PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Andrea Pitts of East Peoria said Easterseals Central Illinois has made all the difference in her son’s quality of life.

“My life would be a lot more hectic because I wouldn’t know. I wouldn’t be able to communicate with him as well as I can because of the services we get at Easterseals,” she said.

Her son Mikey, 4, receives physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy at Easterseals. He also receives additional services at school.

“We spend a minimum of three hours a week here. Two hours on Mondays and one hour on Wednesdays. Sometimes we stop in for random things,” she said.

Pitts said Mikey was born without the tibia bone in his right leg. The leg was amputated at 14 months; Mikey received a prosthetic at 15 months then began services at Easterseals two months later.

“When he took his first unassisted steps, it was huge,” Pitts remarked.

A couple years later, Mikey’s diagnosis of autism led to additional therapy services. Pitts said her son is echolalic, a sign of autism or developmental disability in children.

“He would parrot things a lot… I mostly wanted the diagnosis so that insurance would help us get the therapies we needed because I knew he needed the speech therapy and the occupational therapy,” she said.

Pitts said Easterseals is setting Mikey up for success in the future.

“To watch him grow and thrive, I’m just so thankful for the services he can get,” she said. “I just want him to be the best Mikey he can be.”