Issue 81
January, 2017


Inside this issue:

SEAC Updates 

Outdoor Winter Fun!

What's Happening at WRFN

Autism in High School

Young Adult Update

Coffee Club Close-Up

Did You Know...

Upcoming Community Events

What's in this issue?

Happy New Year! We hope you all had an enjoyable holiday and are ready to take on 2017!
This edition of Family Pulse is full of learning opportunities, programs and activities, both within WRFN and our community. 
For those who enrol in summer camps, a reminder that registration for one-to-one support for city camps in Kitchener and Waterloo is open February 3-10th.  Please click here for more information.
To help you with your summer planning, consider attending one of the Dreaming of Summer sessions being held in Waterloo, Cambridge or Guelph.  There will also be a Summer Camp and Recreation Fair showcasing programs and services for children, youth and adults with special needs coming up in March.  Find all the details below.  
Have a wonderful month!  

SEAC Updates

Waterloo Region District School Board - Special Education Advisory Update
Submitted by Carmen Sutherland
The SEAC meeting for December 2016 began with someone from the School Board coming to talk about its new Purpose Statement, and how many students, school board staff, and community members voted on it.
There was also discussion of the Empower program being used in select Cambridge schools and with other students as well.
Another topic covered was how mental health is becoming more of an issue for the school board, and there was a discussion of how mental health is in fact a continuum, both in terms of group people into “having mental health issues” and not having them, and in terms of individual people and whether they are in a good or poor mental health space from day to day. There was also a discussion of being able to voice our opinion on the Ministry’s well-being strategy.

The next SEAC meeting is Wednesday, January 11th from 7-9pm.

Waterloo Catholic District School Board - Special Education Advisory Update
Submitted by Christine Zaza

At the December meeting, guest presenters, Chris Runstedler (Assistive Technology Resource Teacher) and Stephanie Ashe (Speech Language Pathologist), described common assistive educational technologies used in the classroom as well as the process of requesting these technologies.   Some of these educational technologies are freely available to all students for use at school and at home.   The speakers noted that the stigma associated with using assistive educational technologies is being reduced due to the widespread use of technology (e.g., Chromebooks) by all students.  Also, at this meeting, it was announced that the WCDSB is hiring two additional behavioural analysts, thanks to new Ministry funding to support students with autism spectrum disorder.   
The next SEAC meeting is Wednesday, January 11th, 2017, at 6:30pm.

WRFN Fact! 

WRFN offers a Parent Mentor Program for parents and caregivers that are looking for emotional and practical support from another parent facing a similar journey.  

"While parenting will always be an ongoing work in progress for me, I have the advantage of 20+ years of hindsight, and really appreciate the opportunity to share what I've learned.  I hope to lessen the load on other families' journeys by allowing them to learn from mine, and letting them know they're not alone." - Parent Mentor

Outdoor Winter Fun!  

Winter can be difficult to manage with the unpredictable weather, prolonged cold and changes to your child’s routine.  Sometimes it can be hard to remember the positives of this time of year.  Winter offers an abundance of sensory play and opportunity for fun.
Appropriate clothing can be a bit tricky, especially since the restrictive nature of winter gear might be difficult for your sensory child to manage.  One tip for managing this is visiting consignment shops and bringing home a wide variety of winter options that your child can pick and choose from.
Don’t forget your camera!  You and your child can get just as much enjoyment out of the pictures as you can out of the winter activity itself.  Pictures can even be used to set expectations for future winter experiences.
Traditional winter activities such as tobogganing can be fun, provided your child enjoys that type of sensation.  There’s no need to overdo it, though.  Even a five minute run can be satisfying, regardless of the amount of time needed to prepare.  Pulling your child on a toboggan can also increase your child’s core strength by forcing them to maintain their balance at an inconsistent speed. 
This is sort of a catchall section for building anything out of snow.  Snowmen, forts, snow angels, even just snowballs.  This can be very physically taxing, so take frequent breaks.  Snow can be an amazing sensory experience, so allow your child to explore the facets of snow they find most intriguing.  They may enjoy building forts, they may prefer to focus on just patting it down, or they might like catching snowflakes on their tongue.
Making snowballs is great for fine motor skills, and making snowmen can be great for encouraging body awareness.  Engage your child in placement of facial features, or ask them how they think the snowman should look.  Making snow angels encourages bilateral coordination and motor planning.
Fill squirt bottles with water dyed with food colouring and let them make paintings in the snow.  This kind of activity encourages your child’s creativity, and can be very appealing to children who enjoy art.
Put a few drops of food colouring in a balloon and fill with water.  Put it outside to freeze, and peel off the balloon once the water has frozen and you have a beautiful coloured ice marble. You can make these whatever size you like.  Your child can have fun stacking, rolling and playing with them outside.
There are lots of outdoor things to enjoy during the winter.  You and your child can explore the things you most enjoy together.

