Our Story




After our oldest son Jack, 21, suffered a life-threatening traumatic brain injury in March 2013 and sadly passed in away in November 2014, leaving us with our son, Owen — 20 and autistic — it hit us that life is short and truly fleeting, and we needed to intentionally change our lives to do something more impactful and fulfilling that gives back. We decided to take the plunge and act on our dream to help those with autism and other developmental delays in a meaningful way.

In January 2015, we opened Capability Ranch Special Needs Activities & Events Center for Youth & Young Adults on a 10-acres ranch on the grasslands of Ramona, California — just 10 minutes from San Diego’s eastern suburbs.

In the Jack Shack Activity Barn we have a Wednesday and Saturday activities and events calendar offering unique experiences in our converted barn community room and on the ranch that promote creativity, learning, laughter and growth – where teens and young adults with developmental delays, their parents and caregivers can come together for some fun.

Our calendar features a variety of rotating activities and events – from arts, crafts, baking, gardening Western line dancing and music to adaptive Fitness Fun, animal presentations and magic shows plus outdoor activities and excursions on and nearby the ranch. We also are going to be incorporating therapeutic as well as learning experiences with the center’s horses and other ranch animals and pets.

To honor and treat those who have such a huge impact on our ‘forever children’ — caregivers and moms in particular — we hold special Pamper events. 

We welcome your ideas and suggestions for fun crafts and projects, on-ranch activities and local events to attend as a group — we’ve already gone orange picking and to a camel dairy (!). What would you like to see? And if you have a specialty you think would be a fun session, please contact us if you’d like to volunteer to lead a project or event. 

As a 501c3 non-profit we rely on donations, fundraises, sponsorships, grants and volunteers, plus a small $10 activity fee to help cover materials and other associated costs. 

Capability Ranch remains committed to turn our personal tragedy into inspiration and taking action to turn dreams from wishes into reality — and we need and very much appreciate your ongoing support. See that DONATE button up in the top bar of the site? Please feel free to click it ;-) 

THANK YOU all for your support and joining us on this journey.

The adventure continues!