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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.



KidsAbility Family eNews

Check out KidsAbility's latest newsletter HERE.



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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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Ontario's Triage Protocol

ARCH Disability Law and its partners have drafted a response to Ontario’s Triage Protocol that will be sent to the Premier, Minister of Health and Minister of Seniors and Accessibility. Please share this widely, and ask organizations and individuals to endorse the letter before it is sent on April 7th, 5.00 pm.

Thank you for taking the time to review and hopefully endorsing this letter to protect the human rights of people with disabilities in this province who may fall ill due to COVID 19.


The ARCH letter is found here. 

What is Ontario’s Triage Protocol?


Marilyn Dolmage and her son, Jay a professor at the University of Waterloo have shared a critical analysis of the accommodations required for people with disabilities during the pandemic.  


This pertains to measures which may occur in our province if a disabled person were to require medical intervention due to Covid-19, referred to as  COVID Triage Protocol. They will not be triaged according to their medical needs, instead by their disability.

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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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Strong Moms, Safe Kids Group

FREE program, Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. starting April 8, 2020 and running for 10 weeks.

This program is for:

  •  Mothers who have experienced abuse in intimate relationships.
  •  Their children, ages 4 to 18, who have witnessed abuse in their homes.
  •  Mothers and children living apart from the person who abused them.

See flyer for more details or contact:
Elizabeth Hachborn
phone: 519.884.0000 x240 fax: 519.884.7000
email: ehachborn@kwcounselling.com

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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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Get Set Learn Spring Session

Are you a parent receiving OW or ODSP with children at home or school?

Get your family ready for school. Fun, free program!

  • Free snacks, bus tickets and books
  • Parent time included
  • Have fun with books and songs
  • Learn activities to help your child in school

To Sign Up:
Phone—(519) 570-3054

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Bullfrog March Break Camp

March Break is less than a month away! Are you prepared?! What about the kids?!


From 8-5pm, Bulldog offers a wide range of activities, sports, crafts, games and more!

Furthermore, each day will be based on different themes where the kids can dress up based on that theme!


Click here to learn more about Bulldog’s March Break Camp!

*Payment upon Registration Required*

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WRDSS-Cooking Classes

Cooking Classes for Ages 14+
The next session runs from January to June under the direction of Teresa Feliciano

WRDSS is pleased to offer cooking classes for members with Down syndrome ages 14 and older.  All recipes are simple to prepare and are adapted to any skill level. Students will work in groups of 2-3 and will have a volunteer assisting them in completing their recipe.  We will prepare a complete 3 course meal that includes a main course, side dish and a dessert.  We all sit down together and enjoy it.

NEW Location: Parkminister United Church (275 Erb Street East, Waterloo, ON N2J 1N6)
Session: Various dates January to June (see registration links below for details)
Time: 6:00pm to 8:30pm
Cost: $55
Our cooking class focuses on:
- Basic cooking skills
- Knife skills
- Safe food handling
- Following Recipes
- Measuring ingredients
- Table setting
- Clean up

Select Class Options Still Available:
3rd Tuesday of the month - Intermediate Skill Level
Can follow direction but needs some assistance with completing some tasks.

 3rd Thursday of the month - Beginner Skill Level
Needs assistance with most tasks. Limited ability to follow direction without parental / instructor supervision.

Space is available on a first come, first serve basis.

Parents/Caregivers must be prepared to volunteer a few nights each session to help with the class. 


Register for Cooking Class Ages 14+: 3rd Tuesday, Intermediate

Register for Cooking Class Ages 14+: 3rd Thursday, Beginner

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Blog Contributor Portrait
Leah Bowman
June 16, 2020
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