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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 on this website 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 judgment when considering any resource.



Dufferin Wellington FASD Caregiver Learning Series

Caregiver learning series for caregivers and professionals supporting someone with diagnosed or suspected Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Presented by Dufferin Wellington FASD Action Group.


Three night learning series at Canadian Mental Health Association, 485 Slivercreek Pkwy. N, Unit 1 Guelph


Learning Series #1:  Finding Breath: Caregiving in the world of FASD.

Presented by Laurie Whyte

Wednesday March 6, 2019 6:30pm-8:30pm

Learning Series #2: Why does stigma exist in FASD, how it impacts us, and strategies for addressing it.     

Presented by Paula Stanghetta   

Wednesday April 3, 2019 6:30pm -8:30pm

Learning Series #3: To be Announced  

Wednesday May 1, 2019 6:30pm -8:30pm


Spots are limited so please register early!


Register here.

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CAPC Connections Group is launching in Cambridge

Connections - A Carizon CAPC Program in partnership with Kinbridge Community Association.

Connections is an 8-week support group for mothers who have experienced interpersonal violence (emotional, verbal, physical, cyber). Group members learn together and support one another to understand how experiencing violence impacts family life and how they can enrich their parenting skills.


Connections information, learning and sharing sessions include:

  • Healthy relationships
  • Building self-esteem in ourselves and in our children
  • Positive effective parenting
  • Strengthening our bond with our children
  • Strengthening our capacity to parent our childre

Time: Wednesday Mornings 10 am-12 noon, March 20– May 8, 2019

Location: Kinbridge Community Association 200 Christopher Drive Cambridge, ON

  • Group sessions are free of charge
  • Space is limited
  • Childminding is available
  • Bus tickets and light snacks provided

To inquire about registration contact Sydney at Carizon: 226-808-7540 or sbell@carizon.ca.

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Autism Ontario's Adult Newsletter - February 2019

Autism Ontario has shared their February 2019 Adult Newsletter.


In this newsletter you will find information about:

  • News, Opportunities & Research
    • Autism Ontario Peel Chapter Offering Affordable Valentines Day Social Dinner
    • Kerry's Place offering Mindfulness Group for ages 30+
    • Kerry's Place offering The Code 2.0 intermediate coding course
    • Aging with a Developmental Disability Workshop
    • Ottawa Aspirations Group General Meeting
    • Photoshop for Beginners Workshop in Hamilton
    • Acceptance & Commitment Therapy for Caregivers Study                               
    • Care for the Caregiver Workshop in North Bay

  • Employment

    • Youth Job Connection is taking applications in Pickering and Whitby

    • Gain & Maintain: Learning Differences and Employment

    • Prepare for Life: An Adaptive Life Skills Course

    • Hospitality Workers Training Centre offering free training

  • Community

    • Women on the Spectrum: A Discussion

  • Call for Community Voices

Read the Autism Ontario Adult Newsletter here.

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WRFN Newsletter - February 2019

We have lots going on this month! From events, to workshops and training opportunities make sure you check out the "What's Happening at WRFN" section.


We also have a fantastic article by Cristina, our Self-Advocacy Liaison. Cristina shares some of her insights on grieving a diagnosis through different life stages.


In this issue of Family Pulse you will find information about:

  • SEAC updates
  • Our annual fundraiser, Evening of Elegance
  • What's Happening at WRFN
    • "Supporting students with Learning Disabilities in Waterloo Region" workshop
    • 2019 Summer Camp & Recreation Fair
    • "Supporting Caregivers - Success For All" FASD workshop for Service Providers
    • "Nourishing the Caregiver - The Importance of Self-Care" workshop for Caregivers living with FASD
    • Ask A Self-Advocate
    • School-Issues Parent Support Group
    • WRFN Outreach at EarlyON Centres
    • Kaleidoscope Kids
    • Communication My Way
  • Coffee Club
  • The Cycle of Grief and Acceptance Across One’s Life Stages

  • Upcoming Community Events


Read the February issue of Family Pulse online here or download a PDF copy.


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A-Team - February 2019 Newsletter

The A-Team is primarily run by individuals with Aspergers Syndrome, for individuals with Aspergers 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 [or ASD – level 1], discuss topics of interest, share experiences, and embrace our neurological diversity.


In the February edition you will find information on:

  • Upcoming meetings
  • ASD Research Opportunities
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iCan Bike

Hosted by KidsAbility, iCan Bike helps children and youth with special needs to

achieve an important life milestone: learning to ride a two-wheeled bike!


Using specially adapted bicycles, partcipants gradually transition to a regular two-wheeled

bicycle learning the skills and condifence that they need to ride independently!


Times: 75 minute sessions each day (sessions scheduled between 8 am–5 pm)

Ages: 8 Years Old – School Exit (up to age 21)

Eligibility: Your child must meet eligibility requirements and register with KidsAbility for

this event. For more informaton and details including full eligibility criteria visit kidsability.ca/icanbike.

Cost: $180 per person

To Register: Call 519.886.8886 or 1.888.372.2259 ext. 1373 or email specialized@kidsability.ca.

Registraton deadline is Friday, June 21, 2019


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Waterloo Region FASD CoP Update - January 2019

The Waterloo Region FASD Community of Practice has shared a January 2019 Update.


