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Learning, growing, thriving TIMES TWO!

Henry and Noah square closeup

Raising twins is always an adventure, but Christie and Brian York encountered some unexpected challenges. When their sons Henry and Noah were toddlers, the boys insisted that items be lined up in particular ways. Switching activities often caused a meltdown. Noah was bothered by certain textures and sounds. The boys stopped using words and began communicating in “twin speak,” a special language no one else could understand. Henry and Noah have a sensory processing disorder with developmental and speech delays. As they got older, the challenges grew.

On the twins’ third birthday, the daycare they had been attending told the Yorks they could no longer accommodate Noah and Henry’s special needs. These working parents were devastated and worried. They had two weeks to find a place that could and would accept the boys. Thankfully, they found the Easterseals Early Learning Center, Evansville’s only fully inclusive early childhood program, which is made possible by generous community support.

“We saw an improvement in the boys’ behavior almost instantly and they really started to open up and become more independent,” Christie said. “From day one, all the things that made the boys ‘different’ at their other school were embraced and celebrated by the staff and teachers at the Early Learning Center.”

The boys attended two programs within the Early Learning Center–Milestones Early Care and Mitchell Therapeutic Preschool–and received speech and developmental therapies as part of their school day. “They began communicating with actual words at home, adapting to different situations, playing independently, and becoming more social with other children,” Christie said.

“The Easterseals Early Learning Center isn’t just where our kids go, it’s part of our extended family,” Christie explained. “The resources and tools provided by Easterseals donors impact each child in a different way. For us, it enabled Noah and Henry to begin kindergarten on time, with their peers–something we never dreamed of when they first started!"

“It’s also my kids talking about where to throw a birthday party so ALL their friends can be included,” Christie said. “It’s watching them interact with children of various abilities at a playground, and seeing them include and adapt their play for the kids around them."

“Supporting Easterseals and the Early Learning Center means supporting a future generation that is mindful and inclusive for all abilities,” Christie said. “There’s a whole lot being taught at the Early Learning Center that I don’t see being taught at other places, because of it being an inclusive atmosphere. It's why we enrolled our new baby, Jacob (before he was even born) to start attending there in the fall!"

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