Please feel free to use these quotes in your crowdfunding page.
“We are proud to live in a city and a country that has a facility such as Centennial. We are more grateful for your support than you will ever know, and grateful to be part of a place that sees so much ability in our child.”
“Thank you for all of your support and guidance, Centennial shed some light during our dark times with helpful resources and a listening ear.”
“Centennial is a magical place, a special place, a one-or-a-kind place. It is a place of hope and strength, a place where our children flourish and grow. Our son, who was born with Down Syndrome, would not be the amazing kid he is now if it weren’t for Centennial.”
“It doesn’t matter what comes up on a day-to-day basis, I get the answers from Centennial; whether it is a health issue, behavioural issue or how to help my child with basic skills. I don’t know how we would have got through these few years without them, it has made such an enormous resource and support system for our family.”
“Our Early Interventionist was the first person who gave us hope. She came into our home and showed me so many ways to help my son. She always talked about the future in such a positive way. She changed everything for us, our lives look so different now because of her.”
“The skill and love of Centennial’s staff have made a real difference to our daughter’s life and to our lives, it had been the best thing that has happened to us!”
“Centennial gave me the strength not to fear what my daughter’s future is going to look like.”
“Centennial not only provided our son and our family with the services we so desperately needed, but became a cornerstone of our lives.”
“Centennial taught us patience and the power of positivity. Their compassion and insight helped us through some of our most challenging obstacles.”
“Getting connected with Centennial opened my mind to all the places that could help my child. I am forever grateful. Thank you!”
“It was a wonderful experience and I will always be grateful for the services at the Centre.”
“Centennial was an integral and delightful part of our child’s development, their determined team provided tremendous support to our family.”
“Thank you, CICC for assigning me and my daughter to the best Early Interventionist ever! Your services changed our lives!”
“The EI program is effective and a true help-line in building a family. We have seen improvements that wouldn’t have happened without the program.”
Centennial Infant and Child Centre’s 50th Anniversary Founder’s Dinner
Tim Hudak shares his family’s story.
Isy Ouelette shares her inspiring journey.
Christina Toilas opens up about her experience at CICC.
Alessandra is now four years old and happily ensconced at Beverley School, near the Art Gallery of Ontario. She has Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. Which takes on a few different manifestations, but tends to signal universal delay and problems with eating. Alessandra has an Audrey Hepburn-esque look, with lovely long limbs and huge inquisitive eyes surrounded by sweeping eyelashes. She is a doll. At Centennial from 2013 to 2016, she loved, and was greatly loved in return by all the staff. As a family, we were loath to move on from the cozy community. As with most transitions, we (read: me, her mother) seemed to move through a version of the 4 stages of grief! 1. Denial that she was old enough to move on from Centennial. 2. Anger that I couldn’t make time stand still 3. Bargaining for more time at Centennial 4. Depression, and finally 5. Acceptance of her exciting new adventure at Beverley School. We smoothed over the rough moments with retail therapy in the form of a new pretty pink wheel chair, new clothes and a swimsuit for her thrice weekly school swimming classes. I also began to love the humour and care shown by her new teachers and principal at the Beverley School community. When all the school buses were having problems in the first weeks of this school year, her principal at Beverley sent an email to stressed-out parents with the subject line “the answer to our bus woes”. We opened it to find a photograph of a horse and cart. We are very grateful for both Alessandra’s years at Centennial and the years about to unfold at Beverley. Loving hands all around.
