After rolling a strike, Paul Hoffman jumps and claps then runs to his mother for a high five.
“Dad is going to be so proud,” he says with a grin.
Paul, 25, and his sister Allie, 22, both have autism, and their family’s weekly bowling nights at Laser Alleys in Springettsbury Township are more than just a social outlet. They’re one of the many therapeutic programs offered by Easterseals Western and Central Pennsylvania that improves their social, physical, and emotional well-being, while giving their parents, Penney and Mike, a chance to connect with parents who understand.
“Autistic kids typically have a tough time, socially,” Penney says. “Easterseals activities help them: taking turns, playing, mimicking.”
There’s a network that Easterseals provides families, and the people Penney and Mike Hoffman have met through the various therapeutic programs have become part of their family.
“It’s a good support system,” Mike says. “The kids are doing the activities, but you get to talk to parents and families facing similar issues.”