It was a tough decision for the couple. They looked at a few placements, but none of them seemed good enough for their son. They had all but given up until they came to Heartspring.

There was a time in Chong and Keeyon’s life where they didn’t know what to do next. Their son, Gregory, was diagnosed with autism at a young age. As he got older, his behaviors increased, and at 16, he wasn’t sleeping through the night. Chong would leave work early or go in late to help with his son. Gregory became more aggressive, and Keeyon became afraid to be alone with him. There even was a time when police had to intervene because Keeyon couldn’t handle him alone. At school, Gregory sat in the sensory room, separated from his peers. At home, the family lived with the stress of not knowing any other options. The whole family’s stress level, including Gregory’s, was at an all-time high. Chong and Keeyon decided a residential placement would be best for Gregory. Once they spoke with the director of admissions and took a tour of Heartspring’s campus, they realized that’s where he needed to be.

The family waited three months after their tour for Gregory’s first day at Heartspring. This time was difficult for the family. Gregory’s behaviors increased as the enrollment date drew near.

“When we were taking Gregory to Heartspring, we drove,” Chong said. “I thought it was the end. I thought the world was going to end. That’s how bad everything was.”

Once they dropped Gregory off, they felt a sense of relief. They knew Gregory had the support he needed and they were no longer alone in trying to care for him. He was in a place that could meet his needs. In the months that Gregory has been here, he’s already made incredible gains. Instead of sitting in a room alone, Gregory is going horseback riding and getting to explore his community. He is learning and growing.

“We are really, really happy,” Chong said. “I really think we got one of the best schools in the United States.”

Published 2018/01/04


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