Meet Joe Mattingly Camp FUEL Counselor

Joe Mattingly is returning for his fifth year as a camp counselor for Camp FUEL. Camp FUEL is a camp opportunity for adolescents with disabilities ages 11-17. What makes the camp unique can vary from day to day as the participants spend much of their camp days in the community exploring the fun of Indianapolis with peers and counselors.

Joe with FUEL camperCamp programs developed and provided by Easterseals Crossroads respond to the needs in our community; this is how the concept of Camp FUEL was created. We realized there was a great interest in camps for this age group in greater Indianapolis. We wanted to meet that need by providing fun and unique experience-based learning opportunities in a setting that would provide enjoyment and engaging opportunities for the campers/participants,”  said Kristyn Greenawald, Manager of Camps, Respite, and School-based Services.

Camp FUEL Explores Community

The campers are the main reason that Joe returns to Camp FUEL each summer; he is always so happy to see returning campers and meet new ones. During the rest of the year, Joe is an aide in a life skills class at Beech Grove High School and has been for the past nine years.

“I love that we get to provide a unique experience for campers in our community from a variety of places such as Agape, the JCC for swimming and Conner Prairie. Every day is a new and different experience; there is no typical day because every day is new and different. Campers tell me that they love making new friends and visiting places that they have never been,” said Joe.

Peers and New Experiences

Every year, we hear from parents about how much their campers love coming back to us each summer to see their camp friends and visit different places in the community. We strive to meet the individual needs of our campers and we definitely make certain that each camp event is accessible and fun for every camper.

Attending a new camp can cause some first-time participants to be a bit nervous. We have learned that typically by the end of the first day, campers have had such a great time with new experiences and their peers that they cannot wait to return the next day. By the time the session of camp ends, most of our parents tell us that their child cannot wait to return next year.  A significantly large percentage of campers are return campers each year until they outgrow the program.

“Years from now, I hope I still remember the smiles on the faces of the campers. This camp experience is honestly one that campers cannot have anywhere else that I know of.  I remember one camper who used a wheelchair to ambulate being nervous about horseback riding. After the first horseback riding session at Agape, this camper had the biggest smile! I hope families and campers remember all the unique experiences that camp offered them. I think we will all remember the fun that we had,” said Joe.

Learn more about camps provided by Easterseals Crossroads.

2022-06-23T10:02:53-04:00June 23, 2022|Our Blog|

Meet Tim Blanusa CampAbility Lead Counselor

Tim Blanusa with a camper at CampAbilityTim Blanusa has been an employee at Easterseals Crossroads in its camp and respite programs for over eight years. As a third and fourth grade special education teacher, Tim has years of experience and knowledge working with children; we are so fortunate for all of the creativity and dedication that he brings to our programs!

“Being able to provide camp and respite experiences for this age group is a lot of fun. Some of the kids with whom we work may not necessarily be able to have these types of activities if it wasn’t for Easterseals Crossroads. The camp programs help me recharge after a school year and see kids in a completely different setting,” said Tim.

Camp counselors for CampAbility often return year after year. Many of the staff are educators in our community and they bring a wealth of diversity and knowledge to the program. Our camp families appreciate the team approach in providing a safe, fun, inclusive experience year after year for campers. Our camp staff connect with our families and truly become a huge part of their lives; our staff foster these relationships and connections as a vital part of the camp experience.

“Our goal with our camps is to provide a traditional camp experience for kids who may not be able to get that anywhere else. I love the excitement I see when the kids get to try new things. CampAbility is for children ages 4 – 11; sometimes this camp is the first time a child is away from his/her primary care provider. As staff, we understand that and we work very hard on building trust and developing comfort levels with our families,” said Tim.

CampAbility and Camp FUEL respond to needs in our community right along with our respite programs for children, teens and adults. Each of these programs offer recreational opportunities for children and respite for families. Many of our staff members who support the programs work in one or more of the options, thus creating an opportunity to interact with the same families. Participants can grow from one program to the next in some cases; for instance, when a child ages out of CampAbility, this child might be a good match for Camp FUEL during his/her teen years.

“For a first time camper – say a child who is four and attending CampAbility for the first time – there might be a bit of separation anxiety. Once the child becomes involved with the activities, the mindset changes and the fun kicks in. At the end of a camp day, the child doesn’t want to go home because of all the experiences. I think that our camps set a foundation for the ability to break barriers and stigmas. Each time a camper can do something and then something else and then something else helps break those barriers often associated with a disability. Being a part of a team that provides experiences like this brings so much joy and excitement to our families. There are not many places where this kind of thing happens and it is definitely something I will always take with me and remember,” said Tim.

