Showing posts from 2017

Isaiah in Motion

Isaiah is very much a climber Isaiah is seven, a camera shy, agile, and very much loved answer to a prayer. “Every year on my birthday I prayed for a child,” his mother, Candace, says. And on her birthday, two little boys came to live with her and her husband, a former Marine.  Isaiah was two when he and his brother were placed in their care. Their parents, relatives, were drug addicted, and Isaiah’s babyhood had been spent in a baby seat placed in front of the television. Neglected, they were removed by children’s services and placed in foster care. Isaiah was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and was developmentally far behind. Candace and her husband sought help for Isaiah soon after he arrived home. He began receiving therapy.  In 2013 he came to McKenna Farms. Now he’s thriving with the combination of therapy and love and care at home. “He surprises us a lot. Yesterday he sat down with a book and began reading “A is for apple,” said Candace. “I

Our Mail

Princess Elyse and Tigger Jacob, Halloween 2005 Check out our Halloween photo of one-year-old Jacob and his sister,Elyse! Mail - we all get it. Most of us look froward to it. At Jacob's Fund, our mail, both snail and email, often contains powerful stories like this:  “My son has Down syndrome. He goes to McKenna Farms and with their help he is accomplishing things we were told he never would. A lot of that is due to our Speech Language Therapist introducing us to hippotherapy . . . WOW IT CHANGED OUR LIVES!! He’s like a new kid; I never would have believed it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes. Unfortunately, we are having difficulty paying for it. He presently rides once a week; he should be riding twice a week but we can’t do it.” – Parent of a four year old boy With a Jacob’s Fund ridership, this little boy will be in hippotherapy twice a week and his mom will continue to thrill at his life-changing progress.  This week we’re visiting McKenna Farms in

A Life Changer

Charlie                 If you have a family and your children fall into the typically developing range, you may have two reactions when hearing about a family who has a child with an impairment: 1) I’m glad it isn’t us (followed by a guilty feeling, but the relief persists) and 2) they must be special people to handle that.                 Of course “not being us” is probably a temporary life situation. One birth, one accident, one disease, and many of us, in the two or three generations of our family we are likely to know in our lifetime, will have a close relative with an impairment.                 According to the National Center for Education Statistics, In 2013–14, the number of children and youth ages 3–21 receiving special education services was 6.5 million, or about 13 percent of all public school students. Among students receiving special education services, 35 percent had specific learning disabilities. ( )

Opening up the World

Jacob H. and Mom, Misty We met with Jacob H. and his mom, Misty, at McKenna Farms on a perfect spring morning. Jacob comes early in the day so that his mom can make it to work on time.  As we sat in Maria’s Place, the gazebo that honors the memory of a young woman who also required therapies at McKenna Farms, I recalled his mom’s application letter for a Jacob’s Fund ridership, which began “I am writing to request a scholarship to help out with my son, Jacob, for services not covered by my insurance, at McKenna Farms . . . Jacob is six years old and is nonverbal  . . . (he) is having a great deal of trouble at school because of his disability of being unable to communicate. . . Jacob’s doctor feels the horse therapy will improve his gait.” Though he’s shy and doesn’t talk, I know from the photos Misty has shared with me that he’s a fun-loving little boy who enjoys playing. Officer Jacob H., at your service           Since Jacob’s Fund began, we’ve learned that way too

Goat, Goat!

The Barn at McKenna Farms  You can’t say we weren’t warned. The day before our visit to McKenna Farms, We saw the Facebook post: Nigel, a baby goat, had arrived at the farm.              “Cute,” we thought, “very cute.” We had no idea.             We pulled into the parking lot between school dismissal and dinner time, a very popular time slot. The parking lot was nearly full, and as we rounded the corner of the farmhouse, waiting parents and siblings filled the porches in the warm spring weather, though a number of families had drifted off toward the barn to see the new baby goat.             The last time we were here the new waiting room was nearing completion, piled with furniture. Now we take a look inside, where more parents wait for their children. We’re drawn to the striking painting on the wall, a farm, painted by the grandmother whose granddaughter comes to the farm for therapy.             Then, approaching from the barn, we saw some familiar fac