What's Happening at WRFN    



Autism in High School

Autism in High School” is a new web-based guide to help students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families as they navigate the transitions and common challenges of high school. This website was developed as a joint initiative between Extend-A-Family, Waterloo Region Family Network, members of the former Autism Services Waterloo Region, the Waterloo Region District School Board, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, and the University of Waterloo with generous funding from the Sifton Family Foundation.

WRFN Fact! 

WRFN offers parents support for school issues.  Support can be offered by attending a school meeting, assisting with IEPs or through our monthly support group.  WRFN also hosts workshops in partnership with the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board to promote positive communication between home and school.       

Young Adult Update

Hi All,
I cannot believe it is 2017 already! I hope everyone had restful holidays if they celebrated. Here is what we are going to do in January:
Monday, January 9, 7 to 9 P. M., The Studio (109 Ottawa St., Unit B): We will be having another Star Trek Watch and Chat. Come join us for a fun show and good discussion!
Monday, January 23, 7 to 9 P. M., Kingpin Bowl Lounge (425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive Kitchener): Bowling is back! Just like last time, if we get 12 people, it will be $11.50 per person, and we will have the quiet room again. Please let me know if you plan to attend by Wednesday, January 18, we will only run the event if we have the right number of people. Also, please let me know your bowling shoe size, and please bring exact change for the fee.
Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or questions. We also would LOVE to hear your ideas for future Coffee Club sessions so please send them my way. There are several ways you can contact me:
 (519) 500-7153 (Cell Phone)
I’m excited to hear from you!

Coffee Club Close-Up

Interested in learning more about Coffee Club?  Check out this great poem by Carmen Sutherland!

Come be creative.
Open up to new friendships.
Fun is had by all!
Fabulous food experiences.
Exciting trips within the community and visits from community members.
Excellent discussion and viewing of movies and television shows.

Collect amazing memories.
Laugh until your sides hurt!
Understand new perspectives.
Be yourself!

Did You Know January is... 
Alzheimer Awareness Month 
National Suicide Prevention Week - Jan. 31 - Feb. 6

Upcoming Events in the
Community & Beyond


From time to time, the Waterloo Region Family Network (WRFN) is asked to distribute information on behalf of third parties.  WRFN provides general information to self-advocates and families of children with special needs.  The information provided in this newsletter is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider.  WRFN is not responsible for any information or services provided by third parties.  You are urged to use independent judgement when considering any resource. 


Inclusion Film Series- Including Samuel & Young Carers
The Waterloo Region Inclusion Film Series screens films that will inspire, model, or challenge our thinking about what inclusion means. The Waterloo Region Inclusion Films Series is hosted by, and in support of, Bridges to Belonging.  This event will be a double feature! The films being featured are Including Samuel and Young Carers: Support Matters.
When: Tuesday, January 10th  Time: 6:30pm 
Location: Princess Cinemas (46 King St. North, Waterloo)
Please purchase tickets to this event online via Eventbrite, or you can reserve your tickets by calling 519-886-8886 x 2427 or emailing

Community Living Dances 2017

These dances are sponsored by KW Association for Community Living & City of Kitchener.

All dances are held at the Downtown Community Centre from 7-9:45pm.

January 13 – Come as you are - A shining bright star

February 10 – Hearts & Valentines (Celebrate wear red)

For details and a complete list of dates for 2017 please click here.

Trigator For Kids
The TriGator is a kids’ triathlon race with age-appropriate Swim-Bike-Run distances for children between the ages of 3-14.  
No previous experience is necessary, just come out and have fun.

