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Rankin Family

January 29  |  3 minute read

There is so much to love about PJ. She is tender-hearted and intelligent. She shows a huge amount of affection and understands a lot (you think she can’t understand you, and then she does something related to what you’re talking about). She loves to joke around, but is also sensitive enough to pick up on other people’s emotions—I feel very connected to her emotionally. On top of all that, we cannot keep PJ home! She is an extremely active girl, so we pack her life with activities, whether that’s a walk around the national mall or a trip to the zoo. This is why Jill’s House is perfect for PJ—she doesn’t have a long attention span, so the fact that there are lots of options (lots for space for both indoor and outdoor activities) is great. She’s a fan of all the activities, from basketball to the moon-bounce. She enjoys your chapel too, and loves to look at books, so the library is another favorite space for her.

We first heard about Jill’s House when PJ was too young to attend, but people kept saying, “You need to look into it!” We waited until she was 7 years old to apply, and since then it’s been really wonderful. My first impression of Jill’s House was how beautiful the building is, and how impressive it is that the program is very organized in every way. You truly take care of all the details. I’ve always enjoyed the calls with the nurses about PJ, when they’re concerned about her and want to know how she’s doing. I look forward to the notes that come home with her, detailing what happened in her day. That really helps me feel comfortable. The staff has such a positive attitude toward PJ: they want to work with her and other kids with differences. We have really appreciated participating in family activities such as the Christmas event and Ticonderoga Farms Fall Festival.

The period between March (when Jill’s House shut down due to the pandemic) and coming back to Jill’s House was hard for us. Having PJ and our other two kids home has quite interfered with my work, and my husband’s work was also disrupted. On top of trying to navigate working without receiving any help from caregivers, PJ became more aggressive and tried to leave the house—like I mentioned, we can’t keep her home! Besides Jill’s House, not a lot of our other resources are open right now, so our options for care are limited. That makes us appreciate Jill’s House all the more. The weeks PJ came back over the summer, my husband and I were actually able to work, finally exercise, and take care of ourselves a little bit.

And PJ was so happy to go back! PJ keeps saying “bus” over and over because she just wants to go on the bus to school. Since that’s not an option, PJ was delighted to be able to go to Jill’s House. She’s very social—she loves to be out and about with people, she’s very extroverted, so her being alone in the house is her worst case scenario! For PJ, it’s been terrific to be in a community in which she’s set up to find more friends who also have special needs.

Another wonderful thing about Jill’s House is that it is more cost effective. Not all places oordinate with Medicaid, so other options are more financially prohibitive. I am so appreciative of the place Jill’s House has in the life of our family, and grateful for the people who make that possible. Thank you so much for your financial generosity in honor of children like PJ!

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 © 2018 Jill’s House

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

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 © 2018 Jill’s House