“What I hoped Apollo would gain, he has already achieved”

Apollo and his familyI have a confession to make. I am a closet crier. I even get over-emotional sometimes when I write one of these blog posts — it’s so personal, so powerful to reflect on the life changing work that happens here at Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin that I can’t help myself. Today I’m sharing one of those stories, and yes, it did make me cry.

Apollo says “I Love You” every night

by Haley Grebe

From the moment he was born, our son Apollo has always been the most loving child I have known. He has countless kisses, hugs and cuddles to pass around. But when he was 2 years old we became very concerned that he was not responding to his name. He wasn’t looking at us, or playing with us, either.

After two years of hunting for good schools, doctors and therapy programs, we found some very good matches, and Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin was one of them. I was especially attracted to the way Easter Seals promoted family involvement so that the concepts of therapy could be incorporated into daily life.

In the beginning there was a very detailed plan to help Apollo reach his goals, and our opinions were always taken into consideration too.

On the very first day we met with Easter Seals our lead therapist said, “when he starts talking” and continued her sentence. I thought her thinking was very optimistic, but little did I know that our essentially nonverbal little boy would speak a couple thousand words in his first year-and-a-half of therapy. Apollo has progressed at a rate that far surpassed any expectation I had:

  • His tantrums decreased from 8 hours down to twenty minutes.
  • His eye contact and ability to greet people are as common as his big brother’s.
  • He started drawing pictures that were extravagant in place of repeated circles.
  • He can sit at a table to eat or do short periods of age appropriate work when he is asked to.
  • When he hears that we are going for a ride he will quickly walk to get his shoes on.
  • Very often he will share things on his own terms that nobody told him to.
  • He is learning how to express all of the great knowledge that he knows.
  • He will use the bathroom almost every time when asked, but he of course would like three pieces of candy as a reward each time!

The ideas that our family have learned will help our lives and Apollo’s life be much more peaceful and content. What I hoped Apollo would gain through therapy, he has already achieved. This all would have never been possible without the patient, caring and devoted team of people that laugh, play, and teach Apollo every day. It is obvious in their smiles and attentiveness that they care about and enjoy seeing the kids make progress.

Apollo still has one-and-a-half years left, and I cannot wait to see all the wonderful things he will do next. His possibilities are endless.

Oh, and I saved the best for last: Apollo says I love you to his brother, mom and dad every night. Thank you to his team. You are all amazing.


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  1. Patricia Wright Says:

    Bob – how could you NOT cry at this story?!? Thanks for sharing Haley.

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