One central Illinois family is navigating life with two of their four kids requiring special attention.
They say it's been a tough road, but because of Easter Seals, they're going places they never could've imagined.
“Since the girls were a couple months old, we always kind of knew there was something different about them,” says Jessica Mischler.
The girls, Emma and Jane, are now 5 years old.
They're a set of triplets, with their brother, Jude.
And have a big sister, Lucy.
“It’s been a good journey, but it's been a hard one as a family," adds mom Jessica.
Emma and Jane have an autism diagnosis.
They were slow to walk, talk, and respond.
“We both felt like we were drowning. A little bit. We made gains, we had successes, but we knew we needed more,” Mischler adds.
Enter Easter Seals.
And two very different little girls from two years ago.
“They’re asking for things and commenting and taking us to initiate play and having an opinion about something,” says Easter Seals therapist Rebecca Rock.
Those major milestones are being made through discrete trial therapy.
“So, we’re working on smaller steps to get the bigger picture," adds Rock.
Therapists come to their house every week, and the girls go to Easter Seals, too.
“When you see one of your kiddos you didn't think would ever, I mean we didn't know if they'd even be able to walk,” says dad, Matt Mischler.
Now, the parents know…the sky is the limit.
They also know, there's a big reason they've come so far.
“We wouldn't have been able to do it without an organization like Easter Seals," adds Jessica.
Easter Seals has changed their girls, it’s also given them much, much more.
“As they make different gains, it changes the way our family functions. It changes what we're able to do together, it changes the way our other two kids relate to them,” says Matt.
“There’s not many people that can do that,” adds Jessica. “There's not many people that can totally change a family.”
You can help the children of Easter seals through the Easter Seals Telethon.
It's Saturday, March 1st.
It airs on WMBD at 6:00 pm.