For more than 75 years, Easter Seals Southeast WI has been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play.
Every year over one million children start school behind their peers due to an undiagnosed physical or cognitive issue. This lag behind their peers has long term effects in learning, self-esteem and achievement. What’s more, the first five years of life are critical to a child’s cognitive development. You cannot turn the clock back. The first five years of life are some of the most dramatic in terms of brain development, skill development and language. The loss of these years will affect our workforce and our country as they move from the school system to adulthood.
To highlight healthy brain development, Easter Seals created the First Five Count Campaign. It is both advocacy and identification of early childhood delays. In advocacy, we ask like-minded people to join us and sign our petition alerting their elected officials about the importance of early education programs. As our elected leaders grapple with funding challenges, we cannot put off investments in young children that will short change them and our society in the long term.
Identification of these early delays is critical. Many young families are not familiar with what signs and behaviors that indicate a delay. Getting the right intervention at the right time can put a child back on track. Easter Seals partnered with CVS Caremark to put resources in the hands of parents, the Ages and Stages QuestionnaireTM is the “gold standard” in early childhood parent surveys to identify potential delays. A parent can fill out the form online for free. The results will be analyzed by a trained professional. Within two weeks parents will have the results and if necessary local resources for their child.
For nearly 100 years, Easter Seals has been a national organization with a commitment to children of all abilities. Please join us by going to www.makethefirstfivecount.org to create a world of possibilities for our next generation of young children.