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Make the First Five Count

March 27, 2012

The first five years of a child’s life are key in their overall development. Yet every year, more than a million young children with unidentified delays or disabilities enter school with learning and health issues that put them far behind their peers and have a lasting, negative effect on their ability to achieve their full potential.

Easter Seals provides physical, occupational and speech therapies, as well as specialized researched-based autism therapies to help all children succeed.

Here are just 5 of the more than 375 children we will serve this year, whose stories show the importance of early diagnosis and therapy.

Twins, Ah’Mir and Ah’Mierra,were born prematurely. Because of the possibility of complications from premature birth, the hospital immediately referred them to Easter Seals for additional support. Now at age three they are ready to graduate from our Birth-to-Three early intervention program where they have worked to achieve their basic developmental milestones, and are on their way to preschool with their friends.

Julia participated in Easter Seals Birth-to-Three program, and now at age five has graduated to outpatient therapy. She was born with a chromosomal abnormality that creates multiple disabilities including a hole in her heart, low muscle tone and developmental delays. With early intervention she reached many milestones of typically developing toddlers and is now on her way to learning to get dressed, spoon feed herself and walk unassisted.

At 22 months old Kyle stopped interacting with his family, and began to lose many of the words in his young vocabulary. Diagnosed with autism, Kyle received a scholarship for autism services. Today at age eight he is still receiving autism services which are enabling him to succeed in a 2nd grade classroom with his peers. His mom Stephanie, credits his progress to early intervention. “We were able to build such a strong foundation for him. Without that, I don’t think he’d be anywhere near where he is today. We’re just so thankful for Easter Seals.”

Matthew was adopted, and when he joined his new family at 18 months old, mom and dad identified some developmental delays. He was enrolled in our Birth-to-Three program and during that time received an additional diagnosis of autism. Now at age five, he continues to receive intensive autism services. His parents are excited about his progress and his future. “His therapies are continually tailored to his new skills and needs. Easter Seals services have been a great fit for Matthew.”

You can help make the First Five Count for other children like Ah’Mir and Ah’Mierra, Julia, Kyle and Matthew. Your $50.00 gift will provide a half hour of therapy to children who
have no insurance or other resources for these important therapies.

Thank you for helping us help kids get the best start possible!

Donate online today at
www.eastersealswise.com or makethefirstfivecount.org

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