We got this right before Christmas 2019 and been using it daily. It is a good tool for communication when your kiddos are non-verbal. It ease a bit of frustration for simple request such as water or food. I’ve done a bit of research before deciding on which program to use. I’ve tried LAMP, TouchChat and I forgot the other one. Out of all those I was either going with TouchChat or Prologuo2go. We ended up deciding to go with Prologuo2go because the edit function seems a tad more suitable for us. We choose the 32 layout per page for now and using Josh as the voice. There is a program called called ADP (Assistive Devices Program) with the government of Ontario. You can read more about it here. You have to get a referral and we got ours from our SLP. In Ontario, Toronto there are two sources you can go through. Either Surrey Place or Holland Bloorview. From my understanding, Holland is much quicker but also very strict. If you have been classified as developmental delay then you have no choice but to go down the Surrey Place route. It is really the same device that you will get but very different path to get there. Can’t speak for Surrey Place since we got ours through Holland but it was a very frustrating process. They wanted him to do more than request and have meaningful communication before granting him one. How are we supposed to teach him meaningful […]
We been applying for both March break and summer for the past 2 years. Unfortunately we never get selected. However I still apply and keep my fingers and toes crossed. Below is the information for Canadians who live in Ontario. There is also a link to the application directly. After you apply you get an email confirmation so look out for that. Good luck. 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. Maximum reimbursements of $350, per child or youth, (up to 18th birthday) will be made to subsidize services purchased between March 16 and March 20, 2020. A minimum of 1,007 families from across Ontario are expected to receive reimbursements. Reimbursements will be provided based on a random selection made from all eligible applicants who apply between December 16, 2019 and Jan 24, 2020. Process 1 – Application We will accept completed and signed applications from December 16, 2019 and January 24, 2020. Your application must include evidence of a clear ASD diagnosis from a professional who is qualified to make the diagnosis (see website for details). 2 – Selection By January 31, 2020, a minimum of 1,007 families will be randomly selected and ALL applicants will be informed by letter whether they were selected to receive funds or not. 3 – […]
This fund is available 2 times a year and there is a random selection for all those who apply within the time period. This is my 4th time applying and we were not selected the first three rounds. Hopefully better luck this time. The 2019 One-to-One Summer Support Worker Reimbursement Fund is available to Ontario families of children or youth with ASD who retain the services of a one-to-one support worker for their child to attend a community summer camp or summer program. Maximum reimbursements of $600, per child or youth, (ages 17 or less) will be made to subsidize services purchased between June 24 and August 30, 2019. A minimum of 500 families from across Ontario are expected to receive reimbursements. Reimbursements will be provided based on a random selection made from all eligible applicants who apply between May 6 and May 31, 2019. Process 1. Application: We will accept completed and signed applications from May 6 and May 31, 2019. Your application must include evidence of a clear ASD diagnosis from a professional who is qualified to make the diagnosis (see website for details). 2. Selection: By June 7, 2019, 500 families will be randomly selected and ALL applicants will be informed by letter whether they were selected to receive funds or not. 3. Payment: Autism Ontario will issue cheques to the randomly selected families who have submitted (by no later than September 13, 2019) all original receipt(s) for fees paid by the parent of the child with […]
All the information below can be found by going to respiteservices.com. Family Directed Respite (FDR) funding is a reimbursement program intended to assist families who are not currently connected to Ministry funded respite/camp programs, to develop and direct their own unique respite plans. Family Directed Respite funding is administered by respiteservices.com on behalf of the Toronto Respite Network. Note: Applications will be posted each year in mid-January and applications will be accepted until mid-February. The 2019-2020 application will be posted on January 14th by noon! ELIGIBILITY: Child must be diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Child is eligible from the age of 2 until their 18th birthday. Child must reside with a caregiver and be a permanent resident of Toronto. Family required to have made an application to Special Services at Home (waitlist families are eligible). Families accessing Ministry funded respite/camp programs may not be eligible. If you have questions about the programs you are currently accessing please contact them directly to inquire about funding received. FDR eligible expenses: FDR ineligible expenses: Camp fees to a limit of $750/week Meal, busing, t-shirt, or other costs associated with program/camp Lessons or classes of any kind/ 1:1 support in the class Respite program fees to a limit of $150/day. Sport/recreation fees Assistive devices or equipment Daycare fees 1:1 staffing in home or community Staffing support (in a camp or respite program only) to a limit of $20/hour. Workers must be 18+ and live outside the family home. Activity Costs (e.g. field trip fees, memberships, etc.) Tutoring, therapy or therapeutic rec programs (e.g. ABA, IBI, SLP, OT, PT) Transportation Administrative or registration fees Important information: • The 2019-2020 application will be […]
