Jacob is a student at the Center for Excellence (CFE) and a resident at AWARE’s youth homes. Staff and teachers say the school and home have been great places for Jacob to fully become himself. Since starting school at the CFE and moving to an AWARE residence in Anaconda a little over a year ago, a boy with autism, Jacob has excelled.
They’ll tell you that Jacob is a smart, sweet kid – both his mom and teachers say so.
The 14-year-old-boy is silly and likes to joke – he never forgets names and connects well with adults.
His favorite subject is math, and his superpower is spelling – Raegan and Jill are his favorite teachers.
He regularly eats PBJs.
He’s traveled across Montana to see many different windmills – they were part of his science project last year.
He loves ceiling fans – his Halloween costume was a ceiling fan, he can tell you how many ceiling fans are in each building he’s been in, and he really likes the big ceiling fan at Ridge Waters in Butte.
All of these are positive examples of what Jacob’s mom, Millie, and staff and CFE teachers consider an AWARE success story.
Millie said that Anaconda has been a great fit for Jacob. He’s had the opportunity to live in a community setting while taking part in the different activities with the children he lives and goes to school with.
Some of the activities he really likes include swimming, playing volleyball, camping and going on drives. He also has a team of people who have helped him stick to a daily routine to support his goals and needs as a person with autism.
But before his transition to Anaconda, there was a time when Jacob struggled. His mom said additional help was needed for the boy she adopted at two months old. It took a little bit of experimentation to find the right fit for Jacob.
Eventually, Jacob began residential care and started attending the CFE in Anaconda.
Anaconda is close to home, so his mom can visit weekly. He’ll meet her in the hallway and welcome her into the building when she arrives. When she comes, she often takes him to eat a burger and fries at the Haufbrau – another one of his favorite things to eat.
“AWARE is a godsend for our family,” Millie said.
During the holiday season, Jacob went home for a few days. His mom picked him up right after the CFE holiday concert in December. He visited his dogs, cats, bird – and his best friend and sister, Jennene. He also opened presents and went to church on Christmas Eve. Mom says it was great to have Jacob home for the holidays.
At AWARE, we believe that families are our most important resource. Meeting people where they are at and providing a wraparound approach to care is what drives success stories like this.