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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.



Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Practice Lecture Series

The Continuous Professional Learning Committee (CPLC) is excited to bring the Foundations in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Practice Lecture Series to the members of the Children and Youth Planning Table! This $350.00 value, 15-part series focuses on promoting early mental health and wellbeing during the first 1,000 days of life. The series aims to raise awareness and understanding of the unique needs of infants and toddlers in order to promote healthy social-emotional development in the early years and reduce the likelihood of poor mental and physical health outcomes in youth and childhood. 


How to Register:

Registration is now open and will remain open until 2022,  click here to learn more and register. Please ensure you register as Guest specifying Conestoga PRC (as the Host Agency). A unique email must be used upon registration for access to the session handouts, and to receive session details and reminders. You will also be required to create a personal user account at www.IMHPromotion.ca to access the recorded content. You will have access to the 15  Live webinars, which are scheduled to launch every 2-3 weeks between January and August 2020. Furthermore, you will have access to the recorded videos until September 2022 to view the lectures at your own pace or to revisit the material for your own learning. You will receive a certificate upon completing the training. Coupon code will be provided for free access.

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Challenging Systemic Barriers: The Equity Lens

Despite good intentions and significant investments, there continues to be evidence of imbalanced and unjust outcomes for people who are marginalized in Waterloo Region. Many organizations and services have made commitments to address these problems, but have not seen significant changes in their communities.


Wellbeing Waterloo Region is a community-led initiative that has committed to working differently across sectors to make transformative change in Waterloo Region. This interactive video series and Discussion Guide support Wellbeing Waterloo Region’s work to realize a deeper understanding of social inequities, and provide some common language we can use to work toward equity for the communities we belong to and serve.


“Challenging Systemic Barriers: The Equity Lens” is a video series divided into three parts. The videos should be viewed in order, as each part builds on the last. This material may be used in team meetings, communities of practice, staff forums, and more.


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Autism Ontario-Raise the Flag events

While COVID-19 will impact many of Autism Ontario's Raise the Flag events for World Autism Awareness Day, they invite you to visit their Raise the Flag website so you and your family can make use of the curriculum and content and safely celebrate World Autism Awareness Day. They will announce rescheduled events as they become available on their website and through their social media outlets.


Meanwhile, they are building a resource list of activities that families can do together during the extended period beyond the March break.  They invite you to share your thoughts by completing this brief survey.   Let them know how they can stay connected and supportive to Ontario families during this time. 


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Your Virtual YMCA

The YMCA is committed to keeping our community healthy and connected. While their physical space may be closed, they still want to show up for our community through online workouts and more.


Please take a moment to explore Your Virtual YMCA.

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Tips for talking to children about Covid 19

Covid-19–a word that only a few months ago we had never even heard. Now it is all we talk about. Our lives have been disrupted in ways we could never have anticipated and the situation changes so rapidly it is difficult to keep up…or plan.


As parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends…how do we talk with the children and teens in our lives to help them make sense of everything happening? 


How can we listen without interrupting? Without telling them not to feel afraid or sad? Particularly if we are afraid and sad ourselves?

They are tough conversations to have but they are also very important ones.


Read this article for tips on how to have these tough conversations. 

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Family Pulse-March 2020

Welcome to March! 

As you know, WRFN is committed to sharing information about community programs and events through social media, our website and monthly newsletter. The COVID-19 response is evolving quickly and a number of community programs and events continue to change accordingly. If you plan on attending a community event/program that you learning of though WRFN, please check with the organizer before attending.


Inside the March issue of Family Pulse you will find information on:

SEAC Updates 
What's Happening at WRFN
Coffee Club Update

On Patience & Challenges
Upcoming Community Events


You can download a pdf copy of Family Pulse here

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ADHD in Early Childhood-2 Part Webinar

Wednesday, April 8th & 15th 

Cost: $10


ADHD in early childhood (under six years of age) continues to be under recognized and under treated. Learn to recognize indicators of early childhood ADHD, what these children look like in the home and school setting, what is involved in an ADHD assessment and why these children have difficulty with executive functioning and self and emotional regulation. Proven behavioural and social skills strategies will also be discussed.


The webinar will be recorded and available for viewing following the live event.


To register, click here.

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SOAR Transition Planning Program

Are you or your child in grades 7-9 with an LD or ADHD? Are you looking prepare for the changes of high school?

SOAR (Some Assembly Required) Transition Planning Program
Monday @ 7pm – 8:30 pm
5 Sessions: Feb 3-March 9, 2020 *NEW START DATE*
(No sessions Jan 27-highschool exams, and Feb 17-Family Day)

Location: Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute
(155 Paisley Street, Guelph, N1H 2P3)

Cost: $200 ($180 for LDAWC members)

• L’s and D’s – understanding your learning disability, your learning style and a model for problem solving
• Tools for success – 3 key areas – daily work, studying and tests, projects and assignments, and ways to approach successfully
• Making Choices for the Future – changes and choices in high school, strategies to stay on top of homework and organizational issues, IEP and accommodations
• Group based learning
• Each participant will get their own workbooks. Concepts taught will be reinforced with games and hands-on activities!

Who: Students grades 7 to 9 with a learning disability or ADHD diagnosis

What: Small group Focus: Increase self advocacy and awareness of student’s disability Program Details: 1.5 hours, once a week for 6 weeks, starting Monday January 20, 2020 Find out more: contact Monica at 519-837-2050 or email execdir@ldawc.ca

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KidsAbility Program & Activity Guide Winter 2019-2020

Check out the KidsAbility Winter Activity Guide.


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Nursing Care for People with Developmental Disabilities

It is based on a review of literature and was supported by a Faculty of Health Minor Research Grant.  


The project is a collaboration between the Office of Women's Mental Health Research in Mental Health (Dr. Nazilla Khanlou, Chair) and Nursing at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (Dr. Rani Srivastava, Chief of Nursing and Professional Practice at CAMH). 

Citation information:  Khanlou N, Khan A, Vazquez LM, Srivastava R, & Karunakaran A. (2019) 

Information Sheet 13: Nursing Care for People with Developmental Disabilities. Toronto: York University.  Available url:  https://nkhanlou.info.yorku.ca/files/2019/11/Final-Info-Sheet-Nursing-NKhanlou-Nov-2019.pdf

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Leah Bowman
March 24, 2020
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Waterloo Region Family Network
November 12, 2019
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