Monday, February 25, 2013

Yoga and Yogurt

We all have stress, but the stress experienced by caregivers is often elevated. For example, research has shown that the hormone associated with stress of mothers of children with autism is similar to the level of stress of combat soldiers. Unfortunately, according to researchers, chronic health problems and irregular glucose, immune functionality and mental activity have been associated with these hormone levels. This chronic stress condition is common among all caregivers.

Photo Credit: SomaHealingArts

The up-side is that there are always ideas for combating the stress! Studies have shown that some caregivers experienced highly improved quality of life and less feelings of being burdened when practicing yoga. From the physical benefits of exercise to a fun activity, it is easy to see how yoga would be a great outlet. Though there are no studies proving stress relief effects of yogurt, we recommend you follow up your yoga with yogurt just because it is delicious and good for you!

(Photo Credit: Ingrid Heczko)

Check out this homemade yogurt recipe by Megan O. Steintrager!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Great Weekend Outdoor Ideas!

Feeling Fabulous Friday!

Great Weekend Outdoor Ideas:

Are you ready for a fun weekend? It can be easy to lay back and watch television all weekend, but sometimes we all want to get out in the sun. Some studies even show that outdoor environments can improve the attention span of individuals with autism and relieve stressWe've created a list of some fun family weekend activities. We sure hope you enjoy!

  1. Have a tasty picnic
  2. Walk in the park
  3. Enjoy some playground time
  4. Visit the zoo
  5. Collect leaves and flowers to make a nature collage
  6. Volunteer at a local opportunity
  7. Do a scavenger hunt
  8. Visit the farmers market
  9. Visit a local garden
  10. Designate a flower pot for each family member and plant away your own unique flowers
Photo Credit: Northfielder 

Thank you for dropping by and have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Josué's Miracle Story

Miracle Monday

Miracle Monday… because who doesn't love miracles?

Today we want to share this heart-warming letter from Mary Ann, the mother of one of Easter Seals Treasure Coast Early Steps’ clients.
Josué was initially evaluated by Treasure Coast Early Steps at 2 months of age and was found to have low muscle tone, stiffness in his legs and occasional tremoring/clonus and compensatory posturing and transitions due to this. He began working with the physical therapist from the Primary Service Provider Team. She demonstrated the exercises we were to focus on throughout each week and how to add them to the little things we do as a family each day. Our PT Primary Provider was fun and provided our family with information and weekly progress sheets. At the age of 14 months, Josué began to walk during one of his therapy sessions and we were able to catch it on video! It was a wonderful moment to share as a team!

At 15 months we noticed that he stopped using the few words he had, so we added a speech therapist to our regular visits.. At 20 months Josué began speech therapy with a combination of sign language and play therapy. His wonderful speech therapist, has worked with our family in our native language, which is Spanish. She is a conscientious, soft-spoken, fun-loving young lady who is totally committed to helping us enable Josué to communicate. He learned many signs in a short period of time and used them to make meaningful, creative, and specific communication. As his oral language skills have progressed, he has slowly stopped using sign language, but he feels comfortable using sign language as a means of communication in unfamiliar situations. 

As we come closer to his third birthday, I am proud of his accomplishments and extremely grateful to The Lord for the marvelous, caring people who have come into our lives in the form of Early Steps therapists and family service coordinators who are only a phone call away and who have become part of our extended family.

Respectfully yours,
Mary Ann

We hope this launches a great week for you. Please share your inspirational stories with us. Don’t forget to submit any questions you may have in the question box in the right panel.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine’s at Ruby Tuesday

Feeling Fabulous Friday!

This valentine’s weekend, we’re feeling warm, fuzzy and fabulous about Ruby Tuesday! Not only do we love their delicious food, but we are grateful for their support. Valentine’s weekend, participating locations in Central Florida will be giving 20% of their proceeds to Easter Seals Florida when customers bring in the flyer below. (Click here to view a printable version of the flyer)

Thank you Ruby Tuesday! We also want to thank anyone heading into Ruby Tuesday this weekend. Your support means the world.
Have a great weekend!

 Participating locations:

UCF • 11401 UNIVERSITY BOULEVARD • 407-249-5497  
KIRKMAN CORNERS • 3875 KIRKMAN RD • 407-578-8442

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Defining love this Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

All of us at Easter Seals Florida want to send out big Happy Valentine’s Day wishes to you (yes, YOU)! To start off this special day, let’s think for a moment about love. It’s interesting that one simple four-letter word can hold so much meaning and power. Though many times love is tied to relationship dynamics, the root of its basic meaning is universal. We dug up a quote we feel really expresses love.
"Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own." - Robert Heinlein
Heinlein’s words are remarkable. Whether referring to a couple, a grandmother and her granddaughter or even a dearly loved family pet, love is about selflessness. Love is a way of existing in which people put others first.

At Easter Seals, we know first hand about sincere love. From our donors, volunteers and sponsors to the families we serve, love is overflowing. It is infectious. So this Valentine’s Day, remember the meaning of love as you see co-workers, friends, family, spouses and even strangers, putting others first. Make it the most love filled Valentine’s Day yet.

On that note, we hope you all enjoy this love filled, hand decorated card from our client, John.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Easter Seals Florida History (part 2)

Welcome to Memories Monday!

It is important to reflect. Memory Mondays give us an opportunity to thank others and refresh ourselves on how we became what we are today. Who can think of a more encouraging way to start the week?

