CPNJ / Horizon High School asked us to make a donation on #GivingTuesday and to take an “UNselfie” sharing what inspired us to donate.
“What does Jack do at school?” is a question I’m often asked. I usually answer, “Jack does what every other 16 year-old boy does – he hangs with his peeps and flirts with pretty girls.”
In fact, Jack does a lot more at Horizon High School. He gets therapy (PT, OT, and Speech). He has classes in Science, Career Skills, Social Studies, Language Arts, Life Skills, Drama, World Cultures, Art, Music, Technology, and Math. He works at the school store. He participates in modified sports. He attends dances and parties and plays. He goes on field trips to Trader Joes to practice “appropriate behaviors” (although I think that might be more hanging and flirting).
After The PG Chambers School we were concerned that we wouldn’t find a good fit for our boy as he entered his high school years. There are no schools for ALD boys post transplant – no schools designed for handsome young men who understand inappropriate humor but can’t speak or reliably use the bathroom. We did find several schools that could handle Jack’s needs but Horizon had something that the others were missing. They approach school the way that Jack approaches life – with GUSTO!
Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey (CPNJ) runs programs for people of all ages with all sorts of “complicated” issues. And, they treat each of those people with respect and devotion. Monica (Jack’s one/one aide and a friend) often sends home pictures of Jack during the day. Whether it’s him in the classroom, planting in the garden, or rockin’ out at a dance party he always has a huge smile on his face. THANK YOU CPNJ FOR CONTINUING THE SMILES!
Love the BLOG. As Mom to a thirteen year old daughter with multiple disabilities, I truly have lived in a similar world. Sometimes it is a world of fear, sometimes one of overwhelming joy, but it is one that few people understand and one which is very difficult to talk honestly about. When people say to me, “I don’t know how you do it” my stock reply is as follows: “You do what you have to do for the people you love.” The truth is that no one ever gave me a choice. Thank you for your honest and heartfelt words. Hope to see you around school.