Jadyn's education

This letter is in regards to our son Jadyn, who is attending grade 7 at Oakbridge Academy here in Cambridge, a school for students with Special Needs (ADHD, Autism and other exceptionalities) in hopes of asking for referrals for support for educational expenses as this school has a yearly tuition.

At around the age of 15 months, Jadyn’s pediatrician was concerned about him not meeting certain milestones, like walking and talking. Shortly after, we were referred to endocrinology as he was so small, he was below the first percentile and they had labelled him "failure to thrive". Over time, he had issues with his kidneys and was also seeing a nephrologist. He was tested over many years for a variety of different things including Cystic Fibrosis, and a number of genetic disorders, all of which came back negative.

Jadyn was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 4 and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder at the age of 7. He also has an autoimmune disease and he was quite tired and sick before his diagnosis of Celiac at the age of 7. After this diagnosis, his doctors were confident that this was the answer, and changing his diet would help him grow, and help regulate and stabilize his behaviour because he would be feeling better, and while it helped him feel better physically, there were still other concerns.

In October 2015, our geneticist applied for Whole Exome Sequencing, which would test every exome in his body to check for any abnormalities. 7 months later, in May 2016, we found out we were approved for the testing from a Genetic Testing Advisory Council in the United States that reviews each case individually. After 8.5 years of tests, appointments and searching for answers, we finally received a diagnosis in August of 2016 which excited us and made us sick to our stomach at the same time. It meant everything and it meant nothing because we didn’t understand it. At that time, there were less than 4 known cases in the world. At present, there are approximately 50 cases, however, no 2 mutations are exactly the same.

The diagnosis was a mutation of the TLK2 Gene. We learned that this gene is responsible for protein coding during fetal development, which means that his body did not have enough of the protein required to help the systems of his body and brain develop in a typical manner. My husband and I were tested to see if this was inherited, but it was not. **Jadyn has always struggled with physical, emotional and psychological concerns which help him to be successful most of the time. We decided with this information, and the suggestion of his geneticist and endocrinologist, to start him on growth hormone therapy to help strengthen his skeletal system. This is not a cure but it will help him grow and help his body get stronger. Jadyn sees a few specialists at McMaster but because there are so few cases of this in the world because it is so new, very little is known about this mutation. Jadyn is part of the first medical publication about this mutation, which was just released in June 2018, in The American Journal of Human Genetics. We are grateful to know a bit more about his Neurodevelopmental Disorder, but because it is so unique and it doesn’t fit into any one category and it has been difficult for us to qualify for services in the community that we know would be helpful for him and help us to keep him safe. It is for this reason, that we decided to apply for Oakbridge Academy knowing how it would impact us financially, we knew we had to apply and see what happened, and we would figure out the rest. We went for the interview and we were very impressed and excited about what we heard, and then when he was offered a spot, we knew we had to give it a shot, like this was the answer of support that we have waited so long for.

Jadyn has been attending Oakbridge since September 2018 and the support we have received there is second to none. The class sizes at Oakbridge are small, 10 students and 1 teacher and 2 Behaviour Therapists per class, and the care and compassion from the staff has helped us as parents, as we know they can keep Jadyn safe and help him learn. Jadyn has benefited immensely and feels excited to go to school everyday. Oakbridge has been able to provide daily cognitive behaviour therapy, music therapy, swimming, and specialized instruction for Jadyn. He does well academically given the immense support he is receiving, however his emotional and psychological needs exceed the amount of support he would be receiving at his home school. We would like to keep him at Oakbridge for his grade 8 year so he may learn more skills before he transitions to high school, and to be successful in his future.

Please consider helping Jadyn so that he may continue his education and build his confidence in a supportive environment in which he has come to feel accepted and loved.


Sincere thanks,

Chantal, Brian and Jadyn Menchenton
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Organizer

Brian Menchenton 
Organizer
Cambridge, ON
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