The event will be held on Saturday, June 17th, 2017.  Online registration will take place on Saturday, March 4th at 10am.
For more information on TriGator, please see their website at

Free Swim & Potluck
Join Extend-A-Family for a Free Swim and  Potluck. Wade around the pool with your friends, family and neighbours, then dry off and refuel with a delicious community potluck. 
Saturday, January 28th at Stork Family YMCA.  Swim from 11am-12pm. Share your favourite dish and enjoy all of your neighbours’ favourites from 12pm-2pm.
This is a FREE event but RSVP is required to ensure there is enough space.
RSVP to Tashi Thomson at 519-741-0190 ext. 308 or


Tuesday Hangout

Come to a weekly afternoon get together with friends to enjoy fun recreational activities. Board games, card games, karaoke, cooking, community volunteering & movies!

Fee: $300 for 8 weeks (January 17 - March 7). 
Fee includes a meal cooked by group members.

1:30pm – 5:30pm

Just in time for Special Olympic Bowling.  Everyone bowling is escorted to Victoria Bowl!

Meet in Recreation Hall, 205 Victoria Street S. Kitchener, N2G 4Z6

This program is offered in partnership by Lori Maloney Young Consulting and
Susan's Toolbox, Building Skills for Life   

For more information or to register contact Lori: 519-501-6747 or Susan: 519-654-7023.

Stepping Stones Gymnastics Program
Stepping Stones is a special needs program designed for children ages 3 years and up with Autism, Down Syndrome and other learning/cognitive or developmental disabilities. Your child will be paired with a trained coach and given the opportunity to be active. 
The winter session begins January 7th.  See the flyer for details.

Fitness & Yoga Programs for Every Ability
The Active Souls Project has created NEW Fitness & Yoga Classes for EVERY ABILITY held throughout the Region to better serve you! Registration is NOW OPEN.  For a list of these programs please click here.
Phone: 519-500-2156  Email: / 

Leg Up! Winter 2017 Session
LEG Up! is a learning and skill enhancement program for adults who have a developmental disability.  LEG Up! provides education and training which will ultimately open doors to obtaining valuable opportunities and experiences, including employment, community inclusion, volunteerism and independent living.
The winter session will run for 10 weeks.
Tuesday January 3rd – March 10th, 2017
Cost: $ 265.50 standard rate. Minimum numbers are required.
Additional rate may apply based on individual support requirements.
More information can be found here.

"aspace" brings together high school students wanting to meet peers who also have Aspergers or High Functioning autism. Outings and activities are chosen by participants, and every night is supported by trained university volunteers. 
The teens get together year-round, every Saturday night from 7-9pm.  Weeks will alternate with hanging out at the club and going out on the town! 
To register please see the following link:

Young Carers Peer Program
If you are you a Young Carer between the age of 12 to 17 join us for an evening opportunity to connect with other young carers that share similar experiences.
No RVSP is required, just drop in! Young Carers are children, youth, and young adults who experience an alteration in our family role, as a result of another family member's exceptional need or unique family situation.  Click here to see the flyer.
To join text Julie @ 519‐501‐9736 or email Julie.
To learn more about young carers visit

Sensory Thursdays at SkyZone
Every Thursday from 4-5pm SkyZone will be offering a “Sensory Thursday” jumping time for jumpers with special needs. 
The music will be turned down and they will minimize distractions. 
$15 per jumper, with one free “chaperone” for support.  

See their webpage here.   

Our Place Family Resource and Early Years Centre 
has shared their January Program Calendar.  Check out all the great programs they have running throughout the Region. 

Light House

Light House is an innovative space that offers an inclusive environment for everyone. 
Day Program – Light House offers a person-centred day program for adults.  Please see their Adult Day Program flyer for details.
PEEPS Cooking Crew (14+) - This is an opportunity to work toward cooking independence while building skills and engaging with peers.  Each participant will be responsible for completing a specific portion of our meal. Every week will be an opportunity to try something new. This program begins September 20, 2016.  Registration is ongoing.  
Check out the Program Menu.
PEEPS Friday Night Social Program! (14+) - Enjoy meeting new people, kicking back and having some fun! The program runs on the third Friday of every month from January to June, 6:30-8:30pm. See the flyer here.
To find out more about Light House visit their website or contact them at: or 226-338-2681

Child and Youth Resilience Project

The Family Centre and Family and Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region are pleased to offer a wide range of art, music and fun activities for children ages six to 12 under the Child and Youth Resilience Project with the aim to prepare our children and youth to succeed, even in challenging circumstances.
Registration for the winter session is now available.  Please see the flyer for a list of programs and dates. 

