Easter Seals still shaping kids’ lives, even in pandemic

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Wheeling, W.Va (WTRF)- Easter Seals is still shaping the lives of kids in a year like this and isn’t letting a virus get in the way.

“Our families have been really great. The fact that they’re able to still get the care they need for their children is the most important, and we’re all just working together to do the best we can to make that happen.”

Allison O’Konski, community relations director at Easter Seals

And after a year like last, Easter Seals is still going all in for their clients.

They treat kids with developmental delays, special-needs and disabilities but are having to get more creative… although every department is different, and even some departments are somewhat back to the normal way of operating.

“The pediatric unit is relatively back to normal when it comes to face-to-face services from the therapy perspective.”

Allison O’Konski, community relations director at Easter Seals

Allison O’Konski says refferals are also going back to a normal pace, and even autism evaulations have resumed.

But the staff says it’s all done in a safe way.

Things like masks, cleaning between sessions, and some therapists work behind plexiglass. They also don’t keep more than one patient around at a time.

Meanwhile Dr. Ellen Kitts says the medical Department is still mostly virtual. She works with 8 to 10 kids a day.

“I love what I do, and I’m just really glad that I can continue what I do in spite of the pandemic.”

Dr. Ellen Kitts, medical director at EasterSeals

She’s thankful to be able to shape the lives of these kids in spite of the pandemic, and continue to make that difference… just like O’Konski.

And they couldn’t have done that without the community.

“We, Easterseals, have been so fortunate the last year to get so much community support without even asking for it. We still had people reaching out and making donations, and because of that, we were able to continue to treat children and provide services, regardless of a families’ ability to pay. And that’s really our mission. Everyone who needs care… gets it.”

Allison O’Konski, community relations director at Easter Seals

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