I remember as a kid going to Grandview at the Oshawa, Ajax and Pickering Village locations. Dr. MacDonald was the very first doctor I saw at Grandview, and she was the one who diagnosed me with autism.
My best memory is with Kathy, who is an Occupational Therapist at the Ajax location. Kathy taught me how to print my name and I was one of her best clients. I recently visited Kathy and she showed me a picture I made in 2002 when I was three years old. It was my very first time printing my whole name. She couldn’t believe that I was now 21 years old and just graduating college. Kathy also taught me how to use scissors. I needed a lot of help with my fine motor skills. I also had a lot of speech therapy as well because I lost my words when I was about two years old.
Grandview taught me how to be independent and
strong no matter what.
I did fitness-related activities with the recreation fitness group that I was a part of with Grandview in Oshawa at Mary Street Community School. I was with a few different boys and girls that were close to my age. I also made some new friends like Kenny, Nathaniel, Jason, Ethan and many others.
Grandview is an important therapy centre to help kids reach their full potential. It helps children and youth to get therapy, speech, treatment, physical exercise, recreation and education. Grandview is also important because it helps kids with disabilities get involved in their community by participating in fundraisers like McHappy Day at McDonald’s, which is usually held on the first Wednesday in May every year.
Because of Grandview, I am able to now help other disabled kids in need. I am happy to be independent and enjoying life more with my grown-up friends. Grandview also taught me about being a strong disability advocate. I am lucky to have people in life who are like family. Because of Grandview, I have been able to achieve a lot, such as:
- Playing in a band with my guitar
- Having a 1st degree black belt in Martial Arts;
- Getting several academic awards in high school;Achieving my high school diploma and my school to work certificate
- Receiving the Youth Ambassador Award from the Mayor of the Town of Ajax;
- Getting hired for a summer job as the Youth Amplifier for the Jays Care Foundation;
- And most importantly, recently graduating from the Community Integration through Cooperative Education (CICE) program at Fleming College.
People in the community should support Grandview Kids because if they are parents of kids with disabilities, the kids will be better understood and the Grandview staff will help them become successful adults. All kids with different disabilities should be understood more in general. The more kids who get support from Grandview, the more kids will get better opportunities to be involved in their community and make the word a better place to live.