The goal of Easterseals services to children is to provide educational and therapeutic interventions; opportunities to enhance development, independence, and self-esteem; and to assist families in meeting their needs.
Autism and Medical Diagnostic Clinic
The Regional Medical & Autism Diagnostic Clinic provides a series of thorough evaluations that have been carefully chosen to provide a comprehensive picture of each individual child. The diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is a complex process and Easterseals uses the gold standard method of diagnosis recognized by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Every evaluation is completed by a licensed professional specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of ASDs. All totaled, these evaluations provide at least eight hours of intensive one on one services with the child and their family. At the end of the evaluation the entire team meets with the family to discuss test results, diagnosis and recommendations.
Early intervention is designed to help babies and toddlers meet their developmental milestones. Qualified professionals work with parents and children up to the age of three years old who are experiencing delays in their development. The goal of early intervention is for children to reach their highest level of development. Therapists work closely with parents and other family members to teach them how to help their young child learn the skills they need to develop as they grow such as rolling over, sitting up, picking things up with their hands, walking and talking.
Inclusive Child Care
A child’s environment and social experience in their first three years of life is critical to their brain development and can have a decisive, long-lasting impact on their well-being and ability to learn. For many parents, this is enough to make finding high-quality child care a top priority. The Easterseals Child Development Center Network responds to the needs and concerns of parents with children of all abilities.
Jump Start is an Early Childhood program for those families who qualify, providing parent education and support services to families in Will, Grundy, and Kendall Counties. Families are eligible for services throughout pregnancy and until their child reaches age 3.
Occupational therapy focuses on developing a person’s ability to do the things they need to do to take care of themselves. This includes a child’s or adult’s ability to do things such as bathing, dressing, eating, doing school work, managing a home or working. Easterseals’ licensed occupational therapists and certified occupational therapy assistants promote independence in self-care, work, school and play.
Pediatric Behavior Therapy
Easterseals offers behavioral therapy for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Our therapists use a whole-person, developmental approach that incorporates strategies from applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and other developmental theories to optimize your child's behavior and ability to function within their environment.
Physical therapy services focus on enhancing or restoring a child's mobility and function. Easterseals' licensed physical therapists work to increase muscle strength, flexibility, coordination and balance in order to encourage independence at home, school, and in the community. All individuals are challenged to achieve independence in mobility and skills such as sitting, crawling, using a wheelchair and walking.
Seating and Mobility Clinic
The Seating and Mobility Clinic provides a unique team approach to the evaluation, fittings, and follow-up for both manual and power wheel chairs, seating systems, standers, adaptive car seats, adapted chairs, and adaptive bath equipment. The equipment chosen is designed to meet the needs of the individual and his or her family. Experts in the area of Seating and Mobility will lead the clinic working closely with the client, family members, primary therapists, physicians and rehabilitation technology suppliers.
Speech-language pathology (speech therapy)
Speech pathologists, sometimes called speech therapists, help people learn speech and language. They also treat swallowing and feeding problems. Speech pathologists might help a stroke survivor regain their ability to talk, or might help a young child learn to speak. Speech pathologists also help people who cannot learn to talk to use augmentative communication devices like computer-based devices that speak for a person, or a board with pictures or words that a person can point to.
Special Home Placement
Easterseals specialized foster care program focuses on children with disabilities and teenagers. We also have traditional children (children without disabilities) within our foster care program. Easterseals offers a full range of services and referrals to fit each child's individual needs.
Easterseals runs a variety of groups over the summer for children with special needs that have both a therapeutic component and a social, recreational side. Summer groups can be a great way to supplement traditional, school year therapies while providing your child with a fun summer experience! All groups are lead by a variety of developmental, speech, occupational and physical therapists. Scholarships may be awarded to qualifying families.