Learn more about camps and respite programs available through Easterseals Crossroads.

2022-06-20T10:24:25-04:00June 15, 2022|Our Blog|

Community Partner Spotlight – Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is a leading health company dedicated to improving lives and communities and making healthcare simpler. Delivering health beyond healthcare, Anthem is expanding from being a partner in health benefits to a lifetime, trusted health partner. As an industry leader, Anthem has invested the time and resources necessary to fully understand and meet the unique needs of members in Indiana’s managed care programs. Serving Hoosier Healthwise, Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) and Hoosier Care Connect members, Anthem Medicaid has been delivering quality care since 2007. Their priority is helping members get the right healthcare at the right time, in the right place.

Anthem works to address health equity by focusing on improving the health of the socially vulnerable through strategic partnerships and programs in our communities.Anthem logo 2022 Anthem has committed resources and worked with key entities such as nonprofit organizations, universities, professional societies and government agencies to create initiatives that address public health concerns, close gaps, and improve people’s everyday living conditions. Current initiatives include focus on behavioral and mental health, substance abuse, cancer care, vaccinations and multicultural health programs.  Anthem is dedicated to advancing health equity so that all people can receive individualized care that demonstrates cultural humility and improves their health and wellbeing.

Giving Back to our Communities through Partnership

Anthem employee at Community Day event posing for photo with BoomerAnthem collaborates with local, state and national leaders to address factors driving racial and health inequities in the healthcare system and society. Anthem is committed to creating sustainable change in communities across the country. As a company with more than 90,000 associates, Anthem fosters an inclusive and equitable workforce and culture. They are dedicating funding to support community partners that will work to help revive and rebuild neighborhoods in Indianapolis and the communities served across the country, with a focus on improving health and reducing disparities, as well as economic development and job creation.  Their associates’ diverse cultural insights, perspectives and experiences are integral in helping to address the needs of the whole person, which extend beyond physical and mental health to societal issues such as food, housing and transportation–while delivering cost savings and improved quality and healthcare outcomes.

Anthem has connected with Easterseals Crossroads since the early days of the telethon starting in 1996 where proceeds helped provide inclusive early education and essential therapy services for local kids and adults with disabilities. Since then, they have partnered through a variety of programs including autism family support, community days and workforce development opportunities. Anthem is proud to work with Easterseals Crossroads to provide the community with solutions to overcome barriers to accessing much needed healthcare support.

“Anthem has continued to invest in initiatives and programs that better serve our members and community partners through innovative solutions. We are grateful to work with Easterseals Crossroads to deliver on our mission of improving lives and communities and most importantly, providing life-changing therapy for some of our most vulnerable Hoosiers that may be struggling to make ends meet,” said Ginny France, Community Outreach, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

 The Future of Partnership

Anthem is very pleased to be working in collaboration with Easterseals Crossroads striving together to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities by addressing public health concerns, closing gaps in care and improving people’s everyday living conditions.

Learn more about our next Community Day event presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

2022-05-31T13:06:11-04:00May 31, 2022|Our Blog|

Digital Literacy Program

Interns from the first Digital Literacy class completed training that was provided through the Comcast NBCUniversal DigitalComcast NBCUniversal logo Literacy and Employment Program. This program was designed for young adults with a diagnosed disability who are ages 18-24 and preparing to work in a competitive work environment. At a small ceremony the week of May 16, the program participants received certificates, program portfolios and a $500 stipend for completion of the program.

Melissa Hardesty is a team lead/employment consultant for this new program. She has been doing this work for almost 25 years and has focused on working with young adults transitioning out of high school and into the workforce for the last 15 years.

“For this new program, we identified candidates who have the desire to work, want to learn employment skills and have the ability to take directions and listen to feedback (even though feedback isn’t  always easy). These traits were necessary qualifiers for the program and definitely will contribute to an intern’s chances of obtaining a good job,” said Melissa.

The Comcast NBCUniversal Digital Literacy and Employment Program is for any young adult ages 18-24 with a diagnosed disability who are preparing to work in a competitive work environment. The project focuses on delivering targeted digital literacy curriculum in the classroom combined with an internship that will allow each participant to demonstrate what they are learning in a real work setting.

Meet Interns Alayah and Julia

Alayah and Julia were perfect candidates for this initial program. “Alayah has that strong desire to learn and grow her job skills, and she was looking to discover what kind of work she wanted to do. Julia has such a genuine care for helping people and was interested in exploring what jobs she could do in a hospital,” said Melissa.