What does that even mean? Frustrating when your regional provider doesn’t seem to understand that this new program doesn’t kick in till April 2019 which means everything remains the same as is until that day. So if you happen to be on top of the waitlist and get service you can do that for up to 3 months before the children’s budget plan kicks in. For us, we are still waiting anyways and likely not on top of anything so it is status quo. I do fully understand that finding out where we stand is not really relevant if we are not on top of the waitlist but I’ve been given this information previously so why can’t I find out today where we stand. Surrey Place refused to provide me with the information and directed me to the 1-888-284-8340 line. That line didn’t have any information on where I stand. After I explained my situation, she gave me a direct line to Mona Haibeh. Mona mans the general inquiries from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and you can reach her at 416-327-6790. She was helpful and will be contacting Surrey Place regarding my waitlist confirmation. Funny how I have to jump hoops just to get information. I think I’ve learned that sometimes that’s what you have to do. If someone says no, you have to take charge and contact people above that person. You have to be strong and not take no for an answer. Your regional/service […]
Beginning in 2018, the Ministry of Education is providing new Fee Stabilization Support (FSS) funding to help offset the increases in child care fees associated with bringing staff up to the new minimum wage rate of $14 per hour effective January 1, 2018. The funding was intended to help child care operators meet minimum wage requirements so they wouldn’t have to raise child care fees for families. In some cases, the centre was able to provide a refund to parents who pay full fee. I know some who got a small chq but any rebate is good. You can check how much was allocated to your city for 2018. The 2019 Fee Stabilization Support Funding will be determined within the Provincial Government’s spring 2019 budget. An update and a 2019 application will be provided when the Province confirms the funding.
Looks like its time to register for the March break fund. I know it’s not even 2019 yet but these things usually works like this where you have to sign up for in well in advance. We applied for the summer fund but was not selected. Hopefully better luck this time around. Heres the link. Good luck people. Apply Online Paper Application Information flyer Frequently Asked Questions
As I mentioned in my previous blog, we started a Hanen Program called More Than Words through Adventure place, the City of Toronto’s speech services. It has been great and but a bit repetitive for me since I just finished the DVD. The book and DVD is available through Hanen’s website or even online on Amazon. It is also available at your local public library which is where I got mine. It teaches you ways to communicate with your child and you watch videos of other families as real life examples. They only allow up to 8 families per program and I’ve been wanting to take this program for a while. There was a cancellation last minute after the orientation session and we got lucky and filled in as replacement. For those who want to learn more about the program you can head over to Hanen’s website and read more on this More Than Words Program. For those who are on the Toronto Speech Services, this counts as a block of intervention so if you take this you will have to wait for the next block of service. For us, since he is going to preschool we don’t qualify for service anymore anyways as they say this is a duplication of services from what the school offers. This is actually perfect timing for us to be taking this program. I’m including the link to the orientation session for those who want to see if this program is for them. Although a […]
The Infancy and Early Childhood Program provides comprehensive clinical services for infants and children up to the age of six who have or are suspected of having a developmental disability. The Program uses a family centered, interdisciplinary team approach to establish a unique service plan to meet each child’s specific needs, while also placing a special focus on working with parents and caregivers. Eligibility Criteria The Infancy and Early Childhood Program provides assessment, consultation and treatment to infants and children from birth to age 6 who have or are suspected of having a developmental disability and reside in the Toronto Region. You actually don’t need to have an official diagnosis, if you suspect something just give them a call. There is a waitlist anyways so might as well get ahead of the game. You can always decline after. Important to note: If you child is currently in daycare, you will not be eligible. They City of Toronto has dedicated resources at daycares and this is considered a duplication of service. It is a free program so if you can take advantage of this you should call. To contact or refer a client to the Infancy and Early Childhood Program at Surrey Place Centre please call: 416-925-5141 and ask to speak to the Infancy and Early Childhood Intake Service Coordinator.
