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Jacob's story began when his family connected with The Center to address speech differences at the age of three. They chose to pursue other options, only to return to The Center at age 10, ready to commit to the treatment of the whole Jacob.

Now 18, Jacob is a Therapy Aid for The Center and is helping other kids like himself. In his own words, he tells us about his own treatment and the progress he's made…

As a Therapy Aid, Jacob is able to vary his play based on the child’s developmental level.
As a Therapy Aid, Jacob is able to vary his play based on the child’s developmental level.

"The Center has really helped me so much and I want to pay it forward to the next kid."

The Center has really helped me so much and I want to pay it forward to the next kid. I understand kids well, even if it’s not my situation. I know what they’ve been through. It makes me feel really good to be able to help the next kid. We’re all going through the same thing in a way just with different details. 

For school, I am doing online school. I have a tutor. Once I got a tutor that helped because I usually do well with one-on-one learning. It really is about what works best for each kid: playing to their strengths and helping them out in their weaknesses. For me, it’s one-on-one learning and doing online school, not being in a classroom. But also I can’t do that forever so that’s what the therapy is about: to help me with things that are not my strong suit. 

"Jacob has been immensely helpful with joining in on sessions and relating to kids. Kids feel safe with him and he knows how to motivate them in activities that the therapist is working on."

Speech-Language Pathologist

With Dr. Eric, I usually talk about what’s going on in my life. It helps to get it out to someone else that can help me get through it and guide me. I talk to him and he helps give me strategies for how to approach my problems the next time. After a while I have started to apply the strategies and that’s how I got to where I am today. The medication is part of the treatment, but it’s not the whole thing. It’s not just a miracle that will help you automatically. The therapy approach is a combination of so many things. It’s a balance of finding the right things with your siblings, school, friends, everything in your life.

With speech therapy, it really is helping me in school with planning and everything. With the planning part, I could never get a school plan down. I just went at it randomly. With my English class, I wasn’t really good at writing and reading aloud, so I'm getting better at that. 

Molly Buist and Jacob, back in the day.
Molly Buist and Jacob, back in the day.

I’m getting better. I’m not perfect but I'm getting to the stage where I don't have as many meltdowns. Everything is getting better through time. I’m very pleased with where my progress is at. Recently, the staff at The Center was showing pictures of themselves from years ago. When I shared pictures of myself, I couldn’t believe how much I’ve grown. Not only physically, but also in lots of other areas. 

I still want to become an occupational therapist. I want to finish high school, save up money for college, and work on becoming an OT. I really want to work on reaching my dream, and everyone around here helps me with that. 

The people at The Center have helped me immensely because I have support and people to guide me. I remember an old saying: It takes a village to raise a child. Everyone helping me at The Center is my village. 

“We need more graham crackers
and more Jacob.”

Client at The Center

If you have concerns about your child's development don't hesitate to contact us. We can help you decide whether an evaluation is necessary.