Children of all Abilities Learn and Grow Together

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Monday, January 22, 2024

The Easterseals Iowa Child Development Center opened at the Easterseals Iowa Camp Sunnyside location in July 2002. Parents didn’t want to have to separate their typically developing child and their child with a disability and send them to different childcare centers.  They wanted their children to be able to learn and grow together.  The answer was a Child Development Center at Camp Sunnyside, where children with and without disabilities ages six weeks to five years old play and learn together in a fully integrated setting.


Children who attend their programs who have disabilities hit milestones faster because they are immersed with their typically developing peers, and the children who are typically developing go off into the world with kind and accepting hearts. They learn that a friend is someone that you like to spend time with - it doesn’t matter if they talk, walk, or behave differently than you.
Variety supported Easterseals this year with grant funding to cover the cost of a new shade structure for the Child Development Center playground! This new shade structure allows the children like Keegan (pictured below) to be outside as much as possible to play and grow these friendships on the playground during sunny days. 

"Keegan came to his foster parents as a very quiet child for the most part. When he did talk it was difficult to understand him. He had big emotions and a hard time following directions and interacting with his peers. Since he started at Easterseals, his speech has improved and he has full conversations that will talk your ear off, if you let him. He has grown into a much better listener and doesn’t struggle as much with direction now. He has made many friends and has learned how to play with them and has more social interactions. Keegan is a very sweet little boy and it is a joy working with him and his supportive family." Easterseals Child Development Center Staff 


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