This is with the City of Toronto and a program designed integrate those with a disability with City’s programs. I registered my older one in some city program a few weeks ago and stumbled across this program they have. I called the line for my district and the gentlemen was so kind and helpful. He explained the program thoroughly which is also available online. You have to register for this 4 weeks in advance before the next season of program as it might take that long before you get approved. I’ll update my progress after I get the approval. Forgot to mention the cost is minimum. Contact Information District Telephone Contact Etobicoke York District Etobicoke Civic Centre 399 The West Mall Toronto, ON M9C 2Y2 416-394-8746 Community Recreation Programmer 416-394-8533 Administration TTY: 416-394-8534 North York District North York Civic Centre 5100 Yonge St., 3rd Fl. North York, ON M2N 5V7 416-395-6183 Community Recreation Programmer TTY: 416-395-6115 Scarborough District Scarborough Civic Centre 150 Borough Drive, 5th Fl. Toronto, ON M1P 4N7 416-396-7760 Community Recreation Programmer TTY: 416-396-4116 Toronto & East York District East York Civic Centre 850 Coxwell Ave. Toronto, ON M4C 5R1 416-397-4923 Community Recreation Programmer 416-397-4690 Administration TTY: 416-392-4773 You will need to complete forms that staff will mail to you. I got this emailed to me in PDF format and filled it in and emailed it back. Staff will schedule an intake interview with you and register you or your child into a confidential database to help match […]
This free preschool program actually drove me nuts. To begin the waitlist to even receive service is like a 6 month wait. Once you get an assessment you then wait for the next available open “block of service”. After your “block” you have to wait 6 months for a reassessment and then the cycle goes on with you waiting for the next available “block of service”. Background info on the said program. It is available to children from birth to JK entry. Once your child goes to school, the school board kicks in for speech resources. We applied for this before JB was 2 years old and got our first “block” in August of 2017. After our 6 week session we had to wait till March 2018 to get reassessed. After the said reassessment, we had to wait for the next available block which was June/July 2018. Again it was a 6 week session and the cycle goes on with waiting for reassessment and next block. To sum this up, we essentially got 6 sessions of 45 minutes once per year. With the timing when someone register for the program before 2 years of age they will likely get 3 blocks of service before they go to school. According to the SLP, that is their policy and guidelines. You must wait 6 months before getting reassessed and after reassessment you have to wait for next block. I got so frustrated I reached out the City for clarification on the said […]
Monday October 22 from 6pm to 8pm. This is the link to register for the workshop: https://bit.ly/2ycdQqc This workshop will give families information on how to advocate effectively for a child with a disability in the public school system. Information will be provided on: Laws related to students with disabilities Legal ways to challenge the school system The Ontario Human Rights Code and Education Act/Regulations (IEP, IPRC) Parent roles in the IEP and IPRC Tips on how to work collaboratively with school staff Ideas and strategies for advocating at school Presenter: Alison Morse, Easter Seals and Susan Munn, Pooran Law To view webinar click here. 2018-10 School Advocacy and Education Law
Geneva Centre for Autism is offering a parent- to-parent program to match parents of newly diagnosed children with ASD and experienced parents via telephone or email to provide support and guidance in navigating autism services. Please see the attached flyer for additional information. Parent to Parent
I stumbled across P4P planning network when I was researching on disability tax credit. They hold webinars you can sign up for that I found useful. The best part is if you can’t attend that particular date/time you can still listen to the webcast up to 2 weeks they say (I’ve tried for longer than the 2 weeks and it still worked). They provide simple to understand breakdown of the certain topic such as disability tax credit, Henson trust and registered disability saving plan. With so much information, it is nice to get confirmation that what you understood the program just like how you read it. My word of advice is to do you research ahead of time and join the webcast because at the end of the presentation you will be allowed to ask questions. You do have to register for the webcast but it is as simple as contact name and email. I signed up for their newsletter so I get updates on next season’s webcast dates. Occasionally, I will refresh my memory and listen to the same webcast if I have questions. You can find their website here. P4P Planning Network Their fall 2018 schedule can be found here.
