United Way and Easterseals Provide Possibilities for Kids Like Harrison

With United Way of Berks County’s support, Easterseals Eastern Pennsylvania provides possibilities and life-changing services for local children and families.

Children like Harrison, a bright and friendly child, who has autism. Both of his parents work in the education field and wanted to make sure he was prepared for the demands of school. Harrison participates in a number of Easterseals programs.

Harrison, a second grader, shares an eagerness to attend therapy, as well as shares stories about his school, interests, and family with his therapists each week.

One of Harrison’s therapists, Theresa, notes “I am very proud to be a part of Harrison’s story and helping him to meet his full potential. He is a hard worker and brings a lot of fun and energy to the sessions. It is always fulfilling to see a child benefit from the therapy you provide.”

In the Early Intervention Program with Outpatient Therapy for both speech-language and occupational therapy services, Harrison has made quick progress towards his goals to address sensory sensitivities, activities of daily living, picky eating, and fine motor skills. He also attends a weekly Social-Skills Group. By interacting with his same-aged peers, Harrison is able to work on interactive skills like answering social questions, holding a conversation, and taking turns. These are essential skills that he needs to thrive at home and in school.

As a common practice at Easterseals, the support services are woven into all aspects of Harrison’s daily life. He and his family have the support of Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS), a separate wraparound service focused on skill development to support emotional and behavioral issues. Easterseals invites Harrison’s IBHS technician to join their therapy sessions in order to help carryover skills into other areas of his life, and the technician provides behavioral support as needed during sessions.

“We have seen so much progress with Harrison,” says Jaime, Harrison’s mother. “He now has immaculate handwriting, is able to open packaging that he couldn’t before, and they even have helped him with his social skills. Everyone is so friendly and compassionate about helping each child succeed!”

Easterseals Eastern Pennsylvania provides services to support children and adults with a range of physical and cognitive disabilities, autism and other social, sensory and developmental delays – and their families. Needs can result from any cause, whether diagnosed at birth or incurred through disease, accidental injury or the aging process. The Berks County center provides Outpatient Therapy and Specialty Medical Clinics.

United Way of Berks County is Easterseals Eastern Pennsylvania’s most significant supporter for four key programs: Outpatient Therapy; Specialty Medical Clinics including the Autism Diagnostic Clinic; Camp & Recreation including summer camp programs; and ‘Make the First Five Count’ which ties in to the birth-to-3-years old Early Intervention program.