I hate asking people for money and yet in this case I want to do everything I can to give back to Higashi. One year ago Jacob was placed at the Boston Higashi School. I am a pretty private person and do not normally post my family issues or struggles, Not even some of those closest to me know how challenging things had been at home with Jacob. Placing my child in a residential program was heartbreaking, I felt like I had failed him. One year later I realize I gave him the best gift I could ever give him. Autism has been a constant struggle for Jacob. We have experienced so many challenges. Communication. severe anxiety, Jacob only ate 5 foods his entire life, reflux, wandering , behavioral issues, no sleep (many weeks of him only sleeping 2-3 hours a night), Severe constipation going 10-12 days with out BM, and then the fall on black ice in which he broke his femoral neck in his hip leaving him in bed for 10 weeks and raising his anxieties to a whole new level. After 2 years of fighting and screaming everyday about going to school , Jacob was getting violent with us about going to school. I finally threw in the towel. Exhausted. I looked at over 23 programs for Jacob. I felt there had to be something better for him. After a long hard process Jacob was accepted to the Boston Higashi School. I had fallen in love with the program when i visited. The teachers were so engaged and the kids were happy. I loved the aspect of music, art and daily life therapy. One year ago Jacob wouldn't leave his wheel chair. He barely left his bedroom. We felt trapped as a family. Today one year later.since he has been at Higashi I am blown away by the things he has accomplished: He no longer uses a wheel chair, he exercises every day, He ran a mile in the road race, He participates in the community daily, He has made friends, He goes in the pool (we tried for 10 years to get him in one) He can shower with very little assistance, He can shave by himself, He now eats a variety of foods and tries new foods (a miracle), His constipation has improved a lot, He sang solos in the winter music festival and annual celebration, he transitions from activities and changes much easier, He has not gotten aggressive with me, He is completely off riserdal which he had been on since he was 4, He is happy, he is now helping other people (meals on wheels), and I could keep going on. Im scared to say these things out loud because I don't want them to change. Higashi is a place that unlike any where else. The staff always goes the extra mile treating each child with love and encouragement. I am forever grateful for every moment Jacob has at this school. For these reasons, I ask everyone I know, if you can please donate. Your money is being well spent.