This is Matthew, he is 6 years old and has Down syndrome. Matthew was also born with a congenital heart defect called Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD) and underwent open heart surgery to repair it when he was 5 months old. All of this caused significant delays in Matthew's development. Matthew is non-verbal and has low fine and gross motor skills.
Matthew has been a Grandview Kid since he was 2 years old. Matthew is a happy, friendly, determined young man who loves going to Grandview Children's Centre and sees it as a fun place. Although he is receiving therapies, he is also making friends with other children and the staff always treat him like he is their favourite client - what young man wouldn’t love that kind of attention?
We started at Grandview in a Parent Networking Group for parents of babies with Down syndrome. We became close friends with most of those parents and still keep in touch to this day.
Matthew has been involved with Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Therapeutic Recreation at Grandview. Matthew learned to walk and jump at Grandview and recently, he began learning how to swim and ride a bike there too.
It is difficult for Matthew to participate in camps and activities in the community, so it's nice to know we have a place like Grandview where they not only provide programming for high needs children but nurture high needs children through their programming.
Grandview has provided both Matthew and our family with amazing tools to help us build a better life. I wanted to give a little of what we've received from Grandview back so I began volunteering at Grandview with Family Networking, Special Education Advisory Committee and the Family Advisory Council. Grandview has given Matthew and I the knowledge and confidence to become strong advocates.
Imagine what an even stronger Grandview could do by helping even more children and parents.
Please help build an even stronger Grandview where many more children just like Matthew can grow and flourish: choose "YES" to add your voice of support today!
- written by Matthew's Mom, Melodie Muir