In 1996, Jim and Cindy Bacot welcomed Nicholas to their family, and he was everything a baby boy should be. He smiled, he cuddled, he laughed and played. But at 22 months, Nicholas changed. His language skills weren’t developing. He started engaging in repetitive physical behaviors, unusual vocal sounds, and withdrew from other children.
After many evaluations, Nicholas was diagnosed with Autism, and Jim and Cindy did what any parents would do. They sought help. They enrolled Nicholas in public school, but soon discovered it was not the right place for his special needs. So they tried other educational settings, with similar results.
The Bacot’s were like many other families who could not find the appropriate educational setting and support for Nicholas. In 2008, Jim and Cindy founded Bacot Academy so Nicholas, and children like him, could attend a school just for them.
I never saw myself as the Director of a school but that is where the path led me. It is truly amazing the distances that we as parents are willing to go to help our children. When Bacot Academy was founded my goal was to give my son the best education possible.
We started out in a small donated building with only eight students. Over the years, our little school has turned into a big school. We now have around thirty students. It has been a journey but one that I am happy to have taken.
With more and more children being diagnosed with Autism every day, I know there is still so much work to be done. For my part, I will continue to provide a safe and appropriate setting for our kids. One in which they can not only flourish and be productive, but more importantly, be happy.
Jim works for the Department of Defense in the U.S. Navy Research and Development. During his career in electronic engineering, he has developed several patents for the government. But more than anything, Jim is a family man, he loves the outdoors and enjoys spending time with his 3 boys.
Cindy and Jim have been married 27 years, and have three children – Nicholas, and twin boys Adam and Noah.