Livv Pilat, from Southington Connecticut, has been a part of the Easterseals family from the very early stages of her life. We have watched Livv grow and transition into different programs, conquer obstacles and succeed.
Livv’s story starts out much different than your average infant. At 9 months, her parents started to see signs that something was with their baby girl. It was determined that Livv had suffered a stroke. At first no one knew what the effects of this stroke would be, but with help from Easterseals programs that provided her with care from her infant stage through her pre-kindergarten years, Livv progressed.
Of children surviving stroke, about 60% will have permanent neurological deficits. When Easterseals Birth to Three program therapists first met Livv, she was two years old, and developmentally delayed but had walking and communication skills. They quickly came to learn that Livv was strong willed, and would walk and talk on her terms. The therapists worked with Livv weekly trying to improve her walking. They also had to work with her to develop speech, as she was falling behind. They started by repeating words, and using some signing. Livv quickly picked up on this, and started communicating on her own. By the time she turned three, there was noticeable increase in confidence, improved walking abilities, and was able to communicate using words.
Livv also made the huge leap into the Easterseals Children’s Academy when she turned three. She was now in a school readiness program with other children her age. At first, she was very nervous, but within a short while, Livv became an independent and strong willed child. Each day at school, tasks are assigned. For example, set the places with bowls and utensils for each student so they can all eat breakfast together. This was not a task that Livv wanted to do in the beginning. However, her teachers encouraged her, took time to explain the task and showed her what to do. It didn’t take her long to set the table on her own with little help from her teachers. Livv has learned countless helpful learning tools in preparation for kindergarten. She graduated this year, and we fully expect Livv to succeed! Adam Pilat, Livv’s dad said, “We are so grateful for their [Easterseals] programs and day care for all the help that has been provided over the years. We look forward to continuing a lifelong relationship with Easterseals”.