Dear Autism Programs Families:
This has been an interesting year to say the least! I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on 2020 and to share some things we are looking forward to in 2021.
Who could have predicted a global pandemic? Looking back to March when we had to suspend our in-person services, I feel proud to have seen how families, children we support, and staff worked together to make the best of a challenging situation. During the spring, staff met with many families and children through online video platforms and built a library of resources for virtual services. They created videos of story time, circle time, calendar time, science experiments, and other activities for families to share with their children.
We moved the Fulfilling Potential workshop series from in-person sessions to an online platform and had an incredible response locally and internationally with almost 300 people registered for the fall session. Given the positive feedback we have received we plan to continue offering workshops online moving forward into 2021.
As much as we have been able to find ways to engage through online supports, nothing was better than the day we reopened the classrooms and returned to child care centres and rural family homes to work with your children in person again! There is no true substitute for in-person human interactions.
Some notable news for the year includes opening a new Autism Programs classroom at 440 River Road this month. We have brought together the Autism Programs and Psychology Services team through an organizational realignment which will allow St.Amant to provide a continuum of support for children, youth, adolescents, and adults. We continue to maintain positive working relationships with our funders, our partners in the areas of child care and education, and our clinical colleagues in Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, and Physiotherapy.
I would like to also again take this opportunity to thank you for your continued commitment to our screening practices to help keep children and staff safe. I am grateful to be able to reflect on a year of unexpected challenges that were met with creativity, dedication, and positivity. I am thankful to all of you for your confidence in, and support of our team.
From all of us to all of you, I wish you the very best over the holidays and look forward to welcoming the New Year.
Director, Autism Programs & Psychology Services