Meet the Aguilera Family

For nearly four years, Capper Foundation has provided pediatric services to the Aguilera family. Lacey and Adrian Aguilera’s three boys, Christian, Christopher and Maximus have been building abilities in leaps and bounds, and we admire their story.

In each of the pediatric disciplines at Capper — Behavior Support Services, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy, and Feeding Therapy — our therapists demonstrate necessary strategies to families, provide interventions and encourage them to continue at home. A critical part of the equation is the family’s commitment to continuing the work between sessions. According to Occupational Therapist Crista Porter, that’s something the Aguileras are known for.

“They’re amazing and they’re great to work with,” Crista shares. “You can definitely tell that the parents work with the kiddos.”

Christian, Age 10

Of the three Aguilera boys, Christian was the first to receive services at Capper, starting at age 6. Christian has been diagnosed with autism, struggles with a speech delay, and was nonverbal before starting therapy.

Until recently, Christian received both speech and occupational therapy at Capper. However, after two and half years of working with Occupational Therapist Amy Douglas, he completed OT, meeting all of his set goals. His communication skills have also greatly improved from his time in speech therapy.

“Therapy has helped him to communicate with his family and peers,” Speech-Language Pathologist Jenny Stous explains. “It has significantly cut down on his frustration. He can tell mom when he wants a snack or wants to play outside. He can ask his brothers to play with him or help him when he needs it.”

Jenny and Christian’s mother, Lacey, both say Chris is an amazing artist, very intelligent, and they believe there’s no limit to what he can achieve, when he sets his mind to it.

Christopher, Age 7

Christopher was diagnosed with ADHD and autism earlier this year and now receives OT at Capper with Crista. Though he’s very smart, Christopher struggles with sitting still and becoming overwhelmed by tasks he’s asked to perform. He has some social anxiety as well, but his time at Capper has allowed him to improve greatly both at home and at school.

In his three months since starting therapy, Christopher has made great gains in his sensory processing, self care, fine motor skills and more. Most importantly for Lacey and Crista, his overall attention span has improved during his time at Capper, which has helped him better understand his own strengths and capabilities.

“He always comes with a smile every week,” Crista explains. “He really loves the tire swing in my therapy room, so we usually always start with that. Things like that are kind of a motivator for him. It’s always just fun to see how excited he is to be there.”

Christopher loves anything that involves sports, playing outside or building things. He’s very creative as well, and his family believes the possibilities for his future are endless.

Maximus, Age 2

The youngest of the boys, Maximus, had a brachial plexus injury to his shoulder at birth, for which he also receives OT therapy with Crista. During his very successful sessions at Capper, he’s able to exercise and stretch his arm and shoulder through “fun” activities, such as puzzles, games, and using the warm water therapy pool.

“He’s had really bad experiences with a few doctors and some therapists, but he’s just really attached to Crista,” Lacey explains. “She’s made all of this so much easier for him, and he’s able to trust people more and I really thank her for that. We would be lost without the Capper Foundation.”

Maximus is very energetic, loves to play and he’s obsessed with cars. Rather than feeling limited by his injury, Lacey believes therapy at Capper helps him feel empowered to try new things, play independently and be whatever he wants to be.

“Capper is a place where they welcome you with open arms,” Lacey says. “I’ve never once been told “no” by them or ‘we don’t know what else to do for you.’ They are there until the very end for us.”