Open Space presented by Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region

Open Space is a weekly gathering that promotes inclusion within the community by getting people together at a cafe for food, fun and conversation. In addition to weekly coffee and conversation, with the support of facilitators, attendees plan special events such as Halloween parties, and Open Mic Nights. All are welcome regardless of ability, and you do not need to be supported by Extend-A-Family to attend.

For more information click here
Open Space in Waterloo is held at 
Games on Tap at 321 Weber Street N, Waterloo.
For more information, contact Matt Riehl by e-mail at EAF or call 519-741-0190 ext 300

Firefly Therapy Services - Winter Session
Eat, Cook and Mingle Jr.: This fun group is targeted for children in grades 7 and 8 who want to learn cooking skills and make some new friends while they do it.

Eat, Cook and Mingle! Teen: Come join us for an evening of Cooking, Eating and Mingling! This fun group is targeted for teens who want to learn cooking skills and make some new friends while they do it!

Music Therapy: Includes Music and Mingle (ages 5-8), Rock Band! (ages 12-18) and 1:1.

Playtime Academy: Playtime Academy is a fun and engaging group to teach learners valuable skills to help them understand their social mind. Ages 4-7.

Social Crusader: Social Crusader introduces Superflex® and the Team of Unthinkables® to teach self-monitoring and social skills to learners. Ages 8-12.

Jr. Robotics: Jr. Robotics uses the WeDo Lego system to teach your child how to build and program their own creations! Ages 6-10.

Swimming Lessons: Firefly Therapy Services swimming program provides an opportunity for children to learn important basic swimming skills in a safe and supportive environment.

For all programs, to register or for more information call 519-886-8886 or 1-888-372-2259, email, or visit

The Ontario Early Years Centre – Guelph
The Ontario Early Years Centre of Guelph has a variety of drop-in and registered programs.  See the January to March Program Guide for more information.  


 The Resource Centre at KidsAbility

Here's a message from Matt at the Resource Centre, "The Resource Centre at KidsAbility exists for you. Anyone in our community is welcome to use our services. Our mission is to connect the community with resources, knowledge and support to help empower families, educators, children and youth with special needs, to realize their full potential. 

There is a Resource Centre at our Cambridge, Guelph, Kitchener and waterloo sites. We have many therapy-related games, toys, books, and equipment available for loan. Additionally, we have a therapy store on-site that individuals may purchase therapy aids to help with fine and gross motor skills, and sensory oral motor difficulties. To become a member of Resource Centre, visit any of our sites and asks reception! There is a $5 annual membership fee.

If you have any questions about KidsAbility’s services and resources, other community resources, require information on a topic or are interested in BoardMaker training, you can schedule an appointment to meet with Matt Seeley, Resource Centre Coordinator at any of our sites by email ( or phone (519-886-8886 x1415)."

Ontario Helping Protect People with Developmental Disabilities: Province Launches Service for Reporting Abuse and Neglect
The Government of Ontario is expanding ReportON, a new service for reporting suspected or witnessed abuse of adults with developmental disabilities.
The 24/7phone line and email service is the latest step taken by the Ministry of Community and Social Services to further improve the safety of adults with developmental disabilities.
There are several ways to report abuse:
TEL: 1-800-575-2222
TTY: 416-916-0549 Toll Free: 1-844-309-1025
To learn more about this initiative please click here

Do you have Passport funding?
For free help and advice on:

-What is available to you
-Where to find supports to purchase
-How to spend your funding
Contact Becky Verdun, the Passport Community Developer for Waterloo Region,
at Developmental Services Resource Centre – 519-741-1121 ext. 2226,
or by email at

 FASD Caregiver Consultations
Families and service providers can have a chance to sit 1:1 with our FASD Project Coordinators to ask questions and learn more about:

- Diagnosis
- Financial Supports
- Parenting Strategies
- Recreational Opportunities
- Ideas for School
- Community Resources 

When: Second and Fourth Tuesday of the month. No appointment necessary. Just drop in.
Where:  99 Regina Waterloo Rm 208 (Waterloo Region Public Health) 
Find the flyer here.


