For Immediate Release

Easterseals Celebrates Better Hearing and Speech Month

May 1, 2023

A toddler playing with toys with a occupational therapist

New Castle, DE – An autism diagnosis can be intimidating for some people. Anaya Padilla-Torres, on the other hand, jumped right into action, knowing just what to do when her son Elijah Padilla-Torres was diagnosed with autism, she called Easterseals and their team of therapists!

“We chose Easterseals because we have known about them for years and because we know they have a great reputation,” Anaya, of New Castle, DE, says.

May is Better Hearing and Speech month, which seeks to create awareness of communication disorders and the importance of treatment to improve quality of life. Although more than 5 million children in the United States have a speech, language or hearing disorder, parents are often unsure about what to do when they suspect their child may be affected. Feeding therapy can be an important aspect of the services that speech therapists can offer to help infants and children who have feeding difficulties such as sucking, chewing, feeding or swallowing.  

When Elijah started Speech Therapy, he had very few words in his vocabulary and now he is speaking 10 to 20 words in short sentences. He is currently working on expanding his arsenal to over 50 words and using words to express how he is feeling. To help with Elijah’s aversion to wet textures, like baby food, Easterseals is also providing feeding therapy and now he is eating grapes and yogurt.

“Easterseals therapists worked tremendously hard with Elijah. Everyone at Easterseals is hands on with his care. They are working with my family and I side-by-side,” Anaya says. “It is the small things that make a difference in his world and in ours. It takes a village and Easterseals is a big part of our village.”

Along with Speech Therapy, Elijah participates in Occupational Therapy to help with exploring more textures through play, feeding himself with a spoon and holding toys. All his therapies take place in the home making it more convenient for his family.

Families with a concern about their child’s speech or feeding development should contact Easterseals for information on acquiring a full evaluation. Easterseals’ has a team of master’s level, certified and licensed Speech-Language Pathologists who are available to provide services to children of all ages in our locations in Delaware and Maryland’s eastern shore.

A trusted provider of children’s therapy services for 75 years, Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore specializes in treating children ages birth through eighteen years with a variety of challenges, including developmental delay, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, speech and language delay, feeding and swallowing difficulties and others. Therapy services are provided for children in the home, at daycare centers, or through center-based services.

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