Alayah and Julie were excited to learn about technology, money skills and gain experience with computer programs such as PowerPoint where they researched their dream vacation, put together a presentation and presented it to the class. Julia’s dream vacation is going to Disney!

image of Melissa, Julia and Allayah

Julia and Alayah both have goals they are working towards for their future. “I’d like to find a job – maybe work at a hotel, hospital or maybe a restaurant. I’m going to save my money and put it in the bank. I’m going to save for buying my own house one day,” Julia stated. “I will be going to IUPUI Site program after Project SEARCH. I’d like to get a job. My goal is to live on my own one day. I want to make my mom proud; I want to help her out. I’d like to treat her to dinner,” Alayah said.

“Our interns have reached outside their comfort zone, learned to self-advocate for their needs and wants, and they have gained increased self-awareness, confidence and independence. More than anything, the increased confidence and independence are noticeable and significant since the beginning of this program,” said Melissa.

Contact us to learn more about employment readiness and training options at Easterseals Crossroads.

2022-05-23T12:07:08-04:00May 23, 2022|Our Blog|

June 11 Community Day at Edna Martin Christian Center

photos of adults and children having fun at community day events

Community Day Event
at Edna Martin Christian Center

Leadership & Legacy Campus
2259 Ralston Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46218

Saturday, June 11, 2022 | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. – The event is over, but check out the fun we had!

Easterseals Crossroads’ Community Day Event at Edna Martin Christian Center, presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and in partnership with JPMorgan Chase, is a free, family-friendly event. Activities include an exhibit hall of community partners, book giveaways, child and adult program offerings, child development check-ups, games, food and fun.  Our community partners are gathering to bring resources to Edna Martin Christian Center for this special day of sharing information about services.

Easterseals Crossroads will be providing free child-development check-ups onsite and sharing information about employment services for individuals and families living with disability, support services for veterans facing homelessness and career opportunities at Easterseals Crossroads.

Highlights

  • Meet and greet with Indiana Pacers’ Mascot Boomer from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Food Box distribution provided by Gleaners and Eskenazi Health
  • Free lunch available for the first 250 people
  • Free financial journey session presented by JPMorgan Chase
  • Free child-development check-ups provided by Easterseals Crossroads
  • Free books, crafts and giveaways

Community Partners

  • American Red Cross
  • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Circle City Prep Charter School
  • Covering Kids and Families
  • Easterseals Crossroads
  • Edna Martin Christian Center
  • Family Development Services
  • Firefly Indiana Children and Family Alliance
  • Indiana Department of Health MCH Mother’s Helpline
  • Indianapolis Public Library
  • Indy Book Project
  • Indy Reads
  • Indy STEAM Academy
  • IUPUI Center for Urban Health
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • KIPP INDY Public Schools
  • Meals on Wheels of Central Indiana
  • Renew Indianapolis
  • The Mind Trust
  • Vanguard Collegiate

We are looking for a few volunteers who can assist with this event; if you can volunteer, please fill out this form and we will contact you.


Thank you to our presenting sponsor Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and our partner Chase.

Anthem logo 2022

Chase logo 2022

2022-06-15T13:55:24-04:00May 16, 2022|Our Blog|

Support that Spans Generations

Ronna Taylor-Dye has been connected to Easterseals Crossroads for 33 years. Her father, Ron Taylor, was hired as a professional driver in 1989 when the agency transported children to and from their classes and therapy services. Children as young as 12 months rode with Ron and he always referred to his little passengers as his kids. Ronna remembers her dad saying that some kids would cry on their first ride, but by the end of the first week, they cried to stay on the bus with Mr. Ron. The family of one child even gave Ron an ornament with the words “Can I ride with Mr. Ron?” engraved on it since those words were frequently heard in the family’s home. Ron continued to wear many hats of duty at Easterseals Crossroads, which included transporting adults to and from service programs, collecting meals, opening/closing the building, working at respite nights, performing custodial duties and even playing Santa Claus for children’s events.

Ron passed away in 2012, but his memory and legacy have lived on within the agency. He is always remembered as a caring, professional, dedicated, service-minded, fun-loving man. He loved interacting with others and he demonstrated his love of life with his daily actions. Quite simply, he made the agency a better place for everyone within his orbit.

Ronna remembers stories about some of the things that her dad would do at work to add some fun to his day. While transporting his young passengers, he would make up simple songs that they could sing together. When he cleaned therapy rooms at the close of the day, he would arrange stuffed animals and dolls in tea-party style around the table to make the waiting room more welcoming for its young audience the next day.

