Ten-year-old Ellie Friess will be a fifth grader this fall. Ellie has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and attends Rainbows’ Camp Woodchuck. Her favorite part of Camp is doing daily art projects. “She loves everything about Camp,” says her mother, Stephanie. “She is so happy when she gets to be with her friends.” Ellie also benefits from Rainbows’ Targeted Case Management. Since starting services last year, Ellie has become more confident, independent, and happy.
At home, Ellie has an eight-year-old brother named Tripp. She loves to dance, play with friends, and watch TV. Her favorite shows are Curious George and Daniel Tiger. Ellie’s mother recently joined the Rainbows’ team. Stephanie works in Family Support Services and Child Care, as well as providing Autism Intense Individual Support. “Ellie was a big reason why I came to work here,” says Stephanie. “It is such a relief to know that Ellie is being well taken care of at Rainbows.” Stephanie has an Associate’s degree and has been working with children with special needs for 7 years now. In her free time, Stephanie likes to hang out with her kids, garden, and help with the Special Olympics. So far, Stephanie loves working at Rainbows and remembers feeling extremely welcome on her first day. “This really is a life changing place.”