ORP - A Sustain and Fortify Success

Decades of experience packaged into a series of magical resources that captured the spirit of the organization and its people.

Oconomowac Residential Programs (now MyPath) is an organization that provides professional care and residential homes to over 1,700 children and adults with special needs in schools in Wisconsin and Indiana. They wanted to create resources that would capture the wisdom of its workforce, serve existing families, attract ideal clients, and amplify the impact of the organization beyond the walls of its schools.


Families with children with extreme special needs have incredible stories that need to be handled with delicate care and detailed accuracy. Parents—even those who have worked in the field—can find themselves struggling to best provide care for their special needs children. They needed resources that not only offered them new tools, but also acknowledged their heroism.


Over several years, RTC built an entire library of prose books for parents, educators, and healthcare workers and comics, graphic novels, and coloring books for children with varying special needs. The library includes 18 titles ranging from specific special needs, bullying in the classroom, and medicating your child. Additionally, RTC filmed two book trailers, built a robust online community of resources for families and schools, and then rebranded the parent organization’s online presence.


ORP printed over 50,000 books to give away to families in need and to share with parents, educators, and healthcare workers at conferences and events. This library has differentiated them from the competition by showing their incredible attention to detail and the degree to which they sincerely care about families and those in their care. It also paved the way for a partnership with Goodwill Industries to distribute the books. ORP uses these books as part of their hiring and training of new employees, as well as in the classroom with students themselves.

Book Trailer

Meltdown and Melting Down

Meltdowns are frequent among children with severe Asperger’s disorder. The companion comic book for kids and prose book for adults have been created for the ORP Library to provide hope to families navigating the education system.

Book Trailer

An Unlikely Trust and Alina’s Story

Parents share their experiences with their children living with reactive attachment disorder. Having difficulty managing emotions is frequent among children with RAD, and these topics were addressed head-on in the companion prose and comic books.

An Array of Resources

Not slowing down after books, RTC expanded the content and created a community website that features free articles, worksheets, and inspiration based on interviews conducted with school administrators and staff and many of the parents of children in ORP’s care.

“ORP Library is my legacy.”

James Balestrieri
former CEO, ORP

And here they are: 18 heartfelt, emotional, real books. Be sure to visit the ORP Library website as well.

Meltdown Prose book cover

Meltdown: Asperger’s Disorder, Challenging Behavior, and a Family’s Journey Toward Hope (The ORP Library Book 1)

James G. Balestrieri, Jeff Krukar, and Katie Gutierrez

Melting Down comic book cover

Melting Down: A Comic for Kids with Asperger’s Disorder and Challenging Behavior (The ORP Library Book 2)

Jeff Krukar, Katie Gutierrez, and James Balestrieri

Unlikely book cover

An Unlikely Trust: Alina’s Story of Adoption, Complex Trauma, Healing, and Hope (The ORP Library Book 3)

Jeff Krukar, James G Balestrieri, and Katie Gutierrez

Alinas Story Cover

Alina’s Story: Learning How to Trust, Heal, and Hope (The ORP Library Book 4)

Jeff Krukar, James Balestrieri, and Shane Clester

Mr Incredible book cover

Mr. Incredible: A Story About Autism, Overcoming Challenging Behavior, and a Family’s Fight for Special Education Rights (The ORP Library Book 5)

Jeff Krukar, Chelsea McCutchin, and James Balestrieri

Incredible Adam book cover

Incredible Adam and a Day with Autism: An Illustrated Story Inspired by Social Narratives (The ORP Library Book 6)

Jeff Krukar, James G. Balestrieri, and Nathan Lueth

Classroom Heroes book cover

Classroom Heroes: One Child’s Struggle with Bullying and a Teacher’s Mission to Change School Culture (The ORP Library Book 7)

Jeff Krukar, Pamela DeLoatch, and James G Balestrieri

Chasing Hope book cover

Chasing Hope: Your Compass for a New Normal: Navigating the World of the Special Needs Child (The ORP Library Book 8)

Christine Walker

Ultra Violet book cover

Ultra Violet: One Girl’s Prader-Willi Story (The ORP Library Book 9)

Debbie Frisk and Chelsea McCutchin

Insatiable book cover

Insatiable: A Prader-Willi Story (The ORP Library Book 10)

Debbie Frisk, Chelsea McCutchin, James G. Balestrieri, and Katie Gutierrez

How To Be A Hero Book Cover

How to Be a Hero: A Comic Book about Bullying (The ORP Library Book 11)

Shane Clester and Kristin Westberg

Loving Harder book cover

Loving Harder: Our Family’s Odyssey through Adoption and Reactive Attachment Disorder (The ORP Library Book 12)

Lori Hetzel and Aleksandra Corwin

Finding Balance Book Cover

Finding Balance: A Family’s Journey to Treatment for Bipolar Disorder (The ORP Library Book 13)

Jeff Krukar, Katie Gutierrez, Nicolette Weisensel, and James G. Balestrieri

Connecting with Max book cover

Connecting with Max: How Medication Closed the Gap between a Family and Their Son with Autism (The ORP Library Book 14)

Jeff Krukar, Katie Gutierrez, Chelsea McCutchin, Nicolette Weisensel, and James G. Balestrieri

ORP Meds Book book cover

Can I Go Home with You?: Chloe’s Story of Trauma, Disrupted Attachment, and Psychotropic Medication (The ORP Library Book 15)

Jeff Krukar, Katie Gutierrez, and Chelsea McCutchin

Medicine for My Big Brother Cover

Medicine for My Big Brother: A Comic Book About Autism, Medication, and Brotherly Love (The ORP Library Book 16)

Agata Antonow, James G. Balestrieri, and Nathan Lueth

Heroes In The Classroom book cover

Heroes in the Classroom: An Activity Book About Bullying

Kristin Westberg

Those Who Bully and Those Who Are Bullied: A Guide for Creating Heroes in the Classroom Book Cover

Those Who Bully and Those Who Are Bullied: A Guide for Creating Heroes in the Classroom

Kristin Westberg