Category Archives: Children with Special Needs

ADD or ADHD

Boy_ADHDDifficult child, ill-bred child, whimsical child, problem child, lazy child… In short, you’ve probably heard them all before. These are false qualifiers that people attribute to children living with Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity. In our role as Consultants, we meet many of these children in community programs on a regular basis. We try to educate all involved in the face of this disorder, but mainly we try to provide winning strategies to encourage the inclusion of these children to enable them to reach achievable goals. Continue reading

Letter to you, my perfectly imperfect daughter…

Your birth on April 18th 2015 was the happiest day of my life. You know, less than a year before your arrival, you had a big brother but he had the wings of an angel. So when I held you in my arms for the first time, it was both a relief and the culmination of a big dream; becoming a mother. You arrived 4 weeks earlier than expected after nearly 23 hours of labor.

JulieBenoit

Photo credit: Jessica Côté

When I saw you for the first time, I was ecstatic but this little voice inside my heart and my head was telling me that something wasn’t right. I guess we can call it intuition. When I changed your diaper for the first time, I noticed right away this little malformation on your skin in your lower back. I didn’t waste any time; I spoke to your doctor and from then on, a range of specialists entered your life and you have had to undergo a whole battery of tests that caused you to suffer more often than not. All the doctors seemed worried but nobody knew what was really going on so we were referred to different specialists. Continue reading

How families walk the financial tightrope of caring for children with medical complexity

Amy recites expenses with the precision of an accountant. There was the HEPA filter to purify the air in her home: $1000. An American Sign Language (ASL) kit: $1500. A plasma car: $80.

These are all necessary to accommodate Amy’s three-year-old son, Wyatt. Wyatt was born with brainstem dysgenesis, a rare condition where blood flow to the baby’s brain is disrupted during pregnancy. Because of his condition, Wyatt has a host of respiratory, nervous and muscular problems that require special accommodation. Continue reading

Clothing Rituals: Moving from Season to Season

Does your child have difficulty with change of clothing between seasons e.g. moving from shoes to boots, long sleeves to short, coat to just a tee shirt?  This can be a common characteristic in children with Autism and those with sensory processing difficulties. It can be the result of tactile sensitivity; the child is particular about the clothes he wears, finds tags and seams itchy or irritating, may not like having his sleeves pushed up, and likes only loose or tight clothing, socks and shoes or bare feet. Some children have difficulty tolerating touch to their skin and find that they can only tolerate certain clothing. It may also be the result of an intolerance to change in routine, transitions, or type of clothing. Some children are rigid and ritualistic because their world is confusing and overwhelming. The rituals and routines are their attempts to control their world in order to cope with it. Continue reading

Inclusion — A Cause for Celebration!

2016 marks the completion of the 25th anniversary of Children’s Integration Support Services (CISS). We were not given a road map when our journey for a seamless system of supported inclusion began. As we travelled down the inclusion road, we learnt that change is inevitable and it is up to each of us to grow with each lesson learned. We also understood that it was alright to ask for directions. Our story began with a road trip to the Region of Durham to seek information and ideas from others who had already started their inclusion journey.  Believe it or not, “Google Maps” had not yet been invented so it became a leap of faith, knowing that we all believed in and were committed to a path where full inclusion was possible by working towards supporting the needs of each child, their parents and the early childhood educators and providers.  The inclusion pioneers who had bravely gone before us shared all of their lessons learned on how they achieved their success as well as sharing what roads for us not to go down. We had a strong belief in a vision where ALL children belong.  We knew our journey was going to be positive and possible. Continue reading