February 11, 2020
At Easterseals, Your Children Are Part of Our Family
“We were in the car and Joey started singing the Lion Guard theme song. I know most three-year-old kids sing, but for me and my husband, it was a big deal. We knew we were hearing him sing for the first time thanks to speech therapy with Easterseals.”
Joey’s journey with Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore began when he was almost two years-old. Therapy not only gave the Paola family that special moment in the car, but has also helped Joey with his communications skills – progressing from sign language to speaking his first words to stringing words together into sentences. All of these skills have helped him learn to communicate with his parents, easing a lot of the frustration that comes with not being understood.
“My child is a different child since he started with Easterseals. Easterseals exceeded any expectation and needs we had,” Kelly, Joey’s mom, says. “We were a family that went from surviving to thriving.”
Thanks to physical and occupational therapy with Easterseals, Joey has gone from frequently falling because of his physical disability to jumping with both feet. He is also using both of his hands intentionally to play, stack blocks and solve puzzles. Feeding therapy has helped him to swallow and tolerate different foods.
“Easterseals is exemplary. The caliber at Easterseals is higher. They hold themselves to higher standards and that really benefitted us. They didn’t just say ‘this is another kid in my case load.’ They care about us as a family,” Kelly says. “Easterseals therapists made adjustments to make Joey feel comfortable during therapy. It is a perfect example of how they put him first. This is huge to our family.”
Joey’s family was selected to serve as the Volleyball Ambassador for the 2020 Easterseals/CAI Volleyball Challenge, which will take place on August 21-22, 2020 at the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington, DE. Click here to donate to Joey’s team, Volley4Joey. To hear more about Joey’s story, check out his video!
The Volleyball Challenge is a family-friendly, two-day event, which brings the community together to raise critically needed dollars for Easterseals to serve children and adults with disabilities. For more information about the event, go to www.volleyballchallenge.com or contact Stephanie DiMartine at 302-221-2065 or firstname.lastname@example.org.