Written for and about the Down syndrome community in Canada.
It includes stories about advocacy, advice from professionals, the latest news, and important dates about upcoming events and activities.
Supporting All Children to Attend Kindergarten
In Ontario’s Publicly Funded Schools
Do you need support so your child with ASD can attend a March Break Camp or Program?
The 2020 March Break Reimbursement Fund is available to Ontario families of children or youth with ASD who retain the services of a one-to-one support worker OR who has paid for their child to attend a 2020 March break camp or program, but not both.
A minimum of 1,007 families from across Ontario are expected to receive reimbursements.
Applications are due by January 24th!
Reimbursements will be provided based on a random selection made from all eligible applicants who apply between December 16, 2019 and Jan 24, 2020.
Autism Program at CHEO
Earlier this year, the government of Ontario announced changes to its Ontario Autism Program (OAP). In short, over the next 18 months everyone with an autism diagnosis will receive money directly from the government to purchase autism services of their choice.
Visit their website for more information and to view the guide.
In 2017, First Words Health Promotion Team created a comprehensive Chat Room Program Manual for Family Educators, Early Childhood Educators and Health Care providers.
The Chat Room Program provides information and strategies to create language rich environments to support children’s language development and is now available for download on our website.
If your program could benefit from an extra set of hands for summer programs, click the link below for more information about grants to support summer employment opportunities for students.
Visual timers are a great addition to every child care program. It helps for announcing transition and encourages turn taking with children.
Timers can be purchased at a variety of stores, such as Amazon and FDMT.ca
Programs using tablets can also download applications for free or at a low cost. Search for “visual time” in the app store.
Eat Right Be Active: A Guide for Caregivers
This resource was developed as part of Ontario’s Action Plan for Healthy Eating and Active Living and aims to help parents/caregivers bring physical activity and healthy eating to life with their children.
Select from 3 age groups:
Join the WIMS Parent Group
Research shows that parents and caregivers have an important role in supporting early child development and this can happen through play! Play&Learn provides a variety of expert-reviewed activities that support growth in kids from 1.5 – 6 years old. Most Play&Learn activities can be completed in less than 15 minutes and require little equipment to get started. Activities focus on practicing skills in one of four developmental domains: Thinking & Learning, Social & Emotional, Movement and Language. Developed by experts at McMaster University, Play&Learn makes playtime fun for everyone.
Learn more at playandlearn.healthhq.ca
The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) has added Reading and Parents Program (RAPP) Packs to its collection. This initiative, offered in partnership with ALSO (Alternative Learning Styles and Outlooks), is geared towards children aged 6 months to 6 years old. RAPP packs promote and encourage literacy, creativity and self-expression through stories and interactive activities.
Two types of packs are available: ASL (American Sign Language) packs and Voices packs. RAPP packs include a children’s book, an activity booklet which includes crafts, poetry and reading and language tips, and either a DVD showing the story in sign language (for ASL pack) or a CD (Voices pack). The interactive RAPP packs are available to borrow for free with a Library card at the Beaverbrook, Greenboro and St-Laurent branches, or by requesting them in the online catalog to pick up at your local OPL point of service.
Find more about RAPP Packs at www.aslrapp.org
Free Webinars for Parents
Learning language begins at birth and you are your child’s best teacher. The way you interact and talk with your child will make all the difference in their language learning. Here are some useful tools about language learning:
Special Education Advisory Committee Meetings
Keep in mind that all school boards’ SEAC meetings are open to parents. Click link below to find out details and upcoming meeting dates for your school board.
Fostering Inclusion – Tipsheet
The purpose of this tip sheet is to support the teaching team in fostering inclusion.
Inclusion is an attitude and approach that values all uniqueness and embraces diversity.
It promotes a sense of belonging and provides equitable opportunities for all children, all
families and all members of the teaching team.
(Please click on the image above to open the document)
Preparing for School : a Checklist for Parents/Guardians
For parents/guardians, the transition to school can be an overwhelming endeavor. CISS has created a checklist and timelines for families to make the process easier to organize and follow.
(Please click on the image above to open the document)
Transition to School
Transition to school is the beginning of a partnership between families and the school. Below is a checklist to help guide you on your journey to help foster and build a collaborative relationship with the school.
The Navigator Program is excited to launch their inventory of resources for families of medically complex children and youth! It is an inventory of resources collected to assist families in navigating the complex web of local resources and supports.
CISS Resource Library
New Interactive Family Services Map
MindMasters 2 is a free bilingual interactive toolkit developed by the Child & Youth Health Network for Eastern Ontario (CYHNEO) and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) to support children 4 to 9 years of age manage their emotions and cope with stress. MindMasters 2 builds on the original evidence-based resource MindMasters (1) and includes new techniques and technology, such as an app for iOS. The toolkit is organized in a series of audio and video based activities that help children develop 3 key skills: stress control & relaxation, positive thinking and imagery, and mindfulness. The activities are designed to be led by a parent or adult working with the child. The guidebook includes discussion questions and tips around how to use and adapt the activities to include a variety of different developmental levels.
Learn more about MindMasters 2 and download the complete resource at http://www.cyhneo.ca/#!mindmasters-2/dha2r.
A Guide for Inclusive Collaboration with CISS
Children’s Integration Support Services would like to remind you that “A Guide for Inclusive Collaboration with CISS” is available on our website.
The intention is for you to readily access information to support effective communication between our programs regarding inclusion practices and policies. It is also meant for you to easily access forms as you plan for supported inclusion for each child being enrolled in your program.
You will be able to download and complete forms with Adobe Reader, print or save them and send them via e-mail, mail or fax. Some forms such as referrals and authorizations/consents will need to be printed and signed. We have clearly identified the processes for the various forms in our guide.
We appreciate the support that you will continue to provide for families who are completing forms as we move to this new format.
In the future, if for any reason a change or update in the guide is required, it will be completed on the website so that you will always have access to current policies, procedures, forms and so on. We recommend that you download what you need as you go.
CISS Resource Library – A Treasure Trove of Resources to Discover
Our library has thousands of items and new ones are added regularly. It contains resource books, children’s books, teaching materials, CD’s, DVD’s, journals, periodicals and magazines which are available in both English and French.
Discover what our library has to offer by browsing our catalogue here.
Capacity Building Binder
CISS is proud to launch a new tool that will provide a framework to enable teaching teams to build and enhance on their existing knowledge and skills to meet the diverse needs of all children. CISS will provide a table of contents and dividers for each child care program so that they can create their own Capacity Building Binder.
The purpose of the binder is to create a central location for the teaching team to access resources shared by Resource Consultants, Behaviour Consultants, Early Childhood Educators and Community Partners through consultations or training. Resources may include presentations, program specific strategies, Manual Tool Kits and program action plans.
Stay tuned for upcoming articles in the ACCESS Integration newsletter on capacity building for your program.
Questions & Answers Regarding CISS Intake
Is there information about our service that you may wonder about or think you know but are not entirely sure? This may be your first time seeking care for your child or, for a director, including a child with special needs into your program.
In the document linked below are questions that arise when in discussion with directors and parents/guardians that we hope will provide additional clarity and understanding.
Click here to see our FAQ sheet.