Easterseals goes the extra mile to ensure that children with special needs can lead meaningful lives. We're able to do this because we have YOU as a partner.
Through early intervention and inclusive early childhood education to autism diagnoses and specialized therapies, young children with special needs CAN have a clear path to success from the start. You can make that happen with your financial gift!
Easterseals Northeast Central Florida would be honored to receive your year-end or monthly gift to support children with special needs –- and the families who love them. Would you consider a year-end or monthly gift? Your kindness in giving flows to literally thousands of local children. Click this link to give easily or to learn more about the giving levels.
As you consider your gift this year, we invite you to read the stories of Easterseals Ambassadors Carl and Scarlett. Their families share their stories so that you can learn more about Easterseals services and the impact you make through your financial support.
You can count on Easterseals to continue to go the extra mile until every child with special needs is 100% empowered with the services and supports they need to thrive. Please join us with a year-end gift today! Thank you!
Grinning ear to ear with twinkly brown eyes smiling beneath plastic blue-rimmed glasses, Carl, age 3, exudes
happiness and love. His parents Angela and Steve have taught him such things, just as Easterseals’ Early Steps is
teaching Carl how to grow and learn through physical, occupational and speech therapies. Angela and Steve appreciate the Easterseals therapists’ teamwork approach and how they encourage their confidence. “They always explain things even if they might not be what we want to hear,” said Angela. “The therapists redirect us in ways that are better for Carl. The growth we have seen in him has been phenomenal.”
Scarlett is a curious, sweet-tempered five-year-old who’s been in the Easterseals of Northeast Florida family since her birth. Her connection with Easterseals began via her enrollment in Early Steps when she was only a few months old. The in-home visits by Early Steps therapists began soon thereafter. When Scarlett finished the Early Steps program, she entered Easterseals Charter School in DeLand. Some of the challenges Easterseals therapists have addressed with Scarlett include walking and communication. Today, Scarlett is much more exploratory and inquisitive, too, evidence she’s on the
Easterseals’ work with children and families is often visible. After all, some of a child’s most obvious developments include how they progress from crawling to walking, how they learn to feed themselves, or how they learn to read. The list goes on.
But, as most know, Easterseals services attend to the whole child – including his or her social development, emotional development and creativity.
Thanks to a recently received financial contribution, Easterseals’ Early Childhood Education Center, Daytona Beach, soon will begin offering the “Create a Pal” program to its students, allowing teachers to help children better develop important social-emotional skill sets.
Through Create a Pal, teachers will be able to create magical experiences for the children already enrolled, while allowing new students to Create a Pal (stuffed animal) when they enroll at the Center. The fuzzy friends they make with through their own creativity can comfort them while they’re at school and go back and forth from home to school with them every day as well.
“Being able to tie in the creativity of making your own stuffed animal friend with our curriculum is amazing,” said Principal Margaret Smith. “We can use the Create a Pal machine to enhance everything we do, particularly when it comes to social-emotional learning.”
“We’re grateful to the donor who made this program possible in our school,” said President/CEO Bev Johnson. “With Create a Pal, our teachers are able to provide yet another way to encourage children’s creativity and support them in their emotional development. Those are two features of our Early Childhood Education Centers that truly set them apart from other centers.”
Teachers are being trained in how to bring Create a Pal to life and parents of students at the school soon will be able to register their children for the program. It’s only a matter of time before Easterseals’ Early Childhood Education Center is brimming with fuzzy friends and extra-wide smiles.
William Arthur Ward once wrote, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
What wise words he shared with us; they’re particularly salient during this season of giving, when we are reminded of all the gifts for which we are grateful.
At a recent board meeting, Easterseals Board Member and Officer Constance Yuschok voiced her gratitude for the Easterseals’ commitment to her family. Her daughter AnnaHart has received Easterseals services for many years and has grown into a flourishing and beautiful young woman.
Constance’s heartfelt sentiments regarding why she proudly supports Easterseals with her time, talent and treasure touched all present at the meeting. We gratefully share them with you below:
• I am grateful to my dad, Dr. Treloar, for immediately recognizing the needs of his two-day-old granddaughter, Annahart, and knowing whom to ask.
• I am grateful to Lynn Sinnott, Bev (Johnson’s) predecessor, for referring my Dad to Easterseals.
• I am grateful for the Early Intervention and subsequent years of all types of therapy provided by Easterseals which helped turn my daughter's disabilities into abilities!
• I am grateful to Amal, AnnaHart’s physical therapist, who taught her to walk after many sessions and years of work.
• I am grateful to the sensory therapist who wrapped AnnaHart in rolled-up blankets, had her do hand stands (or knee stands, as it were), thereby lessening AnnaHart’s sensitivity to noises.
• I am grateful to the speech therapist who helped AnnaHart develop muscles in her face, try to overcome hypotonia, and make sounds and talk.
• I am grateful to Dorothy Lefford, the occupational therapist who helped AnnaHart try to obtain some coordination with puzzles, etc., in order to write, as well as deal with her swallowing and food issues.
• I am grateful to the behavior therapist who taught us how to try to manage AnnaHart’s outbursts.
• I am grateful to Easterseals for giving my daughter the opportunity to be her best self! AnnaHart now lives at Stewart Home School in Frankfort, Kentucky, where she can be more independent, have friends, be surrounded with others like her, have a productive life and help others at her school with equine therapy.
• And finally, I am grateful for all of the Easterseals leaders who support Easterseals not only with time, treasure and talent, but also allow other children and adults the opportunity to turn their disabilities into abilities too.