“Dad was a supporter of the fundraisers for Easterseals Crossroads because he had such a deep appreciation for the work that is done at the agency for the community. Since his passing, we have contributed to his memorial fund*, bought flowers (Sertoma Rose Sale to benefit Easterseals Crossroads), participated in the Bingo Bonanza events and bought raffle tickets for the Ten Grand in Your Hand events,” said Ronna.

*The Ron Taylor Memorial Fund was established in 2012 to specifically assist adults and children with disabilities with unique financial needs that are not covered by any other source. Supported primarily by staff at Easterseals Crossroads and Ron’s family, the fund has been in existence since 2012 and has helped individuals with specific needs since then.

“Dad found it important to have fun in life, to be with people and to give back. Bingo Bonanza became a way for my family and friends to come together in honor of him; I guess you could say we needed Bingo Bonanza. Dad passed on February 14, 2012, and I was looking for a way to make February a less heart-heavy time for my family. Bingo was perfect since it is typically in February and it gives us time together to memorialize my father. We are able to have fun, laugh and contribute to a cause that meant so much to him. I know he would approve,” said Ronna.

Easterseals Crossroads is an agency that Ronna and her family continue to find worthy to support. The programs and services provided by Easterseals Crossroads for individuals with disabilities  are vital. “The work that Crossroads does for children and adults with disabilities is crucial to the development, independence and dignity of these individuals and their families in our community. Services thrive with continued support from our community,” said Ronna.

Ron will continue to be remembered at the agency; all agree that he would be so proud of his family for their continued support of an agency that he so deeply loved. This year, Ronna bought a large number of raffle tickets for the Ten Grand in Your Hand raffle held in March. She was so surprised to learn that she had won the raffle; she did not expect that at all. “I wasn’t expecting a big win. I  just wanted to donate to the agency since Covid has prevented the Bingo Bonanza fundraising event from happening for the past two years. Truthfully I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the money, but I know I would like to contribute some of it for improvements in the agency garden. One of my favorite pictures of my dad is one taken in the garden,” said Ronna.

Support that spans the generations is support that helps Easterseals Crossroads continue to meet the needs of  those with disabilities in our community. Contact us to learn about ways to support Easterseals Crossroads.

2022-05-03T09:41:06-04:00May 3, 2022|Our Blog|

Perspective on Autism Acceptance

contributed by Abby Dreith

images of people with words autism acceptance

Happy Autism Acceptance Month!

Every year on April 2, we celebrate autistic people all over the world and recognize them for their achievements. It was only three years ago when I began to understand autism and started the journey to my diagnosis. Although the month of April and the day of April 2 are known as Autism Awareness Month/Day, I am pretty sure by now that most folks are aware of autism, and I think we should go further and value people with autism for what they contribute.

The idea of autism acceptance is not only self-education, but also self-(un)education. A lot of people don’t understand that autism doesn’t go away when you’re an adult. When it comes to learning about a different neurotype, there is systemic ableism that hinders autistic people from achieving success thus placing a negative value on our mannerisms and interests. Although autism research is still relatively new, autistic people have always been a part of society. It is imperative we listen to autistic voices; adapt the world we know and love to suit them; and provide those of us with autism equal opportunity for success and happiness.

Autism acceptance can be achievable from big things (such as educating peers about the harm of the r-word and protecting autistic rights) to the little things (like combatting microaggressions and understanding autism symptoms).

People with autism represent a wide array of strengths and challenges. I have had people say to me “You can’t be autistic. You’re actually intelligent.” Many of my friends have asked me to learn more about autism and how it is a part of making me who I am. I’m thankful for people who choose to work with people with autism, and I encourage everyone to keep listening to us and making sure we have a voice.

More information about autism services at Easterseals Crossroads

2022-04-28T09:30:13-04:00April 27, 2022|Our Blog|

Community Day at Cafe

Community Day at Cafe header and fun photos of happy people

Community Day Event at CAFE (8902 E. 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN)

Saturday, April 23, 2022 | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. – The event is over, but look at the fun we had!

Easterseals Crossroads’ Community Day Event at CAFE, presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is a free, family-friendly event hosted at CAFE (Community Alliance of the Far Eastside). The event includes an exhibit hall of community partners, book giveaways, child and adult program offerings, child development check-ups, games, food and fun.  Our eastside community partners are gathering to bring resources to CAFE for this special day of sharing information about services.

