Easter Seals Greater Houston’s program for Young Adults with Disabilities have been winding down with summer and looking forward to fall activities. We are keeping our virtual hangouts fun by bringing back our activity bags which will support the theme of the day. The Young Adults with Disabilities Program will be keeping some of our favorite classes like dance, drama and music but we will also be adding life skills classes like cooking courses with a trained chef. How cool?! We are really looking forward to the day that we can be together again but in the meantime, we will be making “Beautiful Friendship Bracelets” to remind us that we are not alone, we are in this together and we will be together as soon as it is safe. Our volunteers have been OUTSTANDING as well planning bag pick ups and distributions. They have also been key players in brainstorming a safe reintegration when the time comes. Finally, Hurricane Ida has affected some family members of our group so we will be completing our first Adults With Disabilities Program service project, partnering with Easter Seals Louisiana to get essential items to our neighbors. Talk about a big, warm hug from a distance! We are so proud of our crew as they continue to stay strong, stay healthy and support each other.
Even though we are just itching to get to see each other again in person, we are making the most of our time on Zoom! Every week our LEAD Adult Program meets virtually via Zoom with a different activity planned for each meeting. Last week, Kenzie Richard volunteered her time to lead our adults through a Disney World Virtual Escape Room! Our LEADers participated in each challenge to escape Disney World. Some of the challenges were quite hard but when we worked as a team, we were able to get out in just under an hour. Thank you Kenzie for leading us through that fun adventure! Check out this video of our Adult Program participants working together to escape the room and boredom.
Do you have a special activity or program you think our LEAD Adult Program would enjoy? Are you interested in leading us through the activity for 30 minutes or an hour via Zoom? Email Ashley Nichols at ANichols@eastersealshouston.org to learn how you can get involved!
Hello I am the parent of “Z” who has been in the Easter Seals Greater Houston’s program about year and half now. Just to provide you with a little background of this little fellow. “Z” has faced with many challenges in his year and half-life but he is a true solider and overcoming slowly. “Z” was referred by his Pediatrician to Easter Seals Greater Houston’sEarly Childhood Intervention (ECI) Program, because of torticollis at the age of 5 months. He is now 20 months; and he still deals with his “head tilt” from time to time. He was assigned to Melissa for Physical Therapy and from his assessment it indicated he had some developmental delays. He showed unbelievable progress while working with Melissa over a year and half, which has eased some of my trying times with my little one. “Z” is currently working with several ESGHECI Therapists.
Melissa has been providing therapy with my “Z” the longest and has been a great observer and excellent Physical Therapist provider. Melissa has suggested many things that she felt would help my son such as sensory activities, compression clothes, compression vest for tip-toeing, Wilbarger Brushing for sensory; all of which is helping with my son’s progress. She also suggested I speak with Jinelle about referring my son to Occupational Therapy for behavior issues that stem from sensory input along with Speech Therapy to continue meeting his milestones. Melissa also helped with sending me educational materials, head-tilt strengthening techniques, and showed me strategies to implement daily to help my son with crawling and walking. Most importantly, she educated me on how the 5 stages of developmental milestones are reached and how some delays affect the next milestones when they are not met. Not only allowing me to know that my son is progressing but also in addressing my pediatrician.
The reason for this letter is to let you know how wonderful your team at Easter Seals has been to my family and most importantly to my son “Z”. I have so much gratitude to Easter Seals and this team of ladies that words can’t explain. Jinelle (Case manager), Thein (Nutritionist), Melissa (PT), Dionise (OT), and Michelle (Speech) are a blessing. This village of a team has improved my son’s ability to function and adapt to the daily challenges he faces with delayed milestones, sensory and speech issues.
Working with the team of therapists, I have learned how all the milestones overlap/connect and how all the therapist’s roles are important, different and needed. Learning from the therapists allowed me to help my son to the fullest. Their knowledge on food selection, hands on activities techniques and being flexible with my work schedule do not go unnoticed. They all love their work, the children they serve, and they are very compassionate to parents concerns and feeling. When times were overwhelming for us, the therapists provide a listening ear while staying professional and never crossing boundaries. It felt good as a parent to have this village of professionals ease my emotions.
This team has been around since day one with my son. Jinelle has been a great case manager by providing helpful resources, connecting me to the appropriate specialists, providing me access to the weighted vest and sensory brush, and by being able to address other issues. Jinelle is the glue that holds this team together and the person making sure services are on time. Thein is awesome for making sure my child has the right nutrients and is staying on track with a healthy diet and weight gain. She suggests food selections and fluid consumptions for “Z” to help with being underweight, and helps with mapping out mealtime scheduling suggestion for home and daycare.
Dionise and Michelle are new specialists incorporated to “Z”’s treatment services for the past 3 months. Mostly virtual due to #StayAtHome. They were recently able to see “Z” in person for the first time. The total team is a completion of comfort. The comfort that my child will be able to thrive, and has the potential to maintain and overcome many of the behaviors that have led to sensory overloads and speech delays. Everything goes hand in hand. Sensory needs to be under control so “Z” can succeed in his vocabulary words, which will help him in talking and we have incorporated sensory bins into daily life, and pretend play with stuffed animals to help “Z” communicate with non-verbal and verbal cues to extend his communication. We started with 10 words and currently working towards 25 and more.
“Z” has come a long way – we are moving in the right direction but still have work to do. “Z” took to Dionise the first time he saw her on zoom and even in person so much that he didn’t want her to leave. It was so funny that as we walked her to the door – he was waving bye to ME! Together we are also working with my son on behavior techniques – less screen time, incorporating compression clothing all day, and weighted vest/blanketed. This team is compassionate, caring, flexible and dedicated to their line of work by providing exceptional hands on/Zoom support through teaching and providing me the knowledge to continue to work with my son through this challenging time.
Since the pandemic and throughout treatment, my son experiences some regression in each individual session but with the help of all therapist working together and keeping each other in the loop, my son has improved meeting milestones. These ladies are not just doing their job they are taking the initiative to go above and beyond for the families they serve while still following protocols of the company.
Without this Easter Seals team and the ECI program, I’m not sure where my son would be. On behalf of my family Thank You!
Early Childhood Intervention services are available to children from birth to three (3) years old that show developmental delay, at risk for delay, or have a disability. Learn more about Easter Seals Greater Houston’s ECI Program today.
Hello, my name is Teresa G. I attend Easter Seals Greater Houston’sLEAD Adult Program weekly throughout the year. Since COVID, we have been meeting online through Zoom. Here are a few reasons why I like to attend the virtual programs: I like the LEAD virtual program for various reasons, but perhaps the most important reason is it allows me to share my life experience as a person living with a disability with other LEAD Adult Program participants. The participants that attend the LEAD Adult Program are all at different stages in life. As a long time member of the LEAD Adult Program I can share my ideas and wisdom with my LEAD community.
During this COVID experience, the LEAD virtual program has provided members with a sense of normalcy and continuity which is very much needed during this uncertain time. An added blessing to having the LEAD Adult Program go online is that the shy quiet members of the LEAD Adult Program have discovered they have a voice. They have been working extremely hard to overcome their shyness and speech difficulties to be heard over Zoom. The improved communication and social skills among all the LEAD members has been a beautiful thing to witness.