For a local Easter Seals family, three kids make life chaotic.
But some special lessons are also making life a little more worth living.
Putting dinner on the table at the Stribling's house usually requires a little juggling.
Darrell and Amanda have three boys.
Rilian , Roran, and Reese.
All under six years old.
All three have special needs.
"Each of them is so different and unique. It really just keeps everything interesting," says dad Darrell.
Rilian's five and has autism.
Roran is three. He doesn't have an official autism diagnosis, but is being treated as if he does.
He'll go to the diagnostic clinic at Easter Seals next year.
Baby Reese has trouble breathing, and because of his brothers, he's also monitored closely.
All of their therapy happens at Easter Seals in McLean County.
As you could imagine, trips from their home in Atlanta, in Logan County, to Bloomington add up.
It's half an hour each way.
"On an average, you've got about two trips a week," says mom Amanda. "Not including doctor's appointments, because those as also based in Bloomington."
But the family says having someone who knows means everything.
"I think what this helpful the most for us is knowing we aren't crazy. Because we see things with the boys and we're comfortable enough with our therapist's knowledge to ask questions and talk with them," adds Amanda.
For those who don't know what living with autism is like...
"Just because you see a child is throwing a fit, it may not be just necessarily because they're brats or they're rotten," explains Amanda.
It can be because, to kids with autism, the little things are sometimes big.
And a little patience and a little change in perspective from the public can go a long way.
"Sometimes the restaurant's too loud, or for him, he has one chicken nugget that's a different shape or color," Amanda says. "So, I guess just exercise some patience and some discernment."
The Striblings say autism has certainly led them to change.
Especially when thinking about the future.
"Now that they're older and we have the two of them, and now that we have Reese, it does make a definite difference as far as if we're gonna have more kids or not. We've had quite a few conversations about it actually," both Darrell and Amanda explain.
While they still don't know what's to come, one thing is for sure.
They wouldn't trade what they've been through for anything.
"The only thing you would ever do for your kids, you wouldn't change a thing about them. You'd just make everything easier for them," says Darrell.
It may mean reserving some of their hopes...
"With the way our kids have grown and developed or have been growing and developing, each step is just as important as the last one. We really have to focus on each one to help them bring it about," he says.
But they say every step of progress is a constant renewal of hope.
Each one, bringing their future more into focus.
"I hope to see them be able to grow up and be as fully functional and independent, and integrated into the world as possible and really just grow into the little men we want them to be and God wants them to be. And that's....I couldn't really ask for anything more," adds Darrell.
This is just the first you'll be seeing of the Striblings.
They're part of an Easter Seals series.
We're hoping to give you a taste of life for a family with special needs and just how progress really is made on a daily basis.
We'll be following the Striblings through therapy and school in the coming months.