Easterseals Crossroads will be providing free child-development check-ups onsite and sharing information about employment services for individuals and families living with disability, support services for veterans facing homelessness and career opportunities at Easterseals Crossroads.

“We are excited to collaborate with Easterseals Crossroads for the Community Day at CAFE event. Our mission is to provide resources and information to the community that improves quality of life and reduce barriers.”  – Cheria Caldwell, Vice President of Communications and Engagement at CAFE

We are looking for a few volunteers who can assist with this event; if you can volunteer, please fill out this form and we will contact you.


Thank you to our presenting sponsor Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and our partner Chase.

Anthem logo 2022

Chase logo 2022


Our Event Community Partners

  • Adult & Child Health
  • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • CAFÉ
  • Circle City Prep Charter School
  • Community Connect
  • Easterseals Crossroads
  • Eskenazi Health
  • Head Start
  • Indy Book Project
  • IndyGo
  • Indianapolis Public Library Book Mobile
  • Indy Reads
  • Indy Steam Academy
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Lawrence Township Trustee Office
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Renew Indy
  • Versiti (formerly, Indiana Blood Bank)

About Community Alliance of the Far Eastside (CAFE)

CAFE is a resident-driven, neighborhood-based nonprofit organization that works to enhance the quality of life on the Far Eastside. CAFE provides basic needs such as rental and utility assistance, workforce development, food access and a two generational approach that works to sustain the entire household. CAFE is committed to engaging youth, adults, and seniors in a community network that strives to keep families strong, empowered, and connected through opportunities for leadership, self-sufficiency, asset building, and social activities.

For more information visit: http://www.cafeindy.org or follow them on Twitter at @CAFE_46226 or like them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/CAFEINDY/.

Activities and Highlights

  • Meet and greet with Indiana Pacers’ Mascot Boomer from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Sensory crafts and story times throughout the event
  • Financial journey mapping information session at 1 p.m., hosted by JPMorgan Chase
  • Grocery box distribution, in partnership with Gleaners Food Bank and Eskenazi Health

Agenda

Programming  

Orange Room 

Blue Room 

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Story Time

Developmental Resources for Parents & Caregivers

12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Story Time with Boomer

n/a

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Sensory Craft

Your Financial Journey, by JPMorgan Chase

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Story Time with McGruff

Child-Development Check-Ups

2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Sensory Craft

Child-Development Check-Ups

2022-06-15T13:57:01-04:00April 7, 2022|Our Blog|

Early Intervention Services lead to Significant, Positive Outcomes

Easterseals Crossroads is a First Steps provider of early intervention services for families with babies and young children with developmental delays or disabilities. Services may include speech therapy, ​developmental therapy, physical therapy or occupational therapy based on the needs of the child. Early intervention services can have a significant, positive outcome for babies and young children in their ability to learn new skills and overcome challenges.

Meet Leann Faust – Manager, Early Intervention Services at Easterseals Crossroads

Leann began providing early intervention services through First Steps the  first year after graduating with her master’s degree in speech language pathology.  She was contracted by a local hospital to provide speech language therapy services for First Steps clients in their homes.  Throughout the last two decades, she has been involved with First Steps Early Intervention services mostly as an ongoing provider, but she also had a few years where she served PRN (as needed) on the First Steps ED Team (Eligibility Determination), helping to complete evaluations for the birth-2 population First Steps serves.  

The four most frequently needed services that we provide as an agency are physical therapy, speech therapy (this is the same as language therapy or speech/language therapy), occupational therapy and developmental therapy. Easterseals Crossroads also has the only augmentative communication (assistive technology) specialist enrolled in First Steps on staff. There’s actually a much longer list of services that First Steps can provide as well, including audiology, family education, diagnostic medical services, nursing services, psychological services, social work services, nutrition services and vision services,” said Leann.

According to Leann, the benefits of early intervention are tremendous. Decades of research show that children’s earliest experiences play a critical role in brain development. Brains develop at the most rapid rate from birth to age three, and are also the most “plastic” or changeable in these first few years. Providing high quality early intervention can often reduce the amount of intervention a child will need later in life.  

First Steps services typically take place in the child’s natural environment, which is generally at home and sometimes at daycare. The services provided are to help educate and empower the parents with strategies they can use to help their child advance throughout their daily routines and ways they interact on a daily basis.  

baby with mom on telehealth appointmentAccessing First Steps

First Steps is Indiana’s state wide system providing early intervention services for children from birth through their third birthday. Families are often referred by their doctor, social service professionals or other medical professionals due to concerns. However, families can also self-refer if they have concerns about delays.

