Today, Grandview Kids Foundation wants to share with you an inspiring and heartwarming story about Joshua & Jenny, and their journey with Grandview Kids.
From Fear to Gratitude
Joshua is a sweet, friendly 5-year-old boy who loves to say hello and make people smile with his genuine kindness. Greeting people, however, did not come easy to him and took a lot of hard work to learn. He was unable to speak or express himself, get dressed without difficulty, eat a range of food, or go to places – familiar or new. In late 2019, Joshua was diagnosed with ASD2, Moderate-Severe Expressive and Receptive Language Delay, Apraxia of Speech, sensory sensitivities and feeding issues. This official diagnosis was a welcome relief to mom, Jenny, who finally had answers as to why, despite her best efforts, communicating with her child was such a struggle. The road ahead of her would be long but now she had hope that support and help would be possible.
Soon after diagnosis, COVID-19 hit, making things a lot harder for Jenny to navigate Joshua’s diagnosis. Waitlists and closures made it a very long two years. The thought of how he would fit in a classroom was terrifying. Joshua has received several services at Grandview Kids such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech-language pathology and recreational therapy. For the last two years, he has also been accessing the Foundational Applied Skills Training (FAST) program. The FAST program helped him tremendously by teaching significant tools to use for the transition to kindergarten. They work on school readiness, routine-building, language, communication, behaviour and everyday life skills, such as dressing and feeding. Jenny appreciates how the focus is child-centered through authentic learning tailored to her child’s identity and needs. Grandview Kids therapists have recognized Joshua’s engineering-driven mind that loves to build and create. This awareness gives them the opportunity to develop individualized programming which helps promote growth by working with his strengths and interests.
This year in senior kindergarten, Joshua is a leader in the classroom. He continues to be kind, receptive in welcoming others and finds a way to play and communicate with everyone. Joshua is still a little boy with big feelings, but he is slowly learning to express his thoughts and feelings in a positive way. With supervision he can now dress himself and is learning to self-regulate and communicate his feelings through zones of regulation cues, pictures and colours. While he continues to grow, his progress has been immensely rewarding.
Jenny is proud of her son and proud to be a Grandview Kids parent. Through Grandview kids, she was able to meet many caregivers on the same journey, lost and navigating the system. She found other parents that “get it.” To give back, Jenny has joined the Grandview Kids’ Ambassador Program, Family Advisory Council and is a peer support friend on the Grandview Online Parent Support (OPS) Facebook page. She has a strong sense of belonging and community participation. She shares these passions with Joshua, whose hero is Terry Fox, and together they have just completed their 6th Terry Fox run. He is also incredibly active in Grandview Kids Foundation’s Get Active Challenge, representing so many kids who are on the same journey. Jenny is thankful for the way Grandview Kids and all of Joshua’s community care partners have impacted her family. Using gratitude as the lens to view life makes one unstoppable. Thankfulness cannot sit still; it always leads to action. Jenny knows that modelling this attitude to Joshua will carry him further than any diagnosis could ever try to limit him.