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Ken and Jeaneille Clarke

How long have you been connected with David’s Refuge?
About 2 years

Please explain any diagnosis your child has, and you have experience with.
We have 2 sons ages 5and 3 who have both been diagnosed with autism, sensory processing disorder, and speech delays. Our oldest has ADHD, while the youngest is suspected to have it as well but is too young to be officially diagnosed. They both also have hypogammgloublinenemia and receive infusions for it every other week. Lastly, our little also had laryngotracheamalacia so he had surgery to correct it at 8 months old.

What is your favorite part of being a host?
Jeaneille: My favorite thing about being a host is meeting all of the lovely families. Each couple brings something new and interesting to the trip and I love getting to know them and hear all about the families and lives.

What is something you want your guests to know about you?
Something we want the guests to know about us is that we’re high school sweethearts! Well sort of. We started dating 2 days after graduation. But have literally been together more than half of our lives.

What is a piece of advice you have found invaluable as a family with experience in special needs or a medically fragile diagnosis?
The most invaluable piece of advice I can give to a family would be to advocate for your child and be their biggest cheerleader. You have no idea what they’re capable of and can accomplish without limits being placed on them. Nothing you are asking for is unheard of or unreasonable. Advocate for them as hard as you can.

Which partner location is your favorite and why?
Beekman House was our favorite location. The inn was beautiful and the innkeepers went above and beyond to make sure we felt welcome. They also had special treats daily!

A genie grants you the ability to have infinite amount of one item. What is it?
Phone. For both of us. It’s our vice lol!

What book changed your life?
Uniquely Human by Barry Prizant. Changed the way I looked at how my autistic children communicated with me and opened up their language and how I communicated and understood them. Ken:Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. It changed how I looked at money and finances and how I would provide for my family.

What is a question you wish people would ask you less?
A question I wish I was asked less is How do you do it? I hate this question. What do you mean how do we do it? I wasn’t aware we had an option to NOT do it.