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Jill’s House has been our saving grace.

Our family knew about Jill’s House well before McKenna had reached the eligible age—so you bet I was very proactive in filling out McKenna’s paperwork before she turned six, to ensure she qualified for a stay as soon as her birthday hit!

It’s been three fun years of quarterly weekend visits and camps since then. McKenna just turned nine years old, and Jill’s House continues to be a space that brings her so much joy. It’s hard to find activities that she can participate in and that she enjoys, and we SO desire that for her. She is non-ambulatory, non-verbal, and has sensory processing issues—all of which make it very difficult for her to be in social settings. That has a ripple effect on our family: because she can get upset in those settings, it limits our family’s ability to socialize, hang out with neighbors, and build new friendships. This especially has an effect on her brother’s childhood—so when McKenna is at Jill’s House, he can finally have his own sleepover at our house!

Despite being non-verbal, McKenna is very expressive. There’s a lot about Jill’s House that makes her quite
literally scream for joy!
McKenna loves to be in the water, so when the pool is open it’s a happy day for McKenna! Because she loves any kind of movement, the playground swings and, Adventure Heights are another highlight for her. At home, she loves watching the Jill’s House YouTube channel. All ofthe videos make her smile, so even though she can’t say so, she must absolutely love it.

Simply the idea of Jill’s House is comforting to her. Because McKenna brings her suitcase during her stays, she associates Jill’s House with her suitcase tag. Noticing this, I actually laminated a bunch of Jill’s House tags for McKenna to take to school with her as a calming tool. When we’ve needed to soothe
her after having a sensory episode, one of our strategies is to redirect her by talking about Jill’s House and bringing her back to a happy place!

She even knows our route to Jill’s House—once we get on the beltway, as soon as she sees the signs for the EZ-Pass, she knows we’re going to Jill’s House and starts to scream with joy in the car! Even though McKenna doesn’t talk, she is vocalizing her excitement about what is to come.

All this to say that Jill’s House is a safe, nurturing, and also a comforting space that blesses not only McKenna, but our entire family. Thank you so much for all you have done to bring this organization here—Jill’s House has been such a blessing for our family. We do not take it for granted that we live so close and the fact that this kind of care is even available to us—Jill’s House is not in every city, county, state. Because of you, this gift in our lives is practically in our backyard. It has made more of a difference in our lives than I could ever express.

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 © 2018 Jill’s House

Enjoy this story? Share it with your friends or read more like it!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
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Twitter
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LinkedIn

 © 2018 Jill’s House