Peyton was completely nonverbal at age two when she began receiving speech therapy and occupational therapy from Easterseals. She had no way to communicate with her family and make her needs known, but that all changed when she began working with Easterseals. Within three weeks of beginning therapy, Peyton was using sign language and vocalizing words. Today, after seven months of therapy, she is independently speaking and communicating, she engages more with people and can clearly make her needs known. As her mother Eboni states, “she is a completely different child from before we started working with Easterseals.”
While Peyton has been developing a critical skill set, her family has learned how to promote those skills as a part of their everyday life. Peyton’s parents, three older siblings and twin brother are actively involved in supporting her development. “The therapists are amazing,” states Peyton’s mom. “They have built a great bond with our family. They provide a wealth of information and I can call anytime with a question and get the support I need.”
On the recommendation of one of Easterseals therapists, the family had Peyton tested for autism. Her mother Eboni states, “It can be difficult having a child with autism, but our therapists have definitely helped us understand Peyton and her diagnosis better. So many families are currently dealing with their own autism diagnosis. It can be heartbreaking, but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, you have a diagnosis and yes, it is going to be a long road, but it doesn’t change the fact that your child is just as amazing with or without the diagnosis. Peyton has shown our family and hopefully others that it is okay to be autistic. All it takes is some creativity, hard work and a great source of information like we have with our Easterseals therapists.”
Through Easterseals early intervention program, Peyton is receiving the therapeutic support she needs to reach her fullest potential and her parents are receiving the support they need to make it happen. Getting the right support early is vital to a child’s development. Brain development is at its peak during the first five years of a child’s life, and identifying developmental delays and disabilities during this time is paramount in order to intervene when the most good can be done. At Easterseals, we are committed to providing the life-changing services children with disabilities and their families need in order to increase independence, maximize opportunities, minimize barriers and enhance quality of life.