This is a group for parents who are registered to receive services through the early abilities program. FREE Social Communication Drop-in Group at Adventure Place (155 McNicoll Ave, GYM) on the following dates: October 4th, 11th, 18th, November 1st, 15th, 22nd, 29th, and December 6th, 2018. This group will run from 8:45am-10:15am and will be facilitated by Early Abilities staff. Early Comm Drop In – flyer Fall 2018
I posted two other free glasses programs but those two were geared towards JK and kids 4-10. I stumbled across OneSight’s voucher program, where eligible children can receive a free pair of glasses if referred by a non-profit organization. The patient should: Have their visual and financial need verified by a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (such as a school, church, Lions Club, Prevent Blindness, Red Cross, or United Way). Obtain a referral letter from the nonprofit (letter should be on company letterhead and include the Tax ID# for the nonprofit). Take the referral letter issued by the nonprofit as well as a valid prescription to a participating Luxottica Retail Location (LensCrafters, Target Optical, Sears Optical or Pearle Vision corporate store) to receive a pair of glasses at no charge. If the patient does not already have a valid prescription (one that is less than 2 years old) he or she can ask if the onsite doctor at the optical retailer is able to donate an eye exam or they can reach out to Prevent Blindness for assistance. For more information visit their site, https://onesight.org/faqs/
We are thankful our home school has a diagnostic kindergarden program for JB. It will be much easier next year this time since we can do the one drop off and it is walkable. I dislike getting the kids strapped into car seats and lugging a million big items around. After some researching, I know the registration for those with special needs should happen much much earlier than the mainstream program. I been in touch with the teachers that run the program and liked what I’ve seen so far. It is a small class with only a handful of kids with up to 2 teachers at times to help. I was initially planning on starting this conversation in December but upon chatting with the principle, he advise us do it right away. It’s true, what’s the point of waiting? We are planning on putting him in there anyways so might as well get it out of the way now rather than later. There is fundings involved and with the way the TDSB works it could take months before we get approved and devise up a plan. This is what I learned: If you child is newly registered but not attending a TDSB you need to set up meeting called SEPRC. It stands for special education program recommendation committee. You go to the school you are interested in and ask the principal to start up the process. The school in turn, provides all your information to the special needs consultant who […]
Did you know eye exams are covered under OHIP for kids. You don’t have to pay a dime to get their eyes checked out. I discovered if you have a kid in JK you can get glasses up to $250 free but if you kid is not in JK there is another program you can benefit from. Its offered by Real Canadian Superstore called Kids See Free. While this is not as generous as The Eye See…Eye Learn program it is still free. The Kids See Free program provides children from ages 4 to 10 years old with any frame valued up to $49 with single vision, polycarbonate ‘kids safe’ lenses for free once per year. (If you choose to upgrade the frame or add any coatings to the lenses, you’ll need to pay the difference). https://www.realcanadiansuperstore.ca/optical
The Eye See…Eye Learn program encourages parents to book a comprehensive eye exam for their junior kindergarten child with a local, participating optometrist. The eye exam is covered by OHIP. If a child needs glasses, they will receive a complimentary pair donated by Plastic Plus, OGI and the participating optometrist. The estimated value of the glasses is over $250. Children born in 2014 are eligible only until June 30, 2019 to participate in the Eye See…Eye Learn® program for the 2018-19 school year. Simply find a participating optometrist near you and book your child’s Eye See…Eye Learn® eye exam. Participating doctors will have Eye See…Eye Learn doctor next to their name. Children who require a pair of glasses will receive one complementary pair courtesy of our corporate partners Plastic Plus and OGI Eyewear. The frames are fashionable and are made with high quality and impact resistant polycarbonate lenses. Questions about the program? Contact OAO at: Phone: 1-855-424-3735 (toll free) Email: [email protected] https://www.optom.on.ca/OAO/ESEL/OAO/ESEL/Eye_See…Eye_Learn.aspx
Ripley’s Aquarium is a fun place to take the family but it can add up when you have a family of 5. We usually buy our tickets ahead of time and try to find a deal. I am part of Perkopolis so getting tickets there is a tad cheaper. You do have to register with Perkoplis and get an access code usually from the company you work with. I think it says on the site that you should purchase at least 24 hours in advance so it gives Perkopolis a chance to process the tickets and send to you. I opted for the electronic version of course as it doesn’t make sense to pay for more for tickets when I can show it on my phone or even print it out at home. I got my tickets pretty much right away within an hour. We took the kids there for March break this year but didn’t get a chance to blog about it till now. Ripley’s Aquarium participates in Easter’s Seal Access 2 Card. A support person accompanying a guest with disabilities will be allowed to stay with the guest at all times and will be provided with free admission. Kids under 3 are also free so our family of 5 only paid for one adult ticket and one kid. It was a perfect way to entertain the kiddies on March break while not breaking the bank. Of course going on March break we knew it would be insane but […]
I am part of Perkopolis and bought my tickets from them. It is a tad cheaper than buying from site directly. I got my tickets within an hour and just showed them my phone. Legoland is part of Easter Seal’s Access 2 entertainment program. Children 2 and under are free and with the access 2 card a support person gets in free too. Our family of 5 only had to pay for two tickets. It was extremely busy there for March break and harder to control other kids bumping into JB but all in all it was fun for the kiddies. We packed a lunch because the last time we were there the food was bleh. The lines were too long for JB and it was hectic when we attempted to line up but quickly learned that its impossible for him to line up. He still enjoyed running around with little cars we build for him. Now that he’s older and very vocal when other people take his toys not sure we will return to Legoland next year. It was very hot in there and not that big so it was hard when kids run around and bump into JB. It was nice that it is indoor and part of the mall so when he took a nap we were able to do some shopping.
