As part of JFK Partners 50th Anniversary celebration, we invite families, community partners, faculty, trainees, and others to share your reflections.
Please submit your reflection by completing our Reflections Form.
Reflections from a Family
When my son, Eli, received his diagnosis 24 years ago, autism was misunderstood by many medical professionals who considered autism a “hopeless” diagnosis with no established treatment regimen. When I discovered the JFK Day Treatment Program directed by Dr. Sally Rogers, I was introduced to play-based therapy and multi-disciplinary providers who believed, and still do, that autism is treatable. Not only was this dedicated group delivering strategic, effective therapy, they were doing research to learn more about how people with autism learn and thrive. I enrolled Eli in every research project they conducted in support of their remarkable efforts. ~ Betty Lehman, Parent
In 1971, my daughter Rebecca was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis and I was told that her abilities would be very limited. Rebecca’s pediatric neurologist, Dr. Maryanne Guggenheim did not believe that to be true and in 1973 sent a request to JFK to test Rebecca for available programs in the Denver area. I took Rebecca to JFK, knowing she would knock everyone’s socks off, but alas she did very poorly. I was stunned and upset that she had not done well. When the staff came out to talk with me, I asked them if she could come back and be retested, knowing they would say no. To my surprise they agreed and at testing the next week she did really well. She was accepted to Hope Center School. Because of the wonderful staff at JFK, Rebecca went on to live a full and happy life until her death in 1987. ~ Esther Campbell, Parent
Reflections from a Fellow
During my three years as a predoctoral intern and postdoctoral LEND fellow, I came to understand the incredible impact that JFK Partners has on trainees, families, and our community. I worked with the brightest and most caring mentors and received unparalleled training in the area of neurodevelopmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder. I am so proud to be a graduate of the JFK Partners program and a part of their wonderful legacy.
~ Lindsay Washington, Clinical Psychologist and former LEND Trainee
I recall my experiences at JFK Partners with great fondness and appreciation. As a fellow, I received outstanding training in the diagnosis and treatment of developmental disorders from some of the most talented clinicians and researchers with whom I have had the privilege to work. As I teach students in my faculty position in clinical neuropsychology, I draw upon my training at JFK Partners and hope that I am passing on the legacy of producing high quality scholarship that seeks to improve the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Happy 50th JFK! ~ Nancy Raitano Lee, Child Clinical Psychologist and former Fellow
Reflections from Community Partners
In the seven years I have been with The Arc of Colorado I have worked closely JFK Partners to improve public policy to benefit people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. From updating the Colorado definition of developmental disability to working to improve mental health services for people with IDD—JFK Partners has been at the forefront.
~ Marijo Rymer, Executive Director, The Arc of Colorado
JFK Parters is an apt name for an entity that has done so much to support collaborative efforts in constructing policy that contributes the the health and well-being of people with disabilities and their families. As the Executive Director of The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas since 1998, I can’t imagine working on a major or minor policy change without partnering with this amazing and dedicated group of people.
~ Carol Meredith, Arc of Arapahoe Douglas County
Reflections from Former Faculty
The JFK Center was a huge part of my early professional life. The lessons in caring, non-judgment, appreciation of differences, valuation of strengths, gender parity, problem-solving, family struggles, and stress management were ones I don't think I could have gotten elsewhere. JFK was decades ahead of traditional health care in so many ways! I would find it hard to believe that anyone who spent time in that building left unchanged in some way, professionally or personally. And we had fun and didn't take ourselves all that seriously! My best to all my former colleagues at JFK and I'll always appreciate them and all that it meant to be a part of that wonderful place. Have a great celebration.
~ Paul Casamassimo, DDS, MS
I benefited professionally and personally from my work at the JFK Center. First, I received excellent training on best practices in service delivery and research. The trainings were structured to increase my knowledge about disabilities and their multiple influences on the lives of people, their families and communities. Second, I was given opportunities to write and review grants and serve on statewide boards and committees. These opportunities allowed me to see policy development and implementation in action. Third, I was mentored to become a successful and productive professional. I received support, advice, and encouragement from many senior staff members, but especially Dr. Cordelia Rosenberg. ~ Priscilla Gibson, PhD, LICSW