LOIS

I think that I have always been aware that the Niagara Children’s Centre existed but never knew the type of service or the impact that the Centre could, would and does have on children and their families.  I became involved with the Centre after my grandson was born and was referred to the Centre upon discharge from the hospital after 6 weeks at McMaster post birth.  By 3 months of age, the Centre was providing active therapy in the home with my grandson.  To say that the Centre has had an impact on my family is such an understatement that words cannot do justice to what they have done for my grandson and daughter.  And that is because the Centre does not just treat the child, they treat the family.  The therapists and staff actively seek out ways to help especially when they notice that something is not right.  Offering suggestions and tips for working through problems when they arise. 

As a grandmother, I expected my role would be providing advice to my daughter in raising her son.  What to do when going to bed and settling for the night wasn’t working.  But I found that I had no experience or tools in my grandmother’s toolkit to help her with the challenges that she was experiencing with Everett.  I could really be of no help.  What worked when I was raising her either could not be implemented or did not work or was not safe to use.  Talk about feeling useless!  With the Centre’s help, I was able to provide my daughter with support, helping her think strategies through and bolstering her “mom” confidence as she experimented with the strategies.  At least that part was something every mom experiences and I could help with that.

Until you experience a child with a need for which the Centre provides service, you cannot truly understand how vital and important the Centre is to our families and children with special needs.  I certainly didn’t.  There are so many things that these children cannot do because of their limitations.  The Centre opens the doors to the many activities that they can do and improvises to make activities accessible.  Many of these types of services are not funded by the province and we need to look to fundraising to make them happen.  If you don’t donate, then that is just one more thing that the children won’t be able to do. 

As my daughter put it, Everett lives in a world of “no”.  Niagara Children’s Centre changes that to a world of “yes”.  Everett rides a tricycle because of the Niagara Children’s Centre bike program which is entirely funded by your donations.  His customized tricycle is designed just for him to keep him safe and allow him to develop the coordination of muscle movement that he will need to eventually walk all while allowing him to have fun with his peers.  And this also allows him to experience inclusivity with his peers rather than watching from the sidelines.

So, please, donate to the Niagara Children’s Centre.  Be a part of making every child’s world a world of “yes”.

 

 

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