Waterloo Region FASD Caregiver Support Group
The Waterloo Region FASD Caregiver Support Group gathers at Lutherwood (285 Benjamin Rd.) the second Wednesday of every month from 7-9 pm.
For more information please contact Karen Huber at

Preemie POWWR Chat and Play Groups
Join other moms and dads of children born prematurely, talk openly about your questions and concerns amongst a group who understands. Bring your children along for interaction with other preemies at different stages.

Upcoming Play Groups: January 14, February 11 and March 11th
9:45-11:45 at Our Place Family Resource and Early Years Centre, Kitchener
Contact Carolyn at to learn about special events going on in the community and across Canada.

Community Mental Health Support Groups for Family & Friends
General Mental Health Support Group - 2nd Tuesday of the month from 6:30 - 8pm at Grand River Hospital (KW Site)
Addiction and Mental Health Support Group - 4th Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8pm at Grand River Hospital (Freeport Site)
Both groups are continuous and members can join anytime!
Please click here for more details. 

Woolwich Counselling Groups & Workshops
Glad to Be Me – A fun-filled children’s program that promotes self-esteem & self-worth for children age 4-7.
See the Glad to Be Me flyer for a list of dates the class is being offered in 2016/2017.
No Need to Fret – This program provides successful strategies to help anxious children age 7-10 cope with fears and worries.
See the No Need to Fret flyer for a list of dates the program is being offered in 2016/2017.

The Unlimited Benefits of Mindfulness (Adult Workshop) - This workshop will provide participants with a thorough understanding of mindfulness and the well-being it can bring to our lives. This workshop will be held on Thursday, January 19th. See the flyer for details.  
Mindfulness Adult Workshop -
This 6 week course will help you discover a healthier, more relaxed and focused you. Details for this workshop can be found here.
There are also a variety of topics being covered in the Talk Series.  Please see the Talk Series flyer for details.

Tick Talk Tourette Group
 Anyone that is impacted by Tourette Syndrome (and associated disorders – OCD, ADHD, anxiety, sensory processing, etc.) is welcome.
The next meeting will be held on Thursday, January 26th, at JW Gerth Public School.
At this meeting there will be a presentation on PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections).
For details email  

Support Groups for Adults with ASD (19+) and Parents/Caregivers of Adults with ASD (19+)
Groups run separately, but are held at the same time.
Upcoming Dates: January 12th
Time6:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: Extend-A-Family, 91 Moore Avenue, Kitchener
               Parking and Entrance at back of building
Cost: Free

The A-Team Waterloo Region

The A-Team is primarily run by individuals with Aspergers Syndrome, for individuals with Asperger's Syndrome, with some assistance from Waterloo Region Family Network. The goal is to create a safe and welcoming environment to meet fellow adults with Aspergers Syndrome, discuss topics of interest, share experiences, and embrace our neurological diversity.  This program is open for adults 19+ who are either diagnosed or self-identify with Asperger's Syndrome and who are seeking support.  The program welcomes individuals who are able to function at a vocational level.
Meeting Dates: January 19th, February 16th, March 16th
Time: 7:30pm
Location: KW Habilitation  
RSVP is required to 
For complete details please see the flyer.
A-Team also has a new website! It has information about the group including a group description, FAQ page, and participant code of conduct.  Check it out here.

Home Caregiver Support Program
Supporting the Caregiver in your Time of Need

This program is designed to train, educate and peer mentor you, the non-professional caregiver, as you provide care for your loved one on their end-of-life journey.

Physical Needs

Emotional/Psychological Needs

Social Informational Needs

Spiritual Needs

For more information click on the flyer.

STROKE RECOVERY CANADA® a program of March of Dimes Canada

Linking Survivors with Survivors is a peer support initiative providing free hospital visits to stroke patients and their families and friends wishing to connect with fellow survivors.
For further information please contact:
Barbara Moore, Community Co-ordinator
1-866-380-0758 ext 263 or 519-579-5530 ext 263

APSGO - Association of Parent Support Groups in Ontario
Kitchener/Waterloo Chapter
APSGO is a non-profit, non-denominational group that meets once a week.  The group meets on Wednesday evenings from 7:15-8:45pm
at The Rock Spa, 396-B Victoria St. N. Kitchener.
APSGO works with parents of acting-out youth to offer support, strength and coping strategies on a wide range of issues.
Chapter Leader: Steve Keczem
519-888-1053 or 1-800-488-5666
For more information click here.


