There are 16 more days until Walk With Me! There is still time to register to be sure you can meet all of our amazing Honorary Ambassadors, including Nikhil.
Nikhil is a very affectionate 6-year-old, who happens to have a very rare genetic syndrome and autism. Nikhil initially began receiving home-based services through Easter Seals. When the traditional transition to center-based services when he was 3 didn’t work, Easter Seals collaborated with his family to ensure he was receiving the services he needed. As a result, when he was ready for center-based services, Nikhil transitioned easily into his class and is doing things like, using a walker and communicating through pictures. He loves music and swinging, he even has a swing in his room. Nikhil loves riding the bus so much, that if he were in charge, school would be held on the bus! But if you want to know the true way to his heart, it is that iconic purple dinosaur, Barney. If you can tear him away from Barney, he is quite happy giving hugs and kisses, which is just one of the many ways he can make people smile!
Walk With Me is quickly approaching! This year, the event will be held on June 6th at the Philadelphia Zoo. It is an amazing day to raise funds and awareness for Easter Seals programs and services. The day also allows us to shine a spotlight on some of the amazing children who benefit from our services as well as their incredible families.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will introduce you to our Honorary Ambassadors.
Keishlyan, or “Keishy” as she is affectionately called by all of her teachers and therapists, is a very smart 4-year-old. Keishy has cerebral palsy and attends the Approved Private School in our Philadelphia Division. Her family moved here from Puerto Rico to ensure that she was receiving the best services possible. Since she began attending Easter Seals, she has been doing some amazing things. Keishy has begun using eye gaze software to increase her communication, she is learning to use a gait trainer, communicate with sign language and is using her left arm, which she hadn’t been doing at all. Keishy also happens to be bilingual. When she is not wowing everyone at school, she loves to go shopping and has quite an eye for fashion. She also loves to swim, listen to music and watch her favorite shows. She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to let you know, whether it be a book, an outfit or her favorite…bubbles. Keishy is a brilliant girl with a smile to match!
Join Keishy and the other Honorary Ambassadors at Walk With Me! You can register here.
by Adrienne Young
Quilts for Kids Incorporated is a national non-profit organization that provides brightly colored quilts for children, especially those with special needs or kids that are hospitalized for short or long stays. The beautiful quilts are made by volunteers. The organization began in Lower Bucks County and is now international.
We were so excited in Bucks when we received a call from one of the Quilts for Kids volunteers asking if we would like quilts for all of our students. Our Friendship Academy and Approved Private school students were each given a choice of which quilt they would like to take home. Our students and families are so appreciative to this organization for thinking of us.
by Sue Lowenstein
As many of you may already know, the Bucks Division has expanded programming to include typically developing children in our new Friendship Academy classroom!
One thing we can say for sure about all of the children at Easter Seals is that they love to play in our gym. The children from our APS program head to the gym to work on their gross motor and play skills, and nothing is more motivating than playing with their new friends from Friendship Academy.
It is always nice to take a break from the classroom and expend some energy moving and grooving in the gym. Under the guidance of Sue Lowenstein, Physical Therapist, and with the help of several staff including Laura Dettore, Teacher, our kids explored lots of fun equipment such as our moon bounce, our large colored barrel, our wooden rocking boat, our indoor slides, and much much more!!! Smiles and laughter are heard all around!
Sue Lowenstein is a part time physical therapist who has been employed with Easter Seals of SEPA – Bucks County Division since 2001. She is a resident of Levittown who is busy raising and playing with her own 3 daughters when she is not having fun at work!
We are working to make our school the very best it can be!
By Adopting the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Program (PBIS).
What is PBIS?
Positive behavior interventions and supports is a planned way to meet the behavioral needs of students in a school. Parents are important in the success of PBIS, and many choose to use a similar system at home.
What will it look like?
Positive behavior interventions and support is a system that is developed by a school for improving student behavior. It is used:
- With All students
- Across All environments in school (classroom, lunchroom, restroom, playground)
- To help schools to create effective learning environments
Parents and staff will continue to work together as we develop PBIS into our program. Our first collaboration was deciding on our positive behavior initiative Mission Statement. Parents voted by email, sending in their paper votes, as well as using our voting poster that was displayed in the lobby for two weeks. Both staff and parents voted and the winner is…
Now that we have chosen our mission statement we can begin the journey of implementing this idea throughout our entire program with the help of parents, students and staff. Stay tuned for more on how we plan to spread the Positive Possibilities, beginning with our four program wide expectations; Be Safe, Be Engaged, Be Responsible, Be a Team Player!
Leah Telliard is an APS Social Worker and PBIS team member
by Martha Smith
In the Approved Private School, where children have multiple disabilities (including the inability to talk, walk, use their hands or even play) and have very complex medical conditions and needs, it is very exciting when a child (or children) does (do) anything that comes close to what a child without disabilities can do.
In the Philadelphia Division we have two little girls, Jenna and Maria, who have formed a wonderful friendship. Maria is a child who can talk and will ask everyday if she can visit Jenna, who is in the classroom next door. Maria will usually come over and play with Jenna by sitting with her and using one of the iPads that is filled with wonderful pre-school apps that are easy and fun for our students. (Thanks to a grant from Comcast, the hard work of our Assistive Technology Department, we have iPads available for our students with the appropriate apps to help increase communication and over success of the classroom experience). Finding ways to overcome obstacle makes the simple joys like friendship possible.
Jenna and Maria make us smile everyday.