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The Family Edition

In celebration of Family Day, we have gathered some of our favourite stories from past issues that highlight our family-focused programming and the vital role families play in the work we do.

Cidel Asset Management makes
Family Day donation to CDI

We are delighted to thank Cidel Asset Management for their generous Family Day donation to Child Development Institute (CDI). This year, Cidel has directed their donation to the Towhee Summer Residential Program, to provide bursary support for a child with learning disabilities and mental health issues (LDMH) to attend this specialized camp for two weeks this summer.

James Porter of Cidel said, “Our Family Day Initiative is becoming something of a tradition for us, and reflects our commitment to families and championing mental health programs that help families support their children. We are pleased to recognize CDI on Family Day, because their programs, including Towhee, help families get better together.”
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A mother reflects
on her son’s journey with CDI

When Marisa dropped her son Andreas off at CDI’s St. Clair Gardens location five years ago for his first day of camp, little did she know how much their lives would change with that one small step.

“Once Andreas finished at Camp Wimodausis, we moved on to the Stop Now and Plan (SNAP®) Boys program, followed by SNAPP for parents, a parent problem-solving group, which I ended up completing twice.” Marisa says. “I loved the program so much, I just had to do it again.”

For Marisa and Andreas, these group sessions and the support they received from the SNAP team were the safety net they needed to handle life’s challenges.
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Programs for families who have experienced trauma or abuse

CDI’s Mothers in Mind® is an innovative mother and child group program specifically designed to meet the parenting needs of mothers, with children under the age of four, who have experienced family violence, and have histories of childhood abuse, neglect or sexual assault.

“Safety is crucial when parenting young children. How would your parenting be affected if you never felt safe?” asks Lisa Sura-Liddell, Manager of CDI's Family Violence Services. “At Mothers in Mind, mothers find support through their shared experiences in a non-judgemental, caring environment.”
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Families learn to understand the connection between learning disabilities and mental health to support
their children

Children and youth with learning disabilities are at least twice as likely to experience mental health problems, including anxiety, depression and disruptive behaviour disorders, which can affect their ability to learn, build interpersonal relationships and cope with setbacks.

Parents, caregivers, educators and other professionals can best support children and youth with learning disabilities and mental health issues (LDMH) by enhancing their knowledge of the challenges facing those in their care.

As the only accredited children’s mental health agency in Canada to provide mental health services exclusively to children and youth with LDMH, CDI’s Integra Program is the industry leader in delivering training in this emerging field.
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Support for a family with special needs

Karrie, the classroom Registered Early Childhood Educator at Fraser Mustard Early Learning Centre, has been working very closely with Hamid Yousofi and his family to ensure their needs are met at the Centre.
“Everything is getting better slowly, step-by-step. We got our life back,” says Hamid Yousofi, a parent to three children with special needs attending the Fraser Mustard Early Learning Centre (ELC) in Thorncliffe Park.

For Hamid and his wife, caring for three children under the age of five with autism along with sleeping and eating disorders has been a challenge for the family.

Last spring, Aryan and Aliza (4 ½-year-old twins) and Armeen (3 ½ years old) began attending the childcare program at Fraser Mustard ELC, where they are receiving individualized support to meet their specific needs.
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