Pamela & Howard Levitt
Aliyya is a charming, engaging and active 3.5 year old girl. Aliyya was born with Mosaicism with partial trisomy 17- one of the rarest chromosomal abnormalities with extremely limited research. Since 2011 there have only been 28 reported cases of this genetic disorder. Her specific case is extremely rare and we are not sure what to expect in the future. So far we have seen low muscle tone and generalized delayed development. We found out about Centennial because our pediatrician gave us a number for Early Intervention services in York Region who then directed us to contact Toronto Public Health. Through this contact we met Jessie Kimmel our Early Interventionist at Centennial. It was such an amazing experience and Jessie is so awesome! She worked very closely with Aliyya and worked according to Aliyya’s pace. She never got frustrated when it would take Aliyya a few weeks to complete a task. She lent us some toys and other objects to help us work on her fine motor skills and got us working with Lori McCrindle, a CICC Occupational therapist to help work on her gross motor skills. As a bonus, they came to us in our home, and then of course introduced us to the preschool program. Aliyya has grown and changed so much since starting at Centennial. She has become a lot more social; saying hi and sharing out hugs and kisses, even waving to strangers on the TTC! She understands Big Emotions; she consoles/comforts her big brother when he is upset and is excited when she accomplishes a goal. She claps and says “good girl”, even telling others to “sshh” when she sees someone sleeping. Aliyya has been so impacted by Centennial both in her growth, development and behavior. She had just started walking the summer before starting preschool in Sept 2014. Since then her confidence in moving has grown to her running, jumping and going up and down the stairs independently. As mentioned above she is much more social and very friendly. She is working very hard on her speech and signing and has come a long way. She also used to destroy books, but now she will sit and turn the pages and point out different people and imitate their actions or different animals and make their respective sounds. All of these daily changes in Aliyya has impacted our life so greatly. Centennials programs have also helped our family in deeper ways. To be completely honest, we were having a rough patch in our marriage before she started. But since then we have grown together and worked together to get Aliyya what she needs. Our family is a much more solid unit nowMeeting all the wonderful people who genuinely care about Aliyya and all the children has been so incredible. The teachers, the office staff, and volunteers. Especially the other children and their families. Just knowing that we aren’t alone and that there are services available has brought a certain ease to our minds. It has been a roller coaster since having Aliyya, but Centennial has taught us to be humble and grateful and of course to fight for the rights and needs of our children. -Deeba Ali & Ian Mohammed
We are the proud parents of beautiful identical twin girls, Kate and Charley. At two years old, our daughters were diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a genetic disorder that leaves most diagnosed girls non-verbal and non-mobile. After the initial shock, we set out to find services and organizations that would enhance our daughter’s lives. Kate and Charley were happy and social, loved being with other children, and enjoyed singing and playing. They needed to be in preschool, but definitely required one on one support. Thankfully our Occupational Therapist suggested Centennial!
The thought of sending our little girls out into the world alone each day was scary to say the least, but the staff at Centennial made us feel at ease every step of the way. From our initial meeting with Kim Clarke we knew our girls would be in a loving, caring environment that would be safe and inclusive while providing activities and educational scenarios appropriate for Kate and Charley. Reading their communication books each day reminds us of how lucky we were to find Centennial. It is truly a place that continually impresses us as parents. Their team is regularly working towards Occupational and Physical therapy goals; and have been an integral part of developing a communication method the girls will use moving forward into JK.
Centennial’s support does not start and stop at the front door. If our girls were ill, we would receive phone calls to ask how they were doing. And when one girl became a little ill at school, a staff member drove home with her as an extra precaution. The care is genuine, and they’ve always made an effort to take into consideration our family’s overall situation.
The teachers, Kim, Lisa, Lorraine, Jacqui, and Krista have worked hard to make adaptations to the classroom and programs that allow Kate and Charley to be a part of all activities. For two years we have been in constant dialogue with them to discuss the girls’ changing needs and to enhance their experience at CICC. Through the arts and crafts we see, and the pictures emailed to us, we know that each day our girls smile, giggle, are hugged, and are loved.
In September, Kate and Charley will enter JK. Centennial has prepared us for the transition to elementary school and has supported our quest to find the right school. We knew that at a moment’s request we had a group of advocates ready to speak on the girls’ behalf.
I would like to thank all of the staff at Centennial including the volunteers, therapists, drivers, musicians, and teachers that have made the past two years an exceptionally enjoyable and enriching experience for the girls and our family.
-Jamie and Michelle O’Reilly-
Please CLICK HERE to learn about some of the exciting programs and events that happened around Centennial this year.