- How do I find out which government funding programs my family is eligible to receive?
- Where can I get help to pay for the equipment my child needs?
- How can I get counselling for my child or family?
- How can I meet other parents of children with special needs?
- How can I find a day care provider for my child with special needs?
- How do I find a respite worker for my child?
- My child is starting school next fall. How can I learn about services for students with special needs?
- How do I begin to plan for my child’s future?
- Where can I get more information about my child’s diagnosis?
- Where can I find an optometrist for my child with special needs?
Where can I get more information about my child’s diagnosis?
Our website includes diagnosis information. Books, DVDs and brochures are available at our Oshawa site in the Family Resource Centre. Families are also welcome to ask any staff member for information about their child’s diagnosis.
How do I find out which government funding programs my family is eligible to receive?
The Financial Help section of the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services website lists government funding programs along with eligibility requirements. For more information, contact Grandview’s Social Work Services or ask your child’s therapist.
Where can I get help to pay for the equipment my child needs?
You might be eligible to receive assistance through:
- organizations listed on the Financial Assistance section of our website
- private insurance
- employee health benefits
- community groups, such as churches or service clubs may be able to help
- some families plan fundraising events with the support of family, friends, neighbours and co-workers
For more information, ask your child’s therapist, or contact Grandview’s Social Work Services.
How can I get counselling for my child or family?
For counselling related to your child’s diagnosis, a Registered Social Worker through Grandview’s Social Work Services can help.
For counselling related to your marriage, job, finances or other personal matters, you can explore other resources, such as the Employee Assistance Program in your place of work.
There are also counselling services available in the community:
24-hour Crisis lines:
Distress Centre Durham 1-800-452-0688
Drugs & Alcohol Helpline 1-800-565-8603
Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
Mental Health Helpline 1-866-531-2600
Parent’s Help Phone 1-888-603-9100
Catholic Family Services of Durham 1-877-282-8932
Lakeridge Health Mental Health Program 905-433-4365
Oshawa Community Health Centre 905-723-0036
Region of Durham Community Counselling 1-866-840-6697
Alcohol and substance abuse assistance:
Alcoholics Anonymous 1-888-881-8878
Narcotics Anonymous 1-888-811-3887
Pinewood Centre – crisis support 905-728-1020
Children’s counselling services:
Durham Behaviour Management 1-800-387-0642
Frontenac Youth Services – 24 hour crisis 1-800-742-1890
Kinark Child & Family Services 1-888-454-6275
Credit Canada Debt Solutions 1-800-267-2272
How can I access a Social Worker at Grandview?
Through Grandview’s Social Work Services, Registered Social Workers are able to offer the following services:
- orientation to Grandview
- service coordination
- facilitate access to community resources
- complete applications for financial assistance for adaptive equipment and disability-related services
- provide emotional support, including counselling families with social and emotional concerns
- facilitate workshops on a variety of topics
- Social Work Services are available to all clients and families, including those on the wait list.
You can ask any member of your child’s therapy team to refer you to Social Work Services, or call Grandview at 905-728-1673 or toll-free 1-800-304-6180 and ask for Social Work Services.
How can I find a day care provider for my child with special needs?
- consult the Region of Durham Social Services Department online directory of Child Care and Children’s Programs including information on how to choose child care
- contact Grandview’s Preschool Outreach Program at 905-728-1673 x 2227 or x 2228 or toll-free 1-800-304-6180 x 2227 or x 2228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- if you are involved with Infant and Child Development Services Durham, you can ask your service coordinator for information
- if you are involved with Resources For Exceptional Children and Youth – Durham Region, you can ask your Resource Consultant for information
- for resources to assist you in finding a day care, visit Finding Quality Child Care: A guide for parents in Canada
- speak to other parents about their experience in finding a preschool
How do I find a respite worker for my child?
Respite is defined as a short period of rest or relief – essentially, a break from daily routines and activities. Parents caring for children and youth with special needs benefit from regular periods of respite for the benefit of their own mental, emotional, and physical well-being. A respite worker is someone hired by the family to provide appropriate care for their child or youth. A few tips:
- identify the reasons why you need a respite worker: companionship, support during a community activity, developing a skill, etc.
- identify the qualifications and characteristics the worker should have, such as qualified Personal Support Worker, experience with children with special needs, outdoor enthusiast, sense of humour, musician etc.
