This year, autism awareness month is hitting at a time when everyone across the globe is dealing with a change in their routines. This disruption in our lives is just a small glimpse into the lives of those living with autism spectrum disorder. Today, we would like to introduce you to Gabriel! He is a student at the Easterseals Learning Academy and has been home with his parents during the stay at home order. His Mom, Andrea, shared some images of their day.
Easterseals Central Illinois began piloting telehealth services with plans to expand in the coming weeks; the organization will resume offering limited in-person services on April 8 in ways designed to protect the health of those involved and slow the spread of coronavirus.
“We continue to comply with the Illinois’ stay-at-home order; but some families urgently need in-person services. The pediatric therapy services we provide are vital to helping children with developmental delays, disabilities and other special needs reach their full potential,” says Angie DeLost, vice president of Programs & Services. “For the families we serve, missed therapy services can significantly impact the trajectory of their child’s development.”
Easterseals Central Illinois provides essential services and is approved to continue operating. The Easterseals telehealth platform links therapists and families via live video. Even before piloting the telehealth platform, Easterseals has been supporting children and families through phone consultations and by providing resources through social media and its website. Those resources are available for all children and families in our communities on the web at esci.link/resources and on the Easterseals Central Illinois Facebook page.
“Where possible, we are using telehealth initiatives,” adds DeLost. “We are here for our families and their children.”
Easterseals therapists and care coordinators are available to families by phone and email during regular business hours. In person services are being scheduled on a case by case basis.
“We are working closely with referring physicians to make decisions about in person therapy sessions,” says DeLost. “We continue to follow the thorough infection control policies and processes we have always had, as well as CDC guidelines related to screenings and communication related to all patient care.”
Per Illinois guidelines, Early Intervention face-to-face services for children age 0-3 years are on hold through at least April 15.
Easterseals Learning Academy is following the direction of the State of Illinois, which currently has schools closed through April 30 and using e-learning practices. At this time, Timber Pointe Outdoor Center summer camps are scheduled to begin in June.
For the past 100 years Easterseals Central Illinois had been committed to serving our communities. We continue, even during the coronavirus pandemic, to ensure those we serve are empowered to reach their full potential.