PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A Central Illinois mom is taking on the role of a therapist with guidance from Easterseals. The non-profit’s teletherapy initiatives are keeping clients and staff connected. It also provides a sense of normalcy and consistency during a time of uncertainty.

Easterseals physical therapist, Carolyn Sobieski, encourages Annalise Wettstein over the phone via video chat. In the face of a pandemic, the nonprofit is going above and beyond to keep it’s parents 100% included and it’s clients 100% empowered.

“Without Carolyn helping us, giving us different steps to take, giving us different exercises to do and being on the other side of the camera…it’s hard to just come up with ideas myself, of what is going to utilize Anna’s strength the best,” said Hallie Wettstein, Annalise’s Mom.

“They’re working on things at home a lot more often and seeing the progress there,” said Carolyn Sobieski. “They’re able to incorporate it more into their daily routine.”

Therapists give advice, offer reassurance, present activities, and observe kids, like Annalise, completing their sessions.

“We’re really using the coaching model, so because I can’t be there, [parents] are acting as my eyes, and ears, and hands,” said Sobieski. “So, really, just talking them through the different activities…giving them tips and suggestions.”

Hallie helps her daughter with stretches and muscle building therapies to keep her body strong.

“Annalise is born with SMA, Spinal muscular atrophy,” said Halli. “It’s a genetic disorder that she was born with and so she’ll always have it. It’s actually a disease that deteriorates your muscles.”

Easterseals is using telehealth as a parent coaching tool. Sobieski said keeping in touch helps add a dose of normalcy to an already established routine.

“They’re still able to continue their sessions, and we’re still there to help their children so parents still feel they have the support that they need, that they don’t feel abandoned, that we’re still here,” said Sobieski.

Easterseals therapists said they can address concerns in real-time, engage with the whole family unit, and provide answers to the child’s natural environment.

Telehealth FAQ

Parent Guide for telehealth appointments

Blomington Center- Ongoing Therapy and early intervention- Call (309)663-8275 or email to get started.

Peoria Center – Ongoing Therapy and early intervention – Call (309)686-1177 or email to get started.

Billing Questions- Contact Client Financial Services at (309)686-1177  or email

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