Dreaming of Summer - Guelph

Parents and caregivers of children with special needs and service providers are invited to drop-in and learn about the many specialized and inclusive camps in the Guelph community, meet some of the camp staff, and start the registration process. During the evening there will be mini-workshops led by community partners – a time to learn tips on choosing the right camp and ideas for securing funding and one to one supports.
Monday February 13th, 2017, 5:30-7:30pm
West End Recreation Centre, 21 Imperial Rd S Guelph

This is a free event for both camps and families.
Please register on Eventbrite.

Grief and Loss- Helping Families Navigate the Emotions of an FASD Diagnosis
In this training you will:
•Explore current theory on grief and loss as it relates to families experiencing an FASD diagnosis
•Identify ways that grief can manifest in individuals and within families
•Identify tips and strategies for effectively supporting someone who is grieving an FASD diagnosis
•Identify grief support considerations for birth parents, adoptive parents, and individuals with FASD
 March 2, 2017 1:30-3:30pm @ Lutherwood (285 Benjamin Rd., Waterloo)

RSVP to Karen Huber at

7th International Conference on FASD Research: Results and Relevance
The 7th International Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is an advanced level conference that continues to bring together experts from multiple disciplines to share international research.  It provides an opportunity to enhance understanding of the relationships between knowledge and research and critical actions related to FASD.
You can find out more about this conference by clicking here.

  Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Training

Wilfrid Laurier’s CBT Certificate is comprised of two levels. Level I will introduce you to a set of skills that are highly tactical. Because CBT is a structured, concrete therapy, you will learn interventions that you can begin quickly putting into practice. In Level II, you will explore those skills and interventions within the world of mental health and DSM-V disorders, focusing on either adults or children and youth.

Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region presents Sex Talk Training (NEW DATES!)
Sex Talks is a series of adult trainings that discuss sexuality and sexual health, different types of sex, and how to keep yourself safe. With four themed sessions, topics like masturbation, sexual orientation & LGBTQ2S, consent and online dating will be covered.
This training is meant to be taken as a series. Must be 16 or older.
Sessions are from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at Extend-A-Family (91 Moore Ave. Kitchener).
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 – Sexual health
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 – Sexual health continued
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – Sex and tech
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 – Consent, dating and relationships
Register: Here OR 519-741-0190

National Indigenous Cultural Safety Learning Series
This national webinar series provides an opportunity to share knowledge; experiences and perspectives in support of collective efforts to strengthen Indigenous cultural safety in
health and social services.
Upcoming webinar date is January 26.
Please go to for more details.

Sleep and Your New Baby
Get to know more about your baby's sleep cycle and how to respond.  A free session for parents of newborns from birth to 12 weeks of age.  You may bring a family member or friend for support.
Offered at your Ontario Early Years Centre in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.
Reserve your spot today at

Exploring Pedagogical Documentation In Family Supports Workshop Series
Participants will meet to share and reflect as we dig deeper into our documentation practices and further our pedagogical journey. The series will run one evening a month from January to March, and participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
6pm – 8pm
For more information and to find out how to register please see the flyer.


New Parents' Selection of Birthing Hospitals

Are you a new parent residing in the Cambridge area? 
Did you choose a delivery hospital other than Cambridge Memorial Hospital?

Did you deliver your baby between July and December 2016? 
If you answered "yes" to all three questions, your input is needed! 

Cambridge Memorial Hospital is looking to better understand the factors influencing parents’ selection of birthing hospitals. A focus group will be held asking participants about their decision-making process. The group meets on January 10th, 2017 at the hospital, from 10:30-12pm. Parking, snacks, childcare and a participation gift will be provided. The data collected will be used to enhance our Obstetrical Services.
Pre-registration is required by emailing

Ontario is Seeking Input for Basic Income Pilot
Ontario is seeking public input to help inform the design of a basic income pilot, which is an innovative new approach to providing income security.
The pilot would test whether a basic income is a more effective way of lifting people out of poverty and improving health, housing and employment outcomes. Through the consultations, Ontario is seeking input from across the province, including from people with lived experience, municipalities, experts and academics.
The province is consulting on key questions, including: who should be eligible, where the  pilot should take place, what the basic income level should be and how best to evaluate it. The consultations will be guided, in part, by a discussion paper by the Hon. Hugh Segal, Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income Pilot Project for Ontario, and will run from November 2016 to January 2017. People can participate by:
Attending a regional in-person discussion hosted in Kitchener on January 10th at Bingeman's Conference Centre or
Commenting online at
More information about the project can be found here.

