Easter Seals is a nearly 100 year old organization that serves the needs of people and families living with disabilities by providing services and education, removing any legal roadblocks and providing an inclusive environment where families can thrive.

Easter Seals Serving DC I MD I VA reaches tens of thousands of children and adults throughout the region. The mission of Easter Seals is to “provide exceptional services to ensure that all people with disabilities or special needs, including military, wounded warriors, veterans and their families, have equal opportunities to live, learn, work, and play in their communities.”

One family that has benefitted greatly from the services and inclusive environment are Megan Scully and Chris DeBatt, parents of 3 boys. Their middle son, Danny, was diagnosed with Lissencephaly when he was just 4 months old. This basically means Danny’s brain is smooth causing him to have seizures, respiratory problems, low muscle tone and significant delays.

Megan, Chris and Danny, who is now 2 years old, talked about their experience and the benefits they received thanks to Easter Seals.

Megan Scully “When we got the diagnosis, we were shocked. I had just gotten back from maternity leave and we didn’t know who could take care of him. And what’s more is we wanted him to be out, we wanted him to have experiences. One of the first questions we asked doctors was would he ever be able to go to school, would he ever make friends? For us that was such an important thing.”

Both Megan and Chris work outside the home so they turned to Easter Seals for help in caring for Danny and giving him a normal social experience. Danny attends Easter Seals Child Development Center in D.C.

Danny DeBatt: “The great thing about Easter Seals is it’s unique opportunity in the DMV. They have therapists on site. They’re world class therapists who take amazing care of [Danny]. Being an inclusive center is a chance to hang out with kids that have some difficulties as well but also some normal kids. He gets to be a full and integrative part of their experience as well.”

The Easter Seals Center is the only child development center that can offer Danny the comprehensive care and therapies he needs. He can’t stand on his own, but they have special equipment to help Danny stand and be eye level with his friends. His teachers focus on what he can do, not what he can’t do.

Easter Seals centers are inclusive, so everyday Danny is learning alongside children of all abilities – with and without special needs. His little brother, Elliott, will join him at Easter Seals so they can attend the same school.

Megan Scully: “It is everything we wanted for him and more. He has friends. He has a life. He goes on walks every day. He interacts with kids his age. Our baby just started there. We are so excited for him to be in an inclusive environment and to be brought up not only at home but at a school knowing that there are kids with differences but they can be your friends too.”

With a special needs child there are a lot of unexpected expenses. Thanks to the help of scholarships, Megan and Chris are able to send their kids to the Easter Seals Child Development Center in D.C.

Scholarships and other programs are funded by generous donations and support.

How can you help?

A fun and easy way to support Easter Seals is by sponsoring or purchasing tickets for the annual Bright Stars event!

Bright Stars at Disney on Ice – February 15th, 2018 – Capital One Arena

All proceeds support Easter Seals programs.

Great Day Washington is a proud Sponsor of Easter Seals and Bright Stars.

Host, Kristen Berset, will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies!

To become a Sponsor or purchase tickets visit BrightStarsDC.org