Easterseals promotes inclusivity

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. — Easterseals helps thousands of families around the nation. One Peoria family is grateful for its unwavering services and inclusive nature.

Jennifer Rosa and her family moved from New York to Peoria after a health emergency. Once they arrived, the Children’s Hospital of Illinois immediately connected her with the Easterseals team.

Rosa’s daughter, Larkin Hinkley, has autism. Rosa said allowing the team to care for her daughter was a great decision.

Larkin is joyful. She loves to sing, draw and play pretend. Rosa said her diagnosis doesn’t change who she is.

“Sometimes having the diagnosis means more to the world than the parent,” Rosa said. “If she didn’t have the title the label of autism she [would] still be herself.”

Easterseals has worked closely with the family for over two years. Rosa said she appreciates the team’s continuous inclusive efforts.

Inclusion for us doesn’t mean other, it means with. No one here has made her feel other.

Jennifer Rosa, Larkin Hinkley’s Mom

Rosa believes kids like Larkin will feel like they belong if more people take time to understand and empathize.

“We’re really grateful that there are so many people here who love her as much as we do and see her in the same light we do,” she said. “They just want to be included and they are included here at Easterseals.”

Easterseals is celebrating 100 years of helping families in Central Illinois. The Century Ball is coming up in November. Click here for more information on how you can register.

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