I am part of Perkopolis and bought my tickets from them. I think it says on the site that you should purchase at least 24 hours in advance so it gives Perkopolis a chance to process the tickets and send to you. I opted for the electronic version of course as it doesn’t make sense to pay for more for tickets when I can show it on my phone or even print it out at home. I got my tickets pretty much right away within an hour. We took the kids there for March break this year but didn’t get a chance to blog about it till now. The Toronto Zoo participates in the Access 2 program with Easter Seals Canada. The Access2 program provides a dignified and positive entertainment experience for people with disabilities who require the support of an attendant. Program participants receive Access 2 wallet cards which allow simple identification, removing the onus to explain their need for an attendant. All we did was showed the Access 2 card and there was no questions asked. The cardholder or person with disability receives 50% admission discount while their support worker receives complimentary admission. JB at the time was only 2, and 2 and under is free. We just had to pay for one adult and one kid plus parking which was 12 bucks. It was a great activity for March break on a dime. Kids loved it there and we likely will go back next year for either March break […]
We actually have membership to Ontario Science Centre but they participate in the Access 2 program with Easter Seals Canada. Kids 2 and under are free and with the Access 2 card a support person gets in for free. To get the free pass you have to line up at guest services and the line there is much shorter than purchasing tickets. They just look at the card and issue you the free ticket. They don’t even ask you how old your child is. I guess JB looks like a baby to begin with. We have membership so don’t need to use the Access 2 card but there was one time my sister joined and she got in as JB’s support. They dedicate two areas to kids under 8 called the KidSpark on the so call 4th floor. I thought it was named KidsPark all this time till I looked at the name again. It is really KidSpark because is an area to spark their creativity. Their elevator is a bit whack as going up means down and going down means up. You would figure going to the 4th floor is up but you press down on elevator. Took some time to get use to but we get the hang now. My kids love it there but it does get very busy at times. We like to go on Saturdays since they open later and most people leave by 5pm. The other kids get JB angry at times but we feel […]
We hired a support person to help with JB toilet training when we first started training and that person used wheels trans and told us about the service. I looked into it but never really thought we needed it. However there were a few times where we had to make alternative travel arrangements where it would of made our lives easier if we were able to use this service. I decided to fill out the long application just in case we ever run into a situation where we need to use this. Figured out it might be worth my while. I was really just interested in the support person assistance card as I figured it will come handy one day. The bonus of this assistance card is, JB is under 12 so he is free and if I’m his support person I’m free too. The application: Don’t be intimated by the 19 page application. The first few just explains what the service is about and gives you instructions on what to fill out. Link to application can be found here. For more information go to the TTC website. Section A contains questions about your everyday mobility and ability to use conventional transit and is completed by you/your representative. Section A also requests that you to certify that the information you/your representative have provided to Wheel-Trans is correct. Section B is your consent to have your health care professional(s) contacted for additional information or clarification if requested. Section C is completed by your health […]
When an Access 2 cardholder presents their valid Access 2 Card at any participating venue partner, their support person receives free admission; the cardholder pays regular admission. At CN tower kids under 4 gets in free which means JB is free and I am free as well. A friend gave us two tickets which means our family of 5 got in free. I figured the boys can experience it since we are not paying a dime. The line up was extremely long but we split up to sped things up, the hubby lined up for the free passes with JB while I took Mase and baby girl to check out the line to go up the elevator. I got the the front where there is a timer saying it will be 2 hour wait. I asked the attendant there if this time is accurate and she replies yes it is very. I was extremely hesitant but decided since we drove all the way downtown and parked might as well see how it is since hubby was in line anyways. It was a small trek before we got to where people were standing and that was pretty much where you take a picture. The attendant there said about 45 minutes. I thought 45 minutes is doable since we are here anyways and it is much better than 2 hours. By the time we took the photo, JB and hubby was able to join us. Surprisingly it wasn’t too bad for JB. […]