Owen is two years old and has been diagnosed with a global developmental delay. At eight months old, Owen and his family joined Easter Seals’ Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program. Although he is not able to speak, he has made great progress and kept a smile on his face. He has a wonderful sense of humor, a laugh that is contagious and shows his love with warm hugs and kisses. Owen has an amazing team of therapists who have been there to push him to be his best and celebrate every milestone. The ECI team has been wonderful in not only working with Owen, but his entire support system – parents, sisters, and teachers at school – in developing ways to motivate Owen to reach his milestones.
As so many others were in the Houston area, Owen and his family were effected by Hurricane Harvey, actually being rescued by boat from the flood waters in their Kingwood home. In the aftermath, the ECI team did not miss a beat and did everything possible to make sure there was no disruption in Owen’s services. Owen and his family continue to celebrate daily and weekly milestones that are undoubtedly, in no small part, made possible by the support of the Easter Seals team.
Gabriella (Gaby) was born with Kabuki Syndrome. A distinguishing trait of Kabuki is elongated eyes and lengthy eyelashes. It also comes with its fair share of genetic complications which, in Gaby's case, include visual impairment, hearing loss, motility and swallowing difficulties, hypertonia, and a minor heart condition. Learning about each of these complications is a slow, painful process, but having the support of Easter Seals' Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) therapists has made it easier to overcome these hurdles. ECI has helped Gaby learn how to sit up, take a bite of a banana, and point to a picture in a book. It has also taught the family how to implement the skills needed so they can teach Gaby when her therapists are not around. Kabuki Syndrome is not what defines Gaby. It's her laughter, her intellect, and her relentless ability to never give up that makes Gaby the special girl she is. Today Gaby runs, plays and eats with all of the other two year olds and Kabuki Syndrome is taking a big backseat to life thanks to Easter Seals and her wonderful ECI therapists.
Rhys was born premature at 23 weeks gestation. As a result he suffers from cerebral palsy, which causes him to have both muscle weakness and spasticity. Rhys has an amazing personality, and is full of life and laughter. His favorite possessions are his joke book collection, and his iPad. Although Rhys cannot walk unassisted, hard work with OT and PT has helped him continually progress his motor skills. Rhys just completed his third year at Easter Seals Camp Smiles. His family cannot say enough amazing things about the camp and staff. They say “it provides Rhys an opportunity to be a typical kid, giving him the chance to experience activities that are not otherwise accessible to him.” The family is incredibly grateful for the services this organization provides to so many.