March 2020
March 2020 E-Newsletter: Better Together
March marks many health awareness causes such as National Developmental Disabilities, Nutrition, Social Work and Cerebral Palsy Month as well as Down Syndrome Awareness Day. But March also marked a turning point in our country . We know staying home is a new routine that can be challenging for children with developmental delays and disabilities. We want to ensure every family has the resources to help their child progress and gain new skills.

Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley has been providing tele-therapy for clients for more than 10 years. Before the statewide closure, we trained all of our 87 therapists and social services team so they were well prepared to continue helping families.

They share their first tele-therapy sessions success stories!

Occupational Therapist Laura Van Zandt, MS, OTR/L, was overjoyed as her client ate six grapes! This was a new food and experience for him. Laura was able to help mom lead the experience so it was successful for all.

Valerie Heneghan, M.A. CCC-SLP/L, Director of Speech-Language, Feeding & Assistive Technology, began services with two school age clients who have never received speech-language therapy for stuttering. They now have the opportunity!

Our therapists and social services team are available if you need support of any kind. They have collected a list of resources and support that can be found here:



Virtual Gala Update
We are humbled by the outpouring of generosity we experienced as we quickly turned our Annual Benefit Gala into a virtual event. It was a reminder that we are all still connected, even when we are apart.

The funds raised from the Virtual Gala make it possible for infants, children and adults with developmental delays and disabilities to reach their goals - and we've nearly reached ours!

$358,000 (net) and counting...
75% of our event goal raised!

You can view the video that helped bring the event to life by clicking here . Or click here to donate and complete our goal . Save the date for next year: March 13, 2021!
New Run for the Kids Date

We can't wait to be together and celebrate children with developmental delays and disabilities. But we will wait until the CDC recommends it is safe to gather in groups again.

A new Run for the Kids: Superhero Hustle date will be announced soon. Meanwhile join our virtual warm up on May 2 and enjoy a family walk, run or roll in your neighborhood.
Coolest Thing Made in Illinois
The FuntionalHand, an invention by Occupational Therapist, Linda Merry, and Physical Therapist, Celine Skertich, has made it to the final round for the  Illinois Manufacturers' Association  "Maker Madness" Cool Invention of the Year. The FunctionalHand is an adaptive piece of equipment which holds objects of various shapes and sizes both vertically and horizontally. A universal cuff assists the grasp of people of all ages with hand disabilities or impairments. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, April 1 at noon at https://makersmadnessil.com/ .
South African NDT Course
Occupational Therapist, Diane Fritts Ryan, OTR, C/NDT, NDTA Tutor helps clinicians around the world learn more about neurological disorders and developmental delays. In early March she taught a two week course with the South African Neurodevelopmental Therapy Association to help therapists advance their understanding of typical child development, refine skills in observing and assessing movement disorders of developing infants, and increase their repertoire of handling skills specific to babies and young children. We are privileged to have her expertise on our team!
Have an April Birthday? Organize a Fundraiser for your Birthday or Milestone Event!

Start a virtual celebration! Celebrate your child's day by sharing their accomplishments with friends and family.  Encourage others to support Easterseals DuPage & Fox  Valley in your child's honor and earn some fun treats at the same time.

Sign up as a Birthday Club fundraiser online or on Facebook and your child can redeem a special prize in their birth month.
Pediatric Dietitian Cindy Baranoski's Photography

Cindy enjoys capturing the beauty of nature and her photographs are often highlighted during Tom Skilling's daily weather reports on WGN. She shares her photos as a bright connection for all:

"Only when the time is absolutely right does the butterfly come out to a harsh and scary place, for such a delicate little thing. The process isn’t easy; it needs to open at just the right time, cling to the remaining chrysalis upside down while spreading its wings to dry in the right form so it can fly. We are in our chrysalis now, in our own metamorphosis, and will know when it’s just the right time, to show our beauty, and to fly!"

Picture, Hackberry Emperor, Lake Marmo, 2019.
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