A home away from home: Easterseals helps one boy reach major milestones

"He runs to the front door, walks in, he feels right at home," says Sarah Pepino, Max's mother.

For Max Pepino, Easterseals has become a second home.

"He runs straight to the desk, he says hi to people, he goes and plays in the corner where the toys are," says Sarah.

And Max is always excited to go to Easterseals because each therapy session is based on fun.

"Here at Easterseals, we believe in play-based therapy," says Trista Hoover, Easterseals occupational therapist. "So everything that we teach, we try to do in play."

Max goes to therapy weekly to improve his verbal skills, as well as his dexterity. 

 "We like to do things with imitation for kiddos like Max," says Hoover. "Just like with the song 'Happy and You Know It', can he do the same motion? Can he copy us? And we translate it to a more detailed or more difficult skill."

Using different exercises over the past four years, Max has reached major milestones. But these major strides came not just from progress at Easterseals, but from the support of his family.

"The family involvement is the part that makes it work, to be honest," says Hoover. "So, them carrying those activities and skill sets to the home is really how the child learns and gains those new skills."

Max's mother, Sarah, hopes he will continue to grow. And she's thankful that their second family at Easterseals will be there with Max every step of the way.

"Having this resource has changed the path for Max, and we couldn't be happier that we're here," says Sarah.

Our Easterseals Telethon begins at 6 am on March 2nd. 

You can donate in the following ways:


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