Harper’s smile is simply beautiful and her eyes can communicate everything you need to know. Her diagnosis of Miller-Dieker Syndrome, and a worldwide pandemic, resulted in an 11-month hospital stay when she was born. After learning of her diagnosis at 3 weeks old, accompanied by a list of things that were not likely for Harper, her parents Corey and Colin, focused their perspective on her happiness (the only thing doctors were certain was possible). As it turns out, Harper doesn’t like being told what she can and can’t do and has continued to surprise and amaze her family ever since. In the hospital, she was dubbed the “queen of side-eye” and her ability to express herself only continued to grow. When she began receiving Easterseals services, her physical therapist noticed she was trying to communicate, and soon after she began working with a speech therapist. Harper uses her eyes, body and facial expressions to communicate, she’s even getting started with eye-gaze technology. You never have to guess at what Harper thinks and feels and she loves to giggle, especially doing sensory activities like bouncing and dancing. She now attends preschool at the Brooks Center and loves circle time, music and physical therapy. As is typical with most three-year-olds, she loves a good Disney movie. Her current favorite is Princess and the Frog, which is likely in part due to her love of jazz. Harper has exceeded so many expectations with a smile. Next on the list is using a robotic gait trainer to lead the walk on June 3rd. We can’t wait!
Logan is best described as a “cool dude.” At just four years old, he can captivate you with his quiet demeanor and expressive eye contact. He began receiving therapeutic services when he wasn’t meeting a few of his milestones. Though Logan doesn’t have a specific diagnosis, the benefit of services is clear. Last year he started attending the APS program in Delaware County and loves it. He is much more focused and acting with intention. He is also just starting to crawl and play with toys. When his intention is not to do something, he can play a mean game of possum. But if you know Logan, you know he simply can’t ignore “Baby Shark.” Whether he is at home or at school, Logan loves to move. Some of his favorite things are the swings, a scooter, and the ball pit. He also loves giving treats and snuggles to his dog. He loves to drink water and will never turn down vanilla pudding. And of course, watching Baby Shark and Miss Rachel are on the list of favorite things to do. Whatever he is doing, Logan just makes it all look so cool!
Stefan has a very sweet disposition and at four years old, he balances that really well with some playful hijinks. Stefan has autism and thelimited availability of servicesand the challenges of a daycare that couldn’t meet his needs meanthis parents needed to find a program that would let him shine. When they toured Easterseals, they knew they had found it. He loves school and was immediately at ease. Challenging behaviors were soon replaced by new ways to communicate. He is learning to use the iPad for communication and is good at sharing his needs as well as his sense of humor. Whether he is at school or home, Stefan loves to be outside and active. Swings and slides are some of his favorite activities. He also loves to watch the Magic School Bus on his Kindle Fire. He is lucky to grow up in a bilingual household. His dad is a music teacher and sings lots of songs in Ukrainian and he understands them all. Stefan loves all the foods you might expect of a four year old, nuggets, pancakes and pasta and his mom is an expert at sneaking in the veggies. However, he also really loves sushi with avocado and rice and kielbasa. Stefan is sweet, smart and adventurous and we can’t wait to see what he does next!
Mason is a very energetic six-year-old. When he was two, he was diagnosed with autism and was receiving home and community services by the time he was three. When it was time for Mason to begin a center-based program, his family was feeling anxious after a challenging day care experience. But after he began attending the Approved Private School at the Yaffe Center, Mason quickly began to enjoy the routine. His family enjoys getting lots of videos through Class Dojo that allow his family to see all his accomplishments. He is using the iPad to communicate, enjoys helping his teacher and love going on the swings. At home, Mason loves to be active, especially climbing and playing catch. He loves all music with an upbeat tempo, Cardi B is a current favorite. When he’s feeling a bit more chill, he will happily watch pretty much anything on Disney Plus. His energy might be the first thing you notice about Mason, but what you will remember most about him is just how lovable and affectionate he is.