Michael thrives with classmates of all abilities.

Close-up photo of 5-year-old Michael looking at camera

Michael had a rough start in life. Immediately after birth, he was rushed to the NICU, struggling to breathe and in need of surgery. Michael survived that crisis, but at 6 months, he was diagnosed with a rare chromosomal disorder. It would take a village to help Michael thrive despite the challenges he faced. Michael’s family found the team he needed at the Easterseals Early Learning Center.

Michael began attending the fully inclusive Early Learning Center at 19 months of age. He has made so much progress toward independence! With the help of Easterseals teachers, therapists, and supporters, Michael learned to walk! After three years of relying on a feeding tube, he now eats table food! He even uses a fork and spoon to feed himself. Michael’s doctors are amazed that in addition to using sign language, he has learned to speak almost 30 words to communicate what he wants and needs.

Now 5-year-old Michael is learning to dress himself, expand his vocabulary, and thrive alongside his classmates of all abilities. “The difference that Easterseals makes shows through Michael in so many ways,” said his mom Kelly, “such as when he comes home singing a new song, saying a new word, or surprising us with the achievements he made that day.”

Easterseals supporters are also important members of Michael's team, empowering him–and so many other Tri-State children and adults–to achieve their own goals and dreams!

“As the cliché goes, it takes a village to raise a child. The Easterseals Early Learning Center is an important part of that village for Michael.” -Kelly Gramig, Michael’s mom

Follow our link to read more local Easterseals Impact Stories!

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