By Natalie Scott
“The therapists at Easterseals would always use the word ‘when,’ not ‘if.’ Like, ‘When he walks.’ ‘When he talks’,” Tracy says.
“They gave us hope and more than a list of diagnoses.
Those are the phrases heard around Easterseals Children’s Therapy program.
That’s why families, like James’, turn to Easterseals when their children need life-changing therapies and it’s exactly what happened when Tracy and Jamie received James’ diagnosis when he was one week old.
“In the hospital, they often focused on the ‘can’t’ and ‘won’t.’ Often they referred to him as a diagnosis,” Tracy says. “The whole family loved when Easterseals therapists were working with James. It was a bright spot for all of us.”
As a newborn, James who has Down syndrome, received physical, speech and occupational therapies. They worked with him before and after his heart surgery to keep him on track. Later they introduced the family to a communication application on his tablet that has helped James be more vocal with his sisters and parents.
He even figured out how to use his communication device to play music on their Amazon Alexa.
“Therapy is just another activity, like dance. Don’t be fearful and don’t wait. Because of therapy, James walked on time and met his milestones. He was able to play soccer and go to toddler time with his peers,” Tracy says. “James is healthy, thriving and vibrant. We want him to grow up and live an independent life. We don’t limit him.”
James is now six and continuing to master his goals with Easterseals therapies. He is learning to ride a tricycle so he can enjoy bike rides with his family. In occupational therapy, he is preparing for kindergarten by learning to write and use scissors.
He is also continuing to use more spoken words with the help of speech therapy.
“James is one of our biggest blessings. However, the information on the internet can be quite grim,” Tracy says. “We are forever grateful for the support we received from Easterseals. They truly impacted his life in a positive way so he is able to meet his full potential. We know they will be there for him in the future to support his future goals.”
A trusted provider of children’s therapy services for more than 70 years, Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore specializes in treating children ages birth through eighteen years with a variety of challenges. Easterseals specializes in meeting the needs of children and their families through creative, playful activities that go beyond traditional services.
Easterseals is delighted to have James as this year’s ambassador for their 8th annual “Walk With Me & 5K Fun Run Delmarva” event.
The event is scheduled for 3 pm on Sunday, October 17, 2021 at Baywood Greens, 32267, Clubhouse Way, Long Neck, DE.
Funds raised through Walk With Me help Easterseals provide critically needed services to families living with disabilities in our local community. Registration for this year’s Walk With Me event is available at www.walkwithme.org/delmarva or by contacting Linda Forte at 302-253-1121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More than 1,000 children each year receive physical, speech and occupational therapy at the Easterseals Children’s Therapy Center in Georgetown and Salisbury. Easterseals plays a critical role in providing needed therapy for children with a variety of disabilities, short or long term. Children with and without disabilities will find the highest quality services designed to meet their individual needs. For more information about Easterseals Children’s Therapy services in Georgetown call 302-253-1111 and in Salisbury, call 410-546-2894.
Easterseals Tunnell Center is located at 22317 DuPont Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947. Our Salisbury location can be found at 1336 Belmont Ave., Suite 502, Salisbury, MD 21804. Please visit our website and see all of our services for people of all ages and abilities: www.de.easterseals.com.