Meet our Early Intervention Staff
Karen Larson, Director of Early Intervention
Karen started working with Easterseals South Carolina since 2007. She has over 25 years of experience in the field of Early Intervention. While working with Easterseals South Carolina she held multiple positions including Director of Autism.
Karen actively assisted the founding agency, Easterseals South Carolina, in developing Autism Services of South Carolina. Early Intervention and Autism Services go hand-in-hand with each other on improving long-term client and family outcomes.
Karen completed her undergraduate degree at West Virginia University and her graduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has always been a firm believer in the concept of early intervention because research proves that the earlier supports are in place the better the outcomes are for both caregivers and their children. Karen’s graduate research and thesis were conducted on parental needs in the NICU. This research study was a turning point in her experience in the field of Early Intervention. Since that experience, her focus is now even more specific on striving to support and empower families by using the approach of family-driven services. This concept will continue to be her driving force within the Autism Services of South Carolina.
Karen is married and a mother of two teenagers. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, attending sporting events, and boating.
Stacy Scruggs- Assistant Director
email@example.com Fax: 1-888-467-2185
Stacy Scruggs has been with Easterseals South Carolina since 2004 and has over 20 years experience in working with adults and children with special needs. Stacy earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from the College of Charleston in 1994. Shortly after graduation, she obtained a position working for the local board of Disabilities and Special Needs providing direct services in residential and day program settings and service coordination. It was during her time here that Stacy realized she had a passion for working with individuals and families with special needs. During her free time, Stacy enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She also enjoys traveling, reading and watching her children in their various sporting events.
Denise Balansky - Early Intervention Systems Manager
Denise Balansky has been with Easterseals South Carolina since January of 2007. She has over 19 years of experience working with children of various ages and with a variety of needs. Her career focus evolved while she worked at an extended school year program in Westport, CT and then took special education courses during her time studying abroad at the University of Sydney in Australia. Denise obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Education from Western New England University in Springfield, MA in 2004. After graduating, she obtained a position at the New England Center for Children outside of Boston where she had previously interned. After a relocating to the Carolinas, Denise attained a position with Easterseals. She began as an Early Intervention Specialist and was promoted into supervision in 2009. In 2011, she began her current role as the Early Intervention Systems Manager. She supports the Early Intervention Specialists and their supervisors across the state in this role. Denise firmly believes in empowering parents to be their child’s best teacher and to be advocates for their children. She loves seeing the difference that Early Intervention can make in the lives of the children and families that Easterseals serves! Outside of work, Denise enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters. They enjoy traveling especially when it involves a road trip, the beach, or seeing live music. Denise also enjoys being in nature, baking, yoga, and photography.
April Johnson- Developmental Specialist
April Johnson joined the Easterseals family in early 2017. She is a graduate of Winthrop University with dual degrees in sociology and psychology. She has eight years previous work experience with DDSN as an Early Interventionist before becoming a stay-at-home mom. During this time April continues her passion for working with children by volunteering with various programs at school and church. Over the past six years, she has been employed as a teacher at a local pre-school. April has always had a need to work with children and especially those who face challenges. She is very excited to re-enter the full-time workforce with Easterseals.
Lydia Carroll- Quality Assurance Administrative Assistant
Lydia Carroll joined Easter Seals in the fall of 2014 as an Early Intervention Specialist. She graduated from Converse College in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Lydia has always known that she wanted to work with children and has grown up helping with nursery and Vacation Bible school programs at her church. Through her previous work as an ABA Line Therapist, she realized that working with children with special needs was the right job for her. Lydia loves spending time with her daughter and husband.
Meet our Early Intervention Team
Staff of Upstate
Staff of York 1
Staff of York 2
Staff of Rich/Lex
Staff of Charleston One
Staff of Charleston Two
Staff of Charleston Three
Staff of Myrtle Beach