MEETING THE NEEDS OF CHILDREN & FAMILIES By: Stephany Dangelo To: Christine Cadieux
Sonia & Her Family Sonia is a new child to Stephany’s Childcare Centre. Sonia is a bright and outgoing seven year old girl who has a physical disability called Spina Bifida. Sonia uses a wheelchair due to her disability and alsouses a shunt to lessen fluid on the brain. Sonia is above average in herlanguage skills and is able to speak both English and French. Sonia will need extra support in the classroom and out. As well as her parents. Being new to Toronto, Sonia’s Parents are in need of Toronto resources, such as child agencies, hospitals, websites and local support.
What is Spina Bifida? Spina Bifida is a physical disability. Connectability.ca states that Spina Bifida is a neural tube birth defect that happens when a baby’s spinal cord does not develop normally during the first four weeks of pregnancy. The spinal cord fails to develop properly due to an open cut or exposed part on the spine. Surgery is necessary to close that exposed area where there is damage to the nerve and spinal cord. This results in different types of permanent damage to the spinal cord and nervous system; such as different degrees (partial or full) paralysis of the legs, irregular formed or missing vertebrae, and nerve damage. Another result of Spina Bifida might be Hydrocephalus. Sbhao.on.ca, informs us that“Hydrocephalus is a neurological condition that exists when excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) builds up in cavities inside the brain”. Hydrocephalus is typicallytreated by inserting a shunt that takes extra fluids from the brain to another part of the body, such as the abdomen.
Meeting the needs of Sonia & her family at S.C.C. With sources from Connectability.ca, Stephany’s Childcare Centre (S.C.C) will not need tomake any huge or costly modifications to accommodate Sonia and her parent’s needs. S.C.C is wheelchair accessible. The building is of easy access for vehicles, pedestrians andwheelchair access. There is a ramp in place beside the steps leading to the door that is wide enough for a wheelchair or a side by side two seat baby stroller. The passageway and hallways are wider than typical hallways and the classrooms are all on one floor. Sonia’sclassroom itself is very spacious. Everything is at eyelevel, such as cubbies, shelves, pictures,toys. Centers and toys are accessible by every angle and are divided by masking tape on theground. Multilingual and multicultural signs are posted on the walls, such as English, French, and Italian. The tables are the right size for children to pull up a chair and sit at or use awheelchair. The washroom in the class is wheelchair accessible and child friendly with sinks and toilets at a child’s height. Circle time is gathered on the ground with pillows to make sitting on the ground more comfortable. Sonia will be able to move her chair in between who she wants to sit with at ease. Sonia is a very intellectual child and her disability does not need accommodation with the everyday teaching of the class. Sonia is able to keep up with her peers and is able to communicate with them without assistance.
Meeting the needs of Sonia & her family at S.C.C. Cont’d. S.C.C has a welcome bulletin board in the entrance hallway as well as in every classroom and main office. The bulletin boards consists of recent childcare news, local recreational centers for all children, meeting schedules where parents and ECE’s could schedule a talk via webcam/skype/phone or in person and local community contacts, such as walk in clinics, community centers, and free family activity plans. Also included are a variety of support groups as well as one on one support from S.C.C councilor. A list of taxi’s and TTC informationis also provided in case anyone is in need of transportation. These are just some of the ways S.C.C can offer help and assistance to Sonia’s Parents.
Helping AgenciesThere are a variety of agencies and websites in the Toronto area that I can happily refer to you that have lots of information on Spina Bifida and also have great sport and recreational programs for children with special needs, intellectual or physical.Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario (SB&H)ConnectABILITYVariety VillageHolland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Each Agency has something great and exciting to offer both children and parents
Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario (SB&H) • SB&H is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of individuals and supporting families with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus. Membership is available to children, adults, and parents/families of individuals living with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus. The website offers programs focus on self-help and personal support for children. As well as helpful information for parents of pre-natal diagnosis, and extended family members, about the benefits of folic acid in the prevention of neural tube defects. owww.sbhao.on.ca oSuite 1006 555 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario
ConnectABILITY• Connectability is considered to be a virtual community. It is a fantastic website to learn more about Spina Bifida and other disabilities. It’s a great place to find out what you should be expecting in your child’s daycare centre and how your child should be accommodated. It offers great insight on all disabilities and offers everyone something of interest. The website also includes certain events that are going to happen in the city of Toronto and what is going on in recent news. It has great learning workshops and interactive activities you and your child can do together.• www.connectability.ca
Variety Village• Variety Village is a great place to get active and have fun at all ages and all abilities. Anyone can become a member. VV offers membership to people with and without disabilities and promotes inclusion through their programs and services. Child/Youth programs consist of „children in Motion“. The Children in Motion program is designed to focus on fundamentals and sport improvement in a non-competitive environment. As well as Multi-Sport programs, they are an introduction to a range of sports and social skills that encourages confidence and skill sets. There are five field house sports teams: Athletics, Weightlifting, Wheelchair Basketball, Taekwondo and Boccia. Children will be introduced to the basics of focusing on alertness, balance, and coordination of each sport. And much more offered.• Continued
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital• Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital. Bloorview assesses and treats children born with disabilities and special needs and those who acquired disabilities through serious illness or accidents. Bloorview started treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give children with disabilities the tools to participate fully in life. Holland Bloorview serves about 7,000 children each year, with about 600 inpatient admissions and 58,000 outpatient visits. They offer a variety of facilities, such as gym, daycare, active living center, swimming pool and much more. New clients to Holland Bloorview must obtain a referral from a physician to access programs and services.owww.hollandbloorview.cao150 Kilgour Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Bibliography of Sources Usedwww.connectability.cawww.sbhao.on.cawww.varietyvillage.cawww.hollandbloorview.ca