In Marion, Hamilton and Tipton County, families can call 317.257.baby or visit www.cibaby.org  where they will be connected with an intake coordinator who will help schedule an initial assessment. This service is paid for by First Steps. If the evaluation determines that there is a need for ongoing services, the family will be assigned a service coordinator, who is their contact to help them with coordinating all of the services they may need. This person takes care of the paperwork side of things, writing a plan with goals for the child/family based on information from the assessment and also transitioning them to other services after age 3.   

After a child is assessed and if services are recommended, the families are presented with agencies to choose from. The providers who will come to provide ongoing services all have to be connected through an agency. Easterseals Crossroads provides physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists and/or developmental therapists to provide these services. Our staff at Easterseals Crossroads have experience serving children with diverse diagnoses including autism/ASD, tracheotomies, torticollis, sensory integration disorders, Down syndrome, feeding difficulties, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, high and low muscle tone, Erb’s Palsy, chromosomal abnormalities, premature births and prenatal drug exposure.

“Home based early intervention is often helping families identify their strengths and then coming up with manageable ideas and strategies that can be easily implemented throughout their days and routines to help their child progress and grow. Early intervention providers are a support to the family, and can make such a big difference in empowering parents to realize they have the tools to help their child. It can also help with getting families additional resources that may be available at no cost but that the families may not even realize are options,” said Leann.

What Happens when a Child Turns Three

In Indiana, a child’s local school system will provide services after a child turns three if they still are eligible for services. When a child is enrolled in First Steps, this is one of the biggest helps that the service coordinator provides. They make sure the family has filled out any required paperwork, the child is re-evaluated by the local school system and then if the child is still in need of services, all of the required paperwork will be completed with the family prior to the child turning three so they can begin receiving those services as soon as First Steps services have ended.  

Due to our comprehensive approach, Easterseals Crossroads is able to provide a smooth and easy transition from First Steps to continued outpatient therapies in our clinical settings. Our agency is advised by our medical director, Charles Dietzen, M.D., a board-certified physiatrist specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation. We can offer continued services in our outpatient clinical settings after the child turns three.  Easterseals is an agency that also has access to nutrition, social work and psychology services when needed.  We have an Autism Family Resource Center, which is available for information and support with necessary services, challenging behaviors, navigating finding medical professionals who may have experience with autism or challenging behaviors, and more. We also offer respite services through Parents’ Night Out.  

Ages and Stages Questionnaires

The Ages and Stages Questionnaires, or ASQ for short, is a simple online tool that parents can use if they are concerned about their child being delayed in any of their developmental areas, including gross motor, fine motor, speech and/or language, self-care (e.g., feeding, dressing), cognitive or social skills from birth through age 5. Often doctors will use this tool at visits to help answer questions about what a child may or may not be doing. At Easterseals Crossroads, we are able to give parents free access to use this tool any time they want. If the parent fills this out, they will be emailed recommendations about following up with an evaluation if necessary, as well as information that may help families to work on advancing their child’s skills across developmental areas.

2022-04-04T10:13:48-04:00April 4, 2022|Our Blog|

Autism Awareness Benefits Community

Lucas was diagnosed with autism before his second birthday and has been working with autism specialists for three years. Now six, he is learning to communicate and make friends in addition to learning his colors, numbers and letters – all amazing things according to his mom Mary.

At Easterseals Crossroads, our autism and behavior specialists work with families to create effective treatment plans tailored to meet individual needs. Lucas has been involved in our early childhood classes where he learns to connect with his peers, socialize, communicate, play with others, learn with classmates and develop.

Together with our clinicians, families learn how to incorporate beneficial behavior plans that will prove helpful at school, at home and in later life.

“I feel like Lucas is a new kid. When we started here, he was in his own world – he would rock back and forth and not make eye contact. Now he has learned to be in the world with other people,” said Mary.

Mary is a social worker, but still learns more about autism and available services every day since both of her children have autism. “Reading the books about autism is one thing, but having someone with experience guide you is best. Easterseals Crossroads helps our family every step of the way,” said Mary.

Mary spoke about her experiences with Easterseals Crossroads on March 24 with Nikki DeMentri from WRTV – watch the clip below.

Easterseals Crossroads provided 8,658 autism services to 740 children and young adults last year.

Learn about autism services for children and young adults at Easterseals Crossroads.

2022-04-01T11:59:26-04:00April 1, 2022|Our Blog|
Go to Top