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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.



Recreational Respite-Virtual Services

Check out what Recreational Respite has on for virtual programming this September 2020!

-September calendar


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EarlyON Interactive Programming on Zoom for August

For all the EarlyON programming for August, click here.


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Our Place-Virtual Playdates

Does your child miss being able to interact with their friends and educators? Would you like them to practice relationship-builind and social skills over the summer before reutrning to school?

Join us for a two week session of Our Place's Virtual Playdates.


A Registered Early Childhood Educator will facilitate three 25-minute play dates per week on Zoom for groups of children 3-6 years (and a caring adult close by). The sessions involve open-ended play, songs, conversation, and fun!


Zoom groups are CLOSED programs.


Dates: Monday, Wednesday & Thursday

Sessions start in July 

Time: 11:00-11:25am


Register Online.

There is no fee to register. SPACE is LIMITED.


Questions: 519-571-1625 ourplace@ourplacekw.ca

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Early Childhood Development in a Time of Pandemic workshop series

Families Canada (FC) and the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development (CEECD) are pleased to launch Early Childhood Development in a Time of Pandemic, a webinar series created in response to the current COVID-19 climate. The webinar will highlight some possible effects of the pandemic on young children’s behaviours and emotions and discuss ways to support children, families and service providers through a series of presentations and open plenary. 

Isabelle Vinet, an expert in the prevention of disruptive behaviours during early childhood and Executive Director of the CEECD, will facilitate the series.
Every Wednesday starting April 22, 2020, at 1 PM ET in English and 2 PM ET in French. 

How do I join?
Please register in advance for this webinar series at this link!
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

What’s on the agenda for this week? 
Introduction and welcome
Presentation on self-regulation in early years
Q&A and plenary
Wrap up
If you have any questions on the topic Self-Regulation in Early Years please send them by Tuesday, April 21, to kristell.lemartret@umontreal.ca and we will try to answer them all during the webinar. 
Upcoming topics include emotional expression, play, prosocial behaviour, peer relations, brain development and more. Stay tuned! 

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Community of Heart programming

Community of Hearts staff have been working diligently behind the scenes in order to develop some programming that can be delivered to you remotely. See flyers attached for upcoming program details. 


Participants can access programs online in the following ways (beginning this Friday, April 3rd):


Mondays: On Community of Hearts’ YouTube channel and Community of Hearts’ Facebook page, join Ariel, Independent Hearts Program Coordinator, for a cooking lesson video to follow along with from the comfort of your home. Want to purchase the visual aid recipes? Contact Shera at info@communityofhearts.cato get yours via email!


Tuesdays: Check Community of Hearts’ Facebook page for fun posts and printable activities to do from the comfort of your home.


Wednesdays: On Community of Hearts’ Zoom account, join Jerushia, Program Manager, from noon to 1 pm for a Lunch & Learn. Bring your own lunch to your laptop or desktop computer, log in to the Zoom room (password and meeting ID provided Wednesdays via email) for a facilitated check-in and to connect with other Community of Hearts participants!


Thursdays: On Community of Hearts’ YouTube channel and Community of Hearts’ Facebook page, join community partners for a wellness, gentle movement and stress management video to follow along with from the comfort of your home.


Fridays: On Community of Hearts’ Facebook page, join Jerushia, Program Manager, from 1:30-2:30 pm for a reading and discussion about Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone (by J.K. Rowling). 


Access our YouTube channel here. Videos will be uploaded gradually. This content is available to the public.

Access our Facebook page here. This content is available to the public.

Zoom Meeting invitations will be sent to your email inboxes Wednesdays before the Zoom Room with Jerushia opens. This is not available to the public - only current participants will receive the Meeting ID and Password.



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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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IMPORTANT WRFN UPDATE RE: Programming & Events

After much consideration, conversation and concern for the health and safety of the families and individuals supported through WRFN, our staff and volunteers, and for the larger community, we are cancelling all our support groups, social groups, events, and in-person program activities until further notice. With growing concerns around COVID-19, we feel this is the appropriate and responsible approach to take at this time. Updates will be provided as to when regular programming, activities and events will resume.


Thank you for your understanding and support as we navigate and respond to these challenging times together.


Sue Simpson

Executive Director          

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Dr. Jean Clinton @ The Kitchener Public Library

Dr. Jean Clinton is on her way to Waterloo Region, and you're invited!

On March 24th at the Kitchener Public Library, Dr. Clinton will be offering workshops to support parents/caregivers and professionals with understanding the importance of connection in healthy brain development for our children and youth.


This is a free event that is being provided by several community partners.

Please click here to view a flyer with further details.
There will be two sessions on March 24th: one in the afternoon for parents/caregivers (1-2:30pm) and one in the evening for professionals (5-8pm). Please register using the Eventbrite link that is included in the flyer. We are likely to fill every available seat as there are a limited number of seats, and this event is being shared widely in the community.
Below you'll find a couple of short YouTube videos with Dr. Clinton speaking, for those who are interested or need some help with deciding if this is an event you’d like to attend.

Dr. Clinton Supportive Connections video
Dr. Clinton - Parenting Style and Emotional Brain video (speaking to parents)

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Evening of Elegance

Join us on Friday, April 17 for WRFN’s annual signature fundraising event. Enjoy an elegant evening of mixing and mingling at the Great Hall, Luther Village on the Park while tasting delicious wine, beer and cider - all paired with appetizing food selections.


Our spectacular silent auction includes a number of exciting items for you to bid on. You won't want to miss our raffle and engaging vocal entertainment! All proceeds go directly to program resources - facilitating meaningful connections, in all life stages, for families of children with special needs both with and without a diagnosis.


Please join us at 7pm. The formal program will begin around 7:30pm. 


Early Bird tickets (available until March 10) $100

Regular tickets $125

Group discount tickets (8 tickets) $700

For tickets, click here.


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Resilience & Self-Regulation

Resilience as part of learning & building self-regulation.


January 23, 2020 from 7-9pm @ Community Living (8 Royal Rd, Guelph, ON)


*This is Part 1,of a two-part series* (This session is for parents & will be followed by a 2nd session for parents & youth on Feb 20, 2020).


Resilience is both a trait and an aspiration. We all have resilience and we need to know how to tap into our resilience, as well as devleop or build on it.

There are 7 key criteria for resilience and the top 2 criteria are Self-Regulation & Impulse Control.

Come to a workshop that will help you and your children with tapping into and developing Self-Regulation as a means to cope and thrive.


Cost: $15 (members $10)

Register here or by calling 519-837-2050 or emailing Info@ldawc.ca

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Leah Bowman
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