April 21, 2021
Like any parent, Jeanne Eskridge, of Townsend, wanted it all for her son, Brian. After graduating from high school and completing a job-training program, Jeanne sought a future for him that would be engaging and challenge him to reach his potential. Easterseals day services for adults with intellectual disabilities coupled with a part-time job has been the solution to meeting his needs and hers.
“I cried when I saw Brian graduate because I never thought it would happen. He walked across the stage and shook the principal’s hand,” Jeanne says. “I chose Easterseals after Brian graduated because they were the most interested in not just taking care of him but developing him as a person and helping him meet his full potential. Easterseals is very supportive. They are willing to come along side me to work with Brian. They are the best fit for him. I know I can trust Easterseals.”
Brian, who has autism, attends Easterseals twice a week and works the other three days. While at Easterseals, Jeanne knows that he is not only well cared for, but also challenged. Jeanne knew he had an interest in puzzles but was surprised to find out he was working on 1,000 piece puzzles while in the program. She is also pleased Easterseals staff is helping to build upon his reading skills.
“Having Easterseals means a lot to me. They are interested in setting goals with me. I am able to get things done and work on projects while he is there,’ Jeanne says. “It is nice that we can combine services so that he can work but also stay connected with his community at Easterseals on his off days. He is learning skills at Easterseals that he can use while on the job.”
Easterseals celebrates “National Autism Acceptance Month” in April and recognizes the many needs of the growing population of people whose lives are touched by autism either personally or by a family member. Easterseals accommodates those needs through a myriad of services offered, including: adult day programs, supported employment services, children’s therapy services, services for caregivers and through Camp Fairlee, an accessible camp for children and adult with disabilities.
Jeanne wants others to know that it is important to engage with people that may use different forms of communication than speech. She says, “Brian may not respond, but he smiles and he appreciates people reaching out to him. He may only smile or he may respond with his favorite greeting, ‘sup!’”