Meet Jase, our 2017 Ambassador
On February 19th, 2013, Renee and Chris Jury welcomed their first child, Jase Christopher Jury, into the world one day before his due date. Although Renee had a challenging pregnancy with constant nausea and weight loss, the birth of Jase was natural and without complications. Jase had some jaundice as an infant, but no major health concerns.
“Jase was a healthy, happy, baby,” said Renee. “Other than the jaundice and not sleeping much at all for the first 8 months, we really had no concerns.” But by 18 months old, Jase suddenly began to lose his speech and social skills, and Renee and Chris became concerned.
“Out of the blue he stopped saying words and responding to his name, became a very picky eater and became scared of interacting with others,” said Chris. “We knew something was wrong.” Chris and Renee addressed these concerns with Jase’s pediatrician at the time, but were told to come back in 6 months.
“It is common for friends, family members and even doctors in some cases, to dismiss early developmental concerns with responses like, “he will grow out of it, it’s a boy thing, etc.” said Paula Williamson, Director of Therapy for SRRC. “However, about 1 in 6 children have a developmental delay of some kind and only about half of those seek early intervention services. It is sad how many children
are missing out on the benefits of early therapy.”
Several months before his third birthday, after constant ear infections and no improvement in his development, Renee and Chris decided to seek a second opinion. They brought Jase to Dr. Marchini in Ottawa and Jase was diagnosed with Autism.
“I worked with Jase in Developmental Therapy, and he attended our Toddler Class in Ottawa,” said Kelly Bault, Developmental Therapist at SRRC. “I visited Jase in his home once a week, and he attended Toddler Class twice a week. I started noticing improvement in his speech, focus and social skills right away.”
The Toddler class is offered in Ottawa, Princeton and Peru and is open to all 2 year olds, with and without special needs. Class activities include playing, sharing, art and speech. It is a great opportunity to work on developmental milestones and social skills in a group setting. “Jase had so much fun at the Toddler Class,” said Renee. The class definitely prepared him for pre-school and helped with his development so much. From introducing textures, gross motor play and development and socialization, Jase began to thrive and grow.”
Today Jase attends pre-school and is doing extremely well. He is saying over 100 words and is doing much better socially. Therapy and Toddler Class helped prepare him for pre-school and gave him the boost he needed. Recently Jase was diagnosed with Sensorineural Hearing Loss. There is not a cure and his hearing will not improve. There is a small chance he will someday become deaf. He also has special autism glasses
that help with his toe/toddler walk.
Chris and Renee urge parents to trust their instincts and call SRRC if they have any concerns at all. “I only wish we would have called SRRC sooner,” said Renee. It never hurts to get a free evaluation. The earlier you can get help the better. It is amazing what a difference early intervention can make.”
Renee and Chris hope that others will take the time to understand Autism.
“Jase is such a smart boy,” said Renee. “He just learns and communicates in a different way.” Daily life with Autism includes a detailed schedule, constant supervision and sometimes unacceptance and cruelty from the outside world.
“We took Jase to see a special movie that was for kids with sensory issues,” said Renee. “I was so excited to finally be able to take him to a movie, but unfortunately we were asked to leave because he was to loud. It was heartbreaking. Jase was expressing himself the only way he knows how. I was so excited to find a place where he would be welcomed and so disappointed when he was rejected in that way.”
As many parents do, Renee and Chris’s biggest fear is that Jase will not function well in life. However, they are hopeful that due to the early help that Jase will be able to be in a typical functioning classroom and eventually find meaningful work and live as independently as possible.
Chris and Renee are and so thankful to SRRC and especially Ms. Kelly who went above and beyond by sending them information, providing activities for home and being available for questions any time. “SRRC is so much more than a provider of therapy services,” said Renee. For us, SRRC means HOPE. HOPE that Jase has a place where he is accepted, and HOPE that we are not facing this alone. We are so fortunate to have a local provider of therapy serviced in our community.”
"Starved Rock Regional Center helped Jase and our family by providing hope for the first time in our autistic journey. They accepted us and made us part of their family. When we started, Jase was working on getting his autism diagnosis. He was unable to communicate, make eye contact, or follow simple commands.
With the basic skills given to us by our therapists at Starved Rock Regional Center, Jase is now in Kindergarten! He is able to communicate in several ways, name letters, shapes, colors, etc. just like a typically developing Kindergartner. I have full confidence that we would not be as successful as we are now had it not been for the hard work and dedication of Starved Rock Regional Center's staff."