In this update you will find information about:

  • FASD Caregiver Training Series
  • Nourishing the Caregiver Living with FASD - The Importance of Self-Care
  • Supporting Caregivers - Success for All
  • CanFASD FREE Online Training – Foundations in FASD
  • Summer Camp


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A Message from Bridges to Belonging

Please see the following message from Bridges to Belonging:


"We would like to advise you of an urgent matter concerning future funding for the infrastructure for independent facilitation by the Ministry of Children's and Community Social Services (MCCSS).   
As you may or may not be aware,  Bridges to Belonging along with 6 other Independent Facilitation Organizations were funded to provide independent facilitation across Ontario through the Ministry of Children's and Community Social Services (MCCSS) since April 1, 2015.  This funding arrangement expires on March 31, 2019.
To date, the Ministry has not provided any indication that the current funding arrangement will continue. Based on the current Provincial government's budgeting reviews and timelines, it appears highly unlikely that future funding will be extended beyond March 31, 2019.
The Ontario Independent Facilitation Network (OIFN) has held a number of constructive discussions with both elected and public service officials in the Government of Ontario to describe the value, benefits and positive impact that independent facilitation has provided in the lives of people with disabilities.
Over the next few days and weeks there are a number of things that you can do to be advocate for the continuation of funding for independent facilitation in Ontario.

  • Attend the Family Information Session:Thursday, January 17th, 2019 from 6-9pm in Room 2015, at the Family Centre 65, Hanson Ave. Kitchener
  • Join the Independent Facilitation Matters Advocacy movement by subscribing to and participating on the social media sites:   http://www.independentfacilitationmatters.com and visit, like and share the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/independentfacilitationmatters
  • Post a testimonial statement and/or upload a 1-2 minute video clip about why independent facilitation matters to you. (How to instructions are provided on the site)
  • A helpful app that you may wish to use can be found at wetransfer.com. You may wish to contact your local MPP either by phone call and/or email your 2 minute video (using wetransfer) about why Independent Facilitation is important
  • Participate in the Province of Ontario Budget Consultations at https://www.ontario.ca/page/budget-consultations

For more information, please feel free to contact either Donnamarie Dunk, Executive Director at 519-886-8886 ext 2420 or Roz Vincent-Haven, Board Chair at 519-746-7950.

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A message from the Independent Facilitation Matters Coalition

Please find the following message from the Independent Facilitation Matters Coalition:


Dear Friends, Partners and Allies,


The Independent Facilitation Matters Coalition is made up of people with developmental disabilities, their family members and loved ones, and other allies who believe that Independent Facilitation makes a difference in the lives of people and families and should continue to be available and funded in Ontario.


But we need your help to do that today.


We’re asking you to visit our website here, sign up for our newsletter, and submit a story of your own: https://www.independentfacilitationmatters.com/


You can also:


Here’s one more action you can take right now – sharing your written testimonial about why independent facilitation matters to you.


Please share this information with your networks, so that as many people, loved ones, and allies who are interested in Independent Facilitation can join in and support the Coalition. We want the Ministry to see strong, large numbers of people who care about this!


Thank you,


The Independent Facilitation Matters Coalition


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Autism Ontario - Great Wolf Lodge Opportunity

Families will have the opportunity to come and enjoy at Great Wolf Lodge at a special rate just for Autism Ontario!


Great Wolf Lodge is generously offering Autism Ontario families a discounted group rate for stays occurring May 5-11, 2019.


By registering Eventbrite, starting Feb 6th at 930am, you will be given the group code, which allow you to access the reduced rate.  Once you have your group code, you MUST contact Great Wolf Lodge directly, yourself to reserve your stay.


Details About Autism Ontario’s Group Rate:

  • A limited number of rooms have been set aside for this group. Families are encouraged to book as soon as possible to secure their reservation.  Rooms are booked first come first served and the Autism Ontario group block has consistently sold-out each year.
  • Rates are listed in Canadian dollars and are based on a family of four in a Family Suite that includes up to 4 waterpark passes.
  • Passes are not transferable. Additional guest passes can be purchased for $50.00 plus tax, per night stay, per guest from Great Wolf Lodge.
  • Call Great Wolf Lodge as soon as you get your group code for the best selection of dates. When calling, identifying yourself as a member of the Autism Ontario Group and you will be asked for the group code that will be provided after the online registration is completed.
  • All bookings are based on availability.
  • The group rates offered, are based on attaining a minimum number of rooms. If the group minimum is not met, the group guests will be contacted and offered the option to cancel without penalty or rebook at the retail rate. If the group minimum is met and a guest chooses to cancel, the individual cancellation policy applies. 
    • Great Wolf Lodge's Cancellation Policy: You have up to 7 days prior to arrival to cancel with a fee of 15% of your deposit. If you cancel 4-6 days prior to arrival, there will be a 30% fee, and 3 days or less of arrival, the deposit becomes non-refundable.
  • Successful registration does NOT guarantee a room reservation. You must contact Great Wolf Lodge yourself with the group code to arrange your reservation before Great Wolf Lodge's booking cut off date of April 5, 2019 - But don’t wait until then!

Learn more here.

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Waterloo Region Family Network
February 20, 2019
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