When my husband and I first came to Grandview Children's Centre in 2004 we were lost. Up to that point, no one had answers to explain the concerns we had about our 2 1/2 year old son Jonathan, the youngest of our 4 boys.
That all changed when we met the pediatric experts at Grandview. From the very first moment we watched them interact with Jonathan, we knew they understood kids and could trust their professional guidance. After thorough testing, the team concluded Jonathan had autism.
As difficult as it was to receive the diagnosis, we felt relieved to have an explanation for the struggles Jonathan was experiencing with his communication, social skills and sensory processing, all of which affected his behaviour. The team at Grandview provided us with leading-edge advice and together we made a plan for how to help our son progress.
Jonathan was placed on waiting lists to receive speech therapy and occupational therapy, but while he waited, the team at Grandview began educating us about autism and how we could best support our son every day at home as a family through invaluable programs like “More Than Words”. But even with all that support, we felt heartbroken and alone, knowing our beautiful little boy had a developmental disability that would persist throughout his lifetime. Thankfully, Grandview's social workers made it possible for us to connect with other families who were on the same journey, helping to lessen our sense of isolation.
5 years after we first came to Grandview, I joined the staff and soon realized that the high-quality support the team gave to our family was the same level of service they provided to every family.
I know we couldn't have managed the past 10 years without Grandview, and thousands of other families like ours feel the same. We are so grateful to that the team at Grandview will be part of Jonathan’s life until he becomes an adult, and the friendships we have made with other parents at Grandview will last a lifetime.
Grandview has been there for our son, and for us, and now it's our turn to support Grandview in its plans for a new building, so they can help more families like ours. Please add your voice of support - choose "YES" today.
- written by Jonathan's Mom and Grandview staff member, Lisa Wilson
My son Brody was 16 months old when we came to Grandview Children’s Centre for the first time. Brody had not been meeting his developmental milestones. Despite my best efforts, I was at a loss as to how to help him. I was getting desperate: desperate for help, and desperate for answers. By the time Brody was 2 ½, Grandview had given me both. The help came first in the form of occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and speech therapy. The answer came next. Brody was diagnosed with autism at Grandview in June 2011. Although his diagnosis felt like more of a relief and less of a shock, it was still difficult. Now I was the one who needed help. I felt alone and needed to connect with other parents who really “get it” when it came to my situation with Brody.
Once again Grandview came through for me. My first connection was with a Grandview staff member and fellow parent of a Grandview Kid, Lisa Wilson, who also had a son with autism a few years older than Brody. The very first time I spoke to Lisa it felt like we had been friends for years. She completely understood my frustrations and fears. I was new to this journey. She was not. Parents of children with autism don’t just hear you, they feel you. She encouraged me to continue to make connections with parents at Grandview through programs like “More Than Words”, and Family Networking events. I followed her advice, and I haven’t felt alone since.
Having those connections has made me a better mother and a better advocate for Brody. I owe all that to Grandview. Now it’s my turn to give back. Grandview is in need of a new facility. A newer, larger building will help so many children and families in Durham Region. Please show you care about Our Kids, Our Plan, Our Future. Choose "YES" today and add your voice of support for Our Grandview.
- written by Brody's Mom, Niki Reed