandt Consolidated, Inc. Ronald N. Heftman, P .C.
Brown, Hay & Stephens, LLP Henson Robinson Company
Butler Funeral Homes & Cremation Tribute Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Center Illinois National Bank
Bill and Julie Cellini Kerber, Eck & Braeckel, LLP
J.P Morgan Chase
. Kimberly Smoot Photography
CMFI Group King Technology, Inc.
Ginny Conlee Kinzie Chophouse
Kimberly Copp and Paul Ballam Judy and Bob Kjellander
Nancy DeMarco James Lathim, Shear Artistry
Brian Duncan, Bin 36 Suzy LeClair
Edward Jones-Springfield Area Financial Levi, Ray and Shoup Foundation
Advisors Mary Frisk Loken
Bill and Susan Enlow
Nicki Pecori and Alderman Bob Fioretti continued on back cover
me magazine 7
The US POSTAGE
Hfor Children and Families
OPE INSTITUTE PAID
PERMIT NO 799
15 East Hazel Dell Lane
PO Box 2817
Springfield, IL 62708-2817
Giving the Gift of Hope continued from page 7
Hope’s Generous Event Supporters
Nancy Long Shefsky & Froelich Ltd., Cid and Mary Froelich
Heather Lubin Sikich, LLP
Sidney and Natalie Marder SIU School of Medicine, Division of Child and
Marine Bank, Springfield Adolescent Neurology
Mary Michelle Winery Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois
Dawn McCarthy Dan and Judy Stevens
Jim and Annette McDermott Chris and Erin Stone
David McEntee and Sharon Coughlin Sue Stone
Mercy Home for Boys & Girls Streamwood Behavioral Health Center
Michael Minton Judy and Ted Sunder
Joyce and Steven Nardulli Chef Giuseppe Tentori, Perennial
Niemczyk Painting & Papering Co. Karun and Curtis Tillett
Peter and Mimi O’Brien Tobin Jewelers
O’Brien’s Restaurant Helen Tolan
Party Creations Joseph and Candace Townsend
Pearson Lori Vallelunga and John Galik
Satch and Rosemary Pecori Rita and Jack Victor
Howard & Beverly Peters Chef Paul Virant, Vie Restaurant
Tom and Lori Pritchett Wal-Mart
Andrew Raucci and Christine Dudley Joseph and Jean Wilkins
Renken Dentistry Terry and Georgia Winson
Patti Riggs Zara’s Collision Center
Michael Robillard Joseph and Ellen Zerega
R.W. Troxell & Company ZZAZZ Productions
Scott & Scott, P.C.
If you would like to learn more about The Hope Institute’s 2010 events, please visit
our website at www.thehopeinstitute.us or call 217-585-5119.