Falling in love with Easter Seals
Posted on February 26th, 2013 by Rachel
My post last week described what it was like to be in the studio to hear Maurice Snell telling his story on Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ-FM). Maurice is an adult living with autism, and after the interview he took me and my intern Kelly Zatlin on a tour of Easter Seals Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research where he works as an administrative assistant and helps with the music therapy program.
We saw so many different classrooms and accommodations for kids with autism — everything from an art therapy room to a calming room where kids can go to chill out and refocus. As Maurice led us to a school store where students work to stock items and cashier, he explained that the school doesn’t use fluorescent lights in the classrooms, and no patterned carpet, either. “It can be distracting for kids with autism,” he said.
I thought it was really cool that Maurice is a huge rockstar — everywhere he went, people were calling out his name and high-fiving him. He is a walking piece of encouragement and inspiration to other families living with autism, and it is so great to see him thrive.
Last Wednesday was one of those days when I know why I’m at Easter Seals and everything just makes sense. The combination of a little PR radio interview thrill and seeing the autism services which are impacted by the work at Easter Seals headquarters was extremely fulfilling.
At one point Kelly turned to me and gushed, “I’m becoming such a huge Easter Seals … fan!” I have to agree. Something about this organization just grows on you and makes you fall in love!