Stories That Count
Easter Seals Serving DC|MD|VA
Joshua initially came to Easter Seals in Washington, D.C. for child care when he was one and a half years old. When he turned two, his teachers noted concerns with his movement and communication skills. Staff spoke with his mother, who said she had similar concerns, specifically regarding Joshua’s frequent falls and very limited vocabulary. Staff strongly encouraged her to complete the Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ).
“When Josh came to Easter Seals, we thought he was a typically-developing child. The staff at Easter Seals recognized that might not be the case. They sat me down to the take the Ages & Stages Questionnaire. The results confirmed what Easter Seals was already thinking – that Josh has developmental delays,” said Rebecca.
Results of the ASQ indicated concerns in the areas of communication, gross motor and personal-social skills and Joshua was referred to the District of Columbia's Early Intervention Program, for further evaluation. He was deemed eligible for early intervention services and now he’s receiving on-site speech-language therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy to help address his delays and promote his growth and participation in daily routines.
“I can’t thank Easter Seals enough for the diagnosis and therapy to help Josh overcome his delays,” she said.
Kai, age 5
Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin
Kai spent his first 28 months in an orphanage in China. When his new parents brought him home, he didn't walk, speak, or make contact with others, so they sought help from a pediatric specialist. Kai’s parents, Scott and Chris, were told that he would be non-verbal and likely would require long-term care. They looked to Easter Seals for help.
Kai began autism services in September of 2010 and showed amazing progress after only nine months. Talking was his first, most noticeable change, from being non-verbal to using over 75 words. He began stating his wants and needs, rather than pointing, and soon started using complete sentences. Because he was able to say what he wanted, Kai had fewer tantrums and more meaningful interactions with family and other children. He began to enjoy activities like looking at books and being read to.
No longer isolated, Kai is now a social butterfly with his friends at school. He's also on target with his academic skills like spelling, counting, reading and writing, and enjoys playing games like Trouble, Sorry, Connect 4 and Chinese Checkers.
Scott and Chris are delighted with their son’s progress. “Not only was our son dismissed from all special education services, except speech therapy,” they said, “but he is functioning at an age-appropriate level. We are so proud of the accomplishments our son has made with the help of Easter Seals! His future looks bright and we are truly grateful!”
Audrey & JR, ages 3 and 2
Easter Seals Arkansas
Audrey and JR were both born prematurely at only 26 weeks. After their first three months in the NICU, Easter Seals provided in-home therapy and support services.
Audrey needed extra help learning to crawl, holding herself up on her hands in a sitting position and learning to walk. She made so much progress that, when she turned two, she no longer needed physical therapy. Today, she’s running, playing and climbing with her peers. She continues to receive speech therapy to help her oral motor development.
JR, Audrey’s little brother also attends Easter Seals. As a result of receiving physical therapy, JR is now jumping and running like his sister. He still receives speech and occupational therapy and is making great progress in learning to talk.
Audrey's and JR's parents say: “We are so thankful. Easter Seals has helped us tremendously through such tough times. Audrey and JR have truly amazed us with everything they have achieved in their development.”
Today, both attend preschool and their parents are confident that Audrey and JR will reach their developmental milestones and be ready to enter kindergarten with their peers.
David and Jacob, age 2
Easter Seals Greater Houston
Susanna Bravo’s twins, Jacob and David, were born prematurely and weighed less than 4 pounds together. When they were ready to leave the hospital, they were referred to the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Infant Program at Easter Seals Greater Houston. David joined the program right away, but Jacob didn’t qualify initially so the Infant Program kept him in their “follow along.”
When Jacob was two months old, Susanna listened to her gut instinct that Jacob needed extra support. She learned about the Ages & Stages Questionnaire® (ASQ) online screening tool and put it to use for Jacob. The ASQ for Jacob showed delays in his gross and fine motor skills. He was referred to a local Early Intervention program and the evaluation team found the ASQ results were right on target. Jacob began early intervention services along with his brother and is making wonderful progress.
Today, Jacob is crawling and learning to walk independently. Susanna is so grateful for the services her sons receive from the ECI Infant Program at Easter Seals, and she knows the progress they are making is because of their support and teaching her great strategies she can use with Jacob at home.
She knows with the help of Easter Seals and the ASQ to continue to monitor their development, both boys will continue to make progress!
Ben, age 3
Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin
Ben Jimenez was 18 months old, when his parents noticed delays in his speech. They spoke to their pediatrician about their concerns, and were told that Ben's delays were because he was living in a bilingual family. Not satisfied with this explanation, Ben’s parents explored their options and found Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin’s Birth to Three program.
After six months in the Birth to 3 program, Ben is making great progress. When he talks, he speaks in full sentences and is understood by others. And, thanks to his knowledgeable team of speech and occupational therapists, Ben’s parents better understand his sensory issues and fine motor-skill needs.
Ben’s mom explains, “Finding out his diagnosis (PDD-NOS) didn't come as a big surprise, it was more like a relief. Our goal is to provide all the necessary interventions as early as possible to be sure he has the best outcomes. Seeing Ben's incredible progress thus far gives us so much hope and great inspiration.” In fact, Ben is doing so well communicating in his primary language, English, that his parents now hope someday soon he will be able to speak Spanish with his grandparents.