On March 16th Easterseals Central announced that all therapy appointments would be canceled through March 31st, along with the closing of the Easterseals Learning Academy for that same timeframe and any activity at Timber Pointe Outdoor Center being canceled through the end of April. “The health and safety of our clients and staff always comes first and we are committed to doing our part to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said Steve Thompson, President and CEO of Easterseals Central Illinois. “During this unprecedented time, the families we serve need us now more than ever”.
Stopping face-to-face therapy presents a unique challenge to an organization that employs over 200 people dedicated to helping children with developmental delays, disabilities and other special needs reach their full potential. However, in its 100 years of service the organization has always responded dynamically to meet the needs of the community. This time is no different. In an effort to support its clients and community, Easterseals Central Illinois staff is now dedicated to providing the vital resources that will bridge gaps and help children continue to make progress towards their milestones.
Easterseals therapists, teachers and support staff have been in contact with their clients, assessing needs and providing support over the phone. The therapists are hard at work creating and deploying resources for caregivers to use at home to help children of all abilities navigate their new reality.
- Therapists are reviewing in-home programs with caregivers and providing additional support in the form of visual aids and educational materials
- Assisting families in making daily schedules and social stories.
- Providing calming strategies
- Helping families identify local resources for basic living needs
Easterseals is providing these resources at no cost to the families, and all are available to the general public at eastersealsci.com. Like many businesses and organizations, Easterseals is facing unprecedented financial challenges with the suspension of program services and the cancelation of three vital fundraising events in April.
“As we continue to navigate this unchartered territory, we need the support of Central Illinois now more than ever” said Steve Thompson, “We will never stop supporting families who need us, and we hope the community will do the same”.