Three days after Gram was born we discovered he had Down Syndrome. My husband and I were overwelmed. We wanted to learn as much as we could about his condition. From previous experience with my students at Episcopal High School volunteering at Hope Haven and from talking to people we knew we realized Hope Haven Children's Clinic was the place to start. We needed to talk with someone with experience who could help us. I will always be greatful to Laura Watts and Hope Haven for the immediate support we recieved and are continuing to recieve. This nonprophet organization is top notch. They do a great job of serving families with challenged children in regard to community support as well as some financial help. Each of the therapists Gram has worked with has been excellent. The facilities have expanded and more programs are being added due to community need.
My son has mild Autism, and he went to a special needs daycare as a preschooler. But once he reached school age, my only option for summers was my mom, who was a teacher. My mom was a doting grandmother, but I knew I couldn't keep sending him to stay with her every summer indefinitely, and had been looking into other options. I had heard of Hope Haven before, but did not know how great the staff was, until the summer of 2008, when I had no other options, as my mom had passed away in November of 2007. Still reeling from that hearbreak, I enrolled him in the summer camp at Hope Haven. Best decision I ever made. And even though my dad is retired now, and my son could spend summers with him, I will still take him to Hope Haven for Summer Camp, Winter Break, and Spring Break. He always needs help with his social skills, and Hope Haven provides the reinforcement he needs to improve them.
We have used many services from Hope Haven over the past nine years. Nine years ago, our youngest son was born with Down Syndrome. From the very beginning we were placed in contact with the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville, which was located at Hope Haven Children's Clinic. Our oldest child was diagnosed with ADD and later with Asperger's Syndrome. We have also used many services to help him deal with socialization issues, medications and other health issues. Some of the services we have received over the years include: Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Computer based training in the summers, Socialization training, educational evaluations, developmental evaluations, physicals, perscriptions, etc. We have also received many scholarships from Hope Haven to help offset the financial costs for the services we have received. The people, facilities and services are always outstanding. We highly recommend this facility to anyone who has children with special needs.
The BASICS program, presented through Hope Haven, has enriched my son's life beyond words. The staff is very creative in the development and presentation of programs and activities that are designed for their clients. They look to prepare them for future endeavors through opportunities for learning and real life expereinces. My son has developed lasting friendships and the staff has cultivated his love of sports. The annual Summer Camp is fun, fun, fun. Everyone, staff and participants have a wonderful time.
My daughter loves going to Hope Haven. I love it also. She receives speech therapy there and computer tutoring. We started going over a year ago and my daughter has shown tremendous growth in that time. All the people that work with her are kind and caring and yet get her to do her work. I love the annual review, it helps me set my goals for her for the coming year.
Hope Haven has been a heaven sent. Since discovering Hope Haven's summer camp that met every need of my special needs child, I feel like the group has educated me, more than my son. The group picks up my son from school, has structured activities and works with my son on homework. They have provided information that assisted us in finding the right school for my sons needs. They have formed special events like summer camps with their councilors acting as an integral part, this gave me tremendous faith in my sons safety, as well as the assurance that he would fully enjoy the trip. If your child has special needs this is definitely a group you should talk to.
The focus on education versus therapuetic results is very different from clinics in my area. All of the therapists we have seen have offered meaningful and easily implementable suggestions to attain specific goals related to my childs education. I especially like having the evaluation with an Educator who has seen many children with DS and can offer tried and true suggestions for improvements in various educational abilities. Great Clinic! We'll go back.
We visited Hope Haven in 2009 for the first time when my son was 9 months old. Laura Watts and her staff made us feel very comfortable. The therapists are very knowledgeable and gave us many activities to help our son. After our visit, we received a packet from the staff with wven more ways to help our son. I highly recommend a visit to Hope Haven to any family that has a child with Down Syndrome.
My 12 year old daughter has had annual evaluations at Hope Haven since she was about 1 1/2 years old. We always get practical ideas to help her progress educationally, physically and emotionally. All of the staff are very positive and encouraging. My daughter loves seeing everyone each year. She loves how much they make the evaluations all about her and what she can do and not about what she cannot do. My husband and I always leave feeling that we are making a difference in our daughter's life. I would recommend that anyone who has a child with Down Syndrome go for at least an annual evaluation. You will be glad you did.
We have been bringing my son to Hope Haven for the last several years. We drive 3 1/2 hours all the way from Tampa. It is such a positive experience everytime that we go. They look at what he can do and not what he can't and make recommendation to build on the positive. He always has so much fun, especially in the PT room. He is 7 and we plan on going back many more time.
We have traveled to Jacksonville from Gainesville (1.5 hour drive) several times over the last few years to take our daughter to visit Hope Haven. Becca has Down syndrome and is now 6 years old. We have taken her for the 4 part, 4 hour evaluation that includes physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and an educational consultation. There is also a 5 part eval that includes time with a medical doctor, but we have not used that one. We LOVE Hope Haven! They are so positive in a practical and constructive way. They offer tips ranging from using playground games to strengthen muscles to emphasizing visual rather than auditory learning. For both kindergarten and 1st grade, I've made copies of sections out of the Hope Haven report for Becca as an introduction for her teachers. I explain that it reflects our hopes and philosophy about inclusion.
Our daughter first came to Hope Haven when she was just a year old and we have been back nearly every year since. Hope Haven offers a positive view of your child's condition and assists in providing the best possible therapeutic and educational opportunties for you to use at home. Hope Haven also gives detailed reports on their findings, which give a fresh perspective on your child and give new insight on ways to help in their everyday environment. We will continue to come back year year for more information on how to best help our daughter reach for the stars!
I was introduced to Hope Haven when my son was only a few weeks old. We had found out at birth that he has Down syndrome. I called to make an appointment for his initial evaluations and Marie was so kind and compassionate and called me back promptly with appointment times. When we arrived at Hope Haven, we were greeted warmly by Marie and Laura and all the staff. They were so excited to see and hold our new baby! We found the facilities to be inviting as well. We were given so much practical help concerning our son's gross motor, fine motor, oral motor/feeding & cognitive development from our evaluations with the physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and the director of Hope Haven's Down Syndrome Center. They also gave us a booklet outlining how we could begin to help with our son's development even though he was only an infant. We were amazed at how much could be done so early in life! These evaluations are available to families both in the Jacksonville area and out of town, out of state or even out of country. Since we do live in town, we were very interested in also having Hope Haven provide our son's weekly therapies. Hope Haven is out of network for us with our insurance, so we initially only did his physical therapy there and went elsewhere for occupational and speech therapies. We could see such a difference in the quality of the therapists and the therapy for our son at Hope Haven, that it wasn't long before we began using Hope Haven for all his therapies. We have always appreciated the positive attitude at Hope Haven. No one talks about how far behind a typical child our son's development is. They just focus on where he is in his developement and what the next step is. We have also been very pleased with evaluations, occupational therapy, and social skills class for our 6 yr old son who has sensory processing disorder and low muscle tone.
My son was diagnosed as having Down Syndrome when he was one month old after having been born at 28 weeks. I know the state run Early Steps program would eventually be an option for receiving therapies, but they are slow to get the process started. I was able to start receiving therapies from Hope Haven almost immediately. Their therapists there are amazing!!! My son had a lot of feeding issues and their speech therapists did a fabulous job helping him overcome those problems. Kris, their physical therapist, is one of the best I've ever seen. I feel so very blessed to have Hope Haven in my community and I know they had so much to do with how well my son is doing now.