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February '11

KidsAbility Update
Stephen Swatridge

Steve talked about 3 areas that are helping Kidsability to continue to be a strong organization.


·         MacMaster University – When MacMaster announced it was establishing a local medical school, Kidsability approached them about working with children with special needs.  This partnership has matured so there are now students on site learning about special needs children.  MacMaster now provide 2 special needs children who are available at the Kidsability site.

·         U. of W. Pharmacy School – Special needs children often have pharmaceutical needs.  This partnership gets




    expertise to the families so they better understand the situation.

·         Family and Children’s Services of KW –They are creating a family center in Kitchener.  Kidsability will lease part of the building and to create a Kitchener site.

·         YMCA – Through the Y’s Strong Start Program, Kidsability will a baby connection program.

Public Education Forums:

·         Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Forum – Small amounts of alcohol in the early months of pregnancy can have a significant effect on the child.  The forum will help people understand how this can happen early on.

·         Autism Forum – Autism is a complex and difficult to diagnose problem.  Kidsability has seen a significant rise in children in recent years.  They currently support over 300 children with this diagnosis.  The forum will aim to create better understanding of Autism.


·       There are 2 goals for technology – create a more effective organization and improve quality of service to children.  Some initiatives are:

o   Tele-Medical Network – allows a child and therapist to be in a room here and be examined by a doctor at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.  This gives access to doctors that it would normanlly be difficult for the child to see.  Development of this has been through a significant donation by Shriners to the London Health Center.

o   Electronic Child Health Network – allows information about a child from various health centers to be linked together

o   WII has proven to be a very effective therapy tool, especially for children with autism.  It allows a pretty normal activity for the child.

o   The IPad has some inexpensive applications that allow autistic children to communicate.