Be Part of Creating Canada’s New Accessibility Legislation
Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, will be consulting Canadians about what an Accessible Canada could look like. Share your ideas on how to improve accessibility and inclusion across Canada at in-person public sessions held in 18 cities across Canada from September to February.  Visit the website to find out more.

Your Experiences When Switched to Generic ADHD Medications 
Over the past few years the Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC) has been receiving anecdotal feedback from caregivers, adults with ADHD and physicians indicating a decrease in symptom control and an increase in side effects when switched to the generic version of Concerta. Since our nation-wide survey confirmed this anecdotal feedback CADDAC will be undertaking further advocacy work on this issue. 
If you have experienced any of these issues and are willing to discuss this with us, please contact us at outlining these issues and we will arrange a time for a quick telephone chat. 

ADOS-2 Certification Training Session
Karisa Parkington and Roxane Itier are working together to develop an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research initiative to focus on social functioning for adults with an ASD. To prepare for this initiative, Karisa Parkington is currently undergoing training certification for the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule,   Second Edition (ADOS-2). The ADOS-2 is a play-based clinical assessment tool for ASD. To proceed with the certification process, we are looking for a few individuals already diagnosed with an ASD to participate in an ADOS-2 assessment session for training purposes.
Who can participate?
Children or adolescents aged 8 – 17 years with a previously confirmed ASD diagnosis and fluent verbal speech are invited to participate at this time.
Please see the parent information letter for all of the details. 

Sleep and neurodevelopmental disorders: Treatment barriers and facilitators

Did you know that between 50-­95% of children with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) have behavioural sleep problems? Common NDDs include Attention­‐Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and Cerebral Palsy (CP). 
A study is being conducted through Dalhousie University to help researchers learn how to increase families' access to effective treatments for sleep problems in kids with neurodevelopmental disorders.  The study is looking to hear from parents that have children between the age of 4-12 and health care professionals.
To learn more about these opportunities please see the summary for parents or the summary for health care professionals.

Respite Workers and Parents Needed to Participate in Research Study
Who? Respite workers and parents/guardians of children with intellectual disabilities who are proficient in the English language and are over the age of 18. Note: Children must have received respite care within the past 12 months.

What? Participation in a 1-1.5 hour study involving questionnaires and a focus group. Focus groups may take place at the University of Guelph, in a location in the community, or within a respite organization’s facility.
Why? We would like to learn more about your thoughts and feedback regarding a Caregiver Pain Resource for children with intellectual disabilities. We want to develop a resource that facilitates communication between parents and respite
workers so that pain assessment and management of children in their care can be improved.

See the Recruitment Poster for more information or contact Lara Genik via phone: 519-824-4120 Ext 52342 or Email with any questions or to register.


I Choose Dignity in the Classroom Co-Facilitator
Extend-A-Family is looking for an I Choose Dignity in the Classroom Co-Facilitator.  The I Choose Dignity in the Classroom Co-Facilitator will work with and report to the Neighbourhood Community Connector to present a five week program for grade one students in various schools. You will be responsible for assisting with updating and co-facilitating the classroom sessions. You must feel comfortable talking to and facilitating activities with small groups of children.  Lived Experience is an asset!

Please see the job description for all the details.

Nanny Opportunity

Help is needed to care for two daughters, 2 yrs old and 10 months old who have seizure disorder. Mom is currently at home with the girls but is in need of a nanny/support worker who can assist in the home approximately 6-20 hours a week.
Responsibilities include:  basic care for both girls,  supervised playtime, light housekeeping, assisting mom with G-Tube feeding (training will be provided),  and assisting during emergency situations. Please contact Hilde at

Nanny Opportunity
Help is needed for before/after school, PD days, holidays and summer.  During the school year it would be approximately 20 hours a week.  Duties include diapering, feeding, dressing, light house keeping and meal preparation.  Location is in Kitchener close to Victoria street.  If you are interested please contact Marlene at

Waterloo Region Family Network

Mailing address is:
65 Hanson Avenue
Kitchener, ON
N2C 2H6

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Waterloo Region Family Network · 65 Hanson Avenue · Kitchener, On N2C 2H6 · Canada

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