Written by Michelle Eigemann

Being a parent is hard work, kids don’t come with manuals or directions, so we tend to use the trial and error method of parenting. If something works we run with it, if it doesn’t work we “kick it to the curb” and head back to our drawing boards. For the most part this method is okay but what happens when you have a child with special needs? Maybe your child, like mine, has been diagnosed with all the acronyms, ADHD, OCD, ASD, O.D.D, etc.  I know that sometimes I don’t have time to get out the drawing board and try to figure out a better way to handle an immediate meltdown. I need to be one step ahead of him.

STAND with us to end Bullying

“The trauma of bullying effects everyone and we all have a part to play in putting an end to this epidemic. That’s why the Easter Seals Michigan Teen Advisory Council “S.T.A.N.D. with us” anti-bullying march is so important. It gives us the opportunity to come together and make the public dedication that we will: Stand up for the bullied, treat everyone with respect, apologize and forgive, walk away when we need to, and do what is right even when it is hard.” – Brian Edwards

In The Spotlight – Shawna

Today we are putting Shawna ‘In the Spotlight’. Shawna was born in a drug rehab facility and spent many of her early years living in various homes with multiple caregivers. She was living a life surrounded by aggression and substance abuse. She had limited-to-no supervision and was not generally cared for. She had to fight for everything. Eventually she was removed from the home and placed with a caregiver that was invested in building a loving home however damage had already been done. Her upbringing had led her to become aggressive and violent toward her caregiver and peers. She couldn’t fully understand directions, lacked the ability to focus, and would often get into fights. At the age of five, Shawna began coming to Easter Seals Michigan where she started receiving speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and home-based care through our Family Services program. We are happy to report that she is in the process of being adopted by her caregiver and has already shown massive amounts of progress so far this school year. In fact, according to her school she is even staying in her assigned seat which is a MAJOR success. At Easter Seals Michigan we work with the school and the family so that everyone has the tools to build a better life for those we serve. Shawna, Easter Seals Michigan wants to congratulate you on your amazing progress, kiddo. It hasn’t been easy but you are amazing and have already accomplished so much! Keep up the good work!

In the Spotlight… Kari Kidow and Velia G.

Spotlight On…

Kari Kildow is an employment specialist in our Southfield location. Recently we received a note from Velia G., a person that Kari helped to secure a job. Velia has been coming to Easter Seals Michigan for two years. A large part of the Easter Seals Michigan mission is to give each individual we serve the necessary tools that they need to live the lives they deserve. In order to accomplish this we make a variety of resources, including employment specialists, available for their use. Here is what Velia said about Kari:

“Kari Kildow was the catalyst that helped me care about my life again. I cannot say enough about how happy I am for her role and support in my life. She wasn’t just another case worker; she was my mentor and my friend. She cared about me and I could feel her support in my life.”

Velia recently obtained a job and is currently working towards a degree in Occupational Therapy at Wayne State University.

Congratulations to Kari and Velia!

Easter Seals Michigan serves and supports people with disabilities or special needs and their families so they can successfully live, learn, work and play in their communities.