- interview potential candidates – you could ask one or two friends who know your child to help with this process
check personal and professional references carefully
ask for documentation of recent criminal reference check through Durham Regional Police Services
Respite workers are available through:
A respite worker, Personal Support Worker or nurse can also be found through:
- an agency
- family, friends or neighbours
- church, work or school
- advertisement at college and university
Where can I find an optometrist for my child with special needs?
Based on an informal survey conducted in April 2008 (updated October 2013), the following optometrists in Durham Region are able to provide eye examinations for children and youth with special needs. When booking the appointment, remember to indicate the child’s needs and verify that the optometry equipment is wheelchair accessible.
This list of names and contact information is provided for your convenience, and should not be considered as a recommendation or endorsement.
If you are an optometrist who works with children and youth with special needs and would like to be included on this list, contact: email@example.com
Dr. K.A. McPherson & Associates 905-623-3252
Dr. Connie Tang 905-436-1888
Dr. Dean Bennett 905-435-8262
Dr. Karl Lee 905-987-4251
Dr. David Black 905-723-4811
Dr. Dana Blakolmer 905-433-2015
Dr. Janet Brooks 905-721-3589
Dr. Patricia Campbell 905-723-2721
Dr. Tracy Liu 905-728-7017
Dr. Tze Keung Kwun 905-436-9344
Dr. Susan Leet 905-831-7020
Dr. Jennifer Lee 905-420-4230
Dr. Nazir Musaji 905-420-7070
Dr. Jessica Hal 905-985-9385
Dr. Pamela Andrews 905-666-4848
Outside Durham Region (GTA)
Dr. Dennis Bader (East York) 416-487-5401
Dr. Linda Kuhn (Markham) 905-471-0592
Vision Institute (North York) 416-224-2273
What can I do to help my child while they are waiting for speech-language services?
“Being the Bridge: Building Language While You Wait” is a free four-week webinar series for parents and caregivers with children (birth to 30 months) who are waiting for speech and language assessment. Co-presented by York Region Preschool Speech and Language Program and Early Literacy Specialists, York Region Ontario Early Years Centres.
You can also download a free copy of our Growing with Communication resource for parents with children under age 5:
My child is starting school next fall. How can I learn about services for students with special needs?
All school boards in Durham Region are required to provide information about special education for students with special needs:
- Durham District School Board
- Durham Catholic District School Board
- Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board
- Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board
You can also contact the Principal at your local community school to inquire about services available to support your child. The Principal might refer you to the school’s Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT), or the school Board’s psychometric services, or consultation services from the Central East Community Care Access Centre.
Families with children approaching school-age that are receiving services from a Social Worker through Grandview’s Social Work Services will receive an invitation to attend a 4-part series of workshops offered annually on the topic of school services and transition to school called “Stepping Stones to School.”
Other resources are available that may assist you in planning for your child’s entry to school:
- Planning Entry to School: A Resource Guide is an online resource published by the Ontario Ministry of Education
- Easter Seals Ontario provides a School Entry Action Plan including questions parents should ask when planning for their child’s entry to school
- Ask Lindsay is an archive of parent questions related to special education with answers from an Educational Advocate hosted on the website of the Ontario Association of Children’s Rehabilitation Services (OACRS)
How can I meet other parents of children with special needs?
- introduce yourself to other parents when your child is participating in Grandview’s therapy groups and Recreation groups
- attend parent support groups offered by Social Workers through Grandview’s Social Work Services provide opportunities for facilitated discussion, mutual learning and mentorship
- make a request for Family Networking through Grandview’s Family Facilitator, or your child’s therapist, to be connected with another family sharing similar experiences
- get involved with Grandview’s Family Advisory Council which provides an opportunity for families to connect as well as to provide advice to Grandview’s Board of Trustees and Executive Director
- connect with other families through local diagnosis-specific associations and organizations
How do I begin to plan for my child’s future?
It’s important to involve your child, as well as their circle of friends and family, in planning for their future. A few tips:
- start planning early
- attend workshops at Grandview and other educational opportunities in the community on the topics of tax planning, wills, insurance, etc.
- talk to other families who have helped their child transition to adulthood
- remember that goals might need to change over time
- Partners for Planning – a non-profit organization started by and for families with a relative with a disability. Providing support, seminars, and resources to help families create a good life and safe, secure future for their loved ones.
- PLAN: Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network works with families to ensure a network of caring relationships and a financial plan is in place
- Planned Lifetime Networks is a resource from the Ontario Adult Autism Research and Support Network
What can I do to help my child while they are waiting for speech-language services?
York Region Preschool Speech and Language have partnered with other early years professionals to develop a number of helpful resources: