Our Infant Program of Easter Seals Greater Houston has experienced some tremendous growth in the past few years. It first started in 2012 when the area in Liberty County was acquired from another local Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program which added 12 new zip codes to our existing 24. Next, came the Southern portion of Montgomery County which included the Woodlands and 12 more zip codes. Then, the Northern portion of Montgomery County, which included Conroe and 12 more zips. Our newest addition kicking off 2015 was North Harris county territory, which added the final 11 zip codes bringing the grand total to 70 zip codes that span over 4 counties!
All of these new areas have meant a growing in number of referred children, from approximately 100 referrals per month to over 300. Our number of enrolled families has now reached over 1,000. To serve the families, we’ve added more staff to our family and growing from 50 to now over 100 which includes Early Intervention Specialists, Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapist and Physical Therapists
To ensure our community partners know about the changes, Sharon Mott, outreach coordinator for the new regions has been visiting area pediatrician offices. She has been overwhelmed by the positive name that Easter Seals has in the community.
“What a great opportunity I have to go into the community and share information about the ECI Infant Program of Easter Seals Greater Houston! Since the middle of April, I visited 23 pediatrician offices/clinics in the northern areas we now serve. The staff I meet express gratitude for someone from the Infant Program/ECI to come to their offices in person. We had conversations about how babies/toddlers qualify for ECI, services we provide, and how to make referrals. At each visit, I leave a Physician Notebook filled with information about ECI, sample brochures, referral forms, and physical exam forms. Most of the offices did not have any ECI brochures, so I gave them the “How’s Your Baby” brochures, in English and Spanish, along with the Easter Seals “Make the First Five Count” postcards. Last week I left phone messages with various pediatrician offices in the Humble/Kingwood/Atascocita areas. Recently I received a voice mail from the Referral Coordinator at Texas Children’s Pediatrics Atascocita office. She stated it would be “wonderful” for me to bring her information the staff can give to parents about ECI. She added they have had “excellent response with ECI through Easter Seals Greater Houston since you all have taken over. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping these patients.”
Easter Seals Greater Houston has already had a positive impact on the reputation of the Infant / ECI program now serving that area. In April the program was able to celebrate and refresh, by hosting the annual Down Days trainings. Trainings were offered by national speakers on typical childhood development, infant and child massage for children with special needs, and how play based early intervention works. Our amazing staff are always educating themselves on the best therapies to ensure your family and kiddos are going to #makethefirstfivecount” and achieve their best! After their extensive trainings, our Infant Program staff put the “play based” into action with a group outing to The Main Event – thanks for everything you do staff!”, said Dena Day, Infant Program Director.
Did you know that every year, more than one million young children with unidentified disabilities enter school with issues that put them far behind their peers and have a lasting, negative effect on their ability to meet their full potential. When children get the right treatment and therapy they need before the age of five, they are ready to learn alongside their peers, build lifelong skills, and achieve their dreams. Want to check your baby’s development?
Visit www. MaketheFirstFiveCounty.org to take a free Ages and States Questionnaire to see if your child is reaching his or her developmental milestones.