Last week you learned a lot about Easter Seals on a national level. Reflecting on Edgar Allen’s revelation is so impactful. It makes us imagine the times when there were not so many resources for individuals with autism and other disabilities. We are so grateful to be an organization that has revolutionized service for so many people. Specifically, we at Easter Seals Florida are so encouraged when we think of our journey to today.
Here is just how far we’ve come:
·         We evolved from a confederacy of small, independent groups concerned about children and adults with disabilities. 
·         On Dec. 8, 1948, the Florida Chapter, National Easter Seal Society was officially chartered, which today is known as Easter Seals Florida. 
·         We are now serving thousands of people with disabilities and special needs daily within 40 counties in Florida. 
·         Through the years we have spread to The Keys, West Palm Beach, Tampa Bay, Central Florida , and Southwest Florida .
·         Today we meet needs in many areas and have a variety of operations including Child Development Centers, Therapy, Camping and Recreation, Early Steps Program, Home-based Early Intervention, Autism Services, Adult Day Health Services, Socialization Programs, Personal Emergency Response Services and Vocational/Employment Services.
Thank you for joining us on Memories Monday.
Don’t forget to submit questions in the right panel question box… we will post answers to the blog J

Friday, February 8, 2013

65th year and going strong

It’s Feeling Fabulous Friday!

In today’s data-driven world we can analyze, measure and count the number of people we serve and the impacts we have on their lives.  Sixty-five years ago, in 1948 when Easter Seals Florida was first formed, there were no computers, no fancy data systems and it wasn't a priority to keep track.  But imagine if we did have data going back that far! Hundreds of thousands of people have been served or supported by Easter Seals Florida.  If you consider the advocacy nationwide, Easter Seals has impacted millions of people with disabilities with our instrumental work on the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Affordability Health Care Act.

Closer to home, today children like Leonardo, Taliyah and Jacob are learning to walk, talk and read in our child development, Early Intervention and therapy programs.  Adults like Joseph, Andrea and Jermane are employed, gaining independence in their life skills, in our employment programs, and seniors and veterans like Frank, Millie and Hattie are staying alert, engaged and safe in our adult day health care programs. 

A major accomplishment this year was raising the money to replace our pool at Camp Challenge.  Swimming is a central component of summer time and camp!  Our original pool built was built in 1960 and has been continually upgraded to maintain all health and safety standards.  The newest of safety standards for 2013 made it essential to modernize and start fresh with a whole new pool. In the spring of 2013 we will host our grand opening of our pool and celebrate the many donors and volunteers who helped us make this happen. We look forward to an extraordinary summer with record numbers of swimmers and campers!

In our 65th year of service, we are grateful for your support of our mission and the work we do each and every day!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Easter Seals Florida History (part 1)

Welcome back to Memories Monday!

It is important to reflect. Memory Mondays give us an opportunity to thank others and refresh ourselves on how we became what we are today. Who can think of a more encouraging way to start the week?

Easter Seals Florida has a long and amazing history that is worth remembering. That’s why we feel the need to share! In order to truly know the roots of Easter Seals Florida, it is best to first know the history of Easter Seals on a national scale.


·         A man named Edgar Allen was surprised to learn that children with disabilities were often hidden from public view.

·         Before this happened, Edgar Allen’s son was in a streetcar accident, which left him with use of his legs.  It was then that Edgar Allen searched for services to help his son, and was unable to find them.  He then also was digging around for information and realized that people with disabilities were hidden from public view. 

·         Inspired by this discovery, in 1919 Allen founded what became known as the National Society for Crippled Children, the first organization of its kind.

·         Today we serve over One million children & adults with disabilities at over 450 locations across the country.

·         In the spring of 1934, the organization launched its first Easter “seals” campaign to raise money for its services.  To show their support, donors placed the seals on envelopes and letters. 



·         The lily, a symbol of spring, was officially incorporated as Easter Seals’ logo in 1952 for its association with new life and has appeared on each seal since.

·         The overwhelming public support for the Easter “seals” campaign triggered a nationwide expansion of the organization and a swell of grassroots efforts on behalf of people with disabilities.  By 1967, the Easter “seal” was so well recognized that the organization formally adopted the name “Easter Seals.”

Thank you for joining us on Memories Monday. Join us again next week for the rest of the story!

Don’t forget to submit questions in the right panel question box… we will post answers to the blog J


Friday, February 1, 2013

Miss Montana’s Encouraging Words

Feeling Fabulous Friday!
Sometimes we all need to be reminded of what truly defines us as individuals. We are unique and amazing because of our spirit. How we choose to overcome our challenges sets us apart from others. These decisions give us confidence and make us great.
Today we at Easter Seals are feeling fabulous because we are inspired by a young lady named Alexis Wineman. Alexis Wineman was diagnosed with autism at age 11. Last year she won the title of Miss Montana and recently went on to reach the top 15 in the Miss America Pageant.
Her achievements are admirable; her challenges are compelling. Yet, it is a combination of her compassion, genuine nature, resilience and positive attitude that truly makes Alexis the wonderful young woman the country has come to love.   
We want to share some of her own words today…
“My path may not be one that another person would choose, but I challenged myself to enter the Miss America competition because it seemed like the peak to my own personal Everest.”
~ Alexis Wineman

“I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know there is a lot for me to do to make sure people really get that ‘Normal is just a dryer setting’."
~ Alexis Wineman
Wishing everyone a fabulous Friday!

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