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Your Impact

Thanks to you, our donors, Holland Bloorview is investing in exciting programs, advancing care, developing accessible technologies and conducting promising research. Thanks to you, our leading scientists, therapists and health care professionals are helping kids with disabilities find their best life, as they become happier, healthier and more independent. 

 

Four days a week Amanda gets up for work and crams herself into a packed subway heading downtown. 

The 21-year-old who has Down syndrome maneuvers her way through the fast-moving crowds to reach a high-rise on Bay Street. Thousands of people make their way to that bustling area every morning but chances are none of them are as excited as Amanda.  Learn more about Ready to Work 

Parent Talk workshops provide a safe space where parents can meet, socialize, voice their concerns, share resources and tips, and tap into the wealth of their experiences. By sharing with each other, they learn new coping strategies, make friends, and gain valuable insight into life with childhood disability.

For many parents, particularly those with a recent diagnosis, it’s the first real opportunity to speak to other parents of kids with disabilities.
Learn more...

 

Music has been an important part of the hospital’s care for almost 70 years. Currently, Holland Bloorview offers a myriad of programs for in-patients and out-patients that use music as a means to be social and expressive.

On any given day at the hospital you’ll find adapted music education such as individual lessons on piano, electronic keyboard, percussion, violin, voice, guitar, and the ukulele. Learn more about music therapy at Holland Bloorview...

It’s said a picture is worth a thousand words. For a group of parents of kids with disabilities, an infographic that captures their child’s disability, needs and strengths is worth a lot more than that. When parents of kids with disabilities meet a new doctor, teacher, camp counselor, or therapist, they have to tell the same story over and over – making sure to explain their child’s condition or disability, his or her needs, their behaviours, positive qualities, triggers for anxiety, etc.  Continually sharing (or trying to share) this information can be taxing and exhausting. Just ask Susan Cosgrove. She’s a single parent of three kids, two of whom have autism. She’s also a Family Leader at Holland Bloorview.  Learn more...

Fatimah has cerebral palsy and is non-verbal, but her facial expressions can speak volumes. Her mother, Rubina, knows that look of disappointment when she and the family go out and Fatimah can’t play with her siblings because of accessibility issues or other barriers. Looking into Fatimah’s eyes can be heartbreaking.  But that expression changed recently, when Rubina took Fatima and her siblings to a new pilot program at Holland Bloorview called Saturday Night Fun

 

Hundreds of parents of kids who may have autism (or other neurodevelopmental disorders) are on waiting lists for assessments or programs. They could be waiting several months for an assessment, and if a diagnosis is made, they could wait another year before being accepted into specific programs.

Meanwhile, “their children are having all kinds of challenging behaviours,” said Moira, an occupational therapist in Holland Bloorview’s Child Development Program. “There may be lots of tantrums, lots of issues with feeding, behavioural issues, and issues at school.” Learn more

Do you remember the butterflies you had on your first day of school? We’ll bet you didn’t sleep a wink the night before. With new classmates or even a new school, you put on a brave face, but maybe you were a little scared – scared of being accepted, afraid of not fitting in.

But what if you had to find your way around in a power wheelchair for the first time? Or had to introduce yourself to your classmates through a computer so others can understand you? Learn more about making an impact on the back-to-school experience...

Dr. Darcy Fehlings is head of Holland Bloorview’s Cerebral Palsy Discovery Lab, leading a group of researchers whose work will have a huge impact on the health and well-being of kids and youth with this condition. 

"At our Discovery Lab, we’re looking at innovations and interventions that can help kids meet their developmental potential, function better and participate in activities they want to do” said Dr. Fehlings. Learn more about Cerebral Palsy Discovery Lab...

 

Thanks to Holland Bloorview, 17-year-old Adrita can now play a mean game of Bocce ball. That’s not the only thing the Grade 12 student learned at Holland Bloorview’s new Mind. Body. Mingle. health promotion pilot program, but for her it was definitely one of the highlights. A Holland Bloorview client since she was four, Adrita has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – a genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. She uses a power wheelchair for mobility, but sometimes uses a manual wheelchair.  Learn more about Mind. Body. Mingle. Program...

 

The Anxiety Meter is a digital tool used with an iPad or tablet that can detect anxiety levels by monitoring a child’s heart rate.

“When you get anxious your heart rate changes significantly,” said Dr. Kushki, noting that most children with autism experience significant anxiety that can negatively impact physical and mental health.  Learn more about the Anxiety Meter...

As one of Holland Bloorview's therapeutic clowns, Helen Donnelly brings not only laughter and levity but also a new vision to the practice of therapeutic clowning. Learn more about how Dr. Flap, Nurse Flutter and Nurse Polo are making an impact...

Jean became a member of Holland Bloorview’s Family Leadership Program, joining a team of parents that make sure the wants and needs of families are included in all aspects of the hospital’s care. That’s when her attitude changed. As a Family Leader she felt she should be familiar with all of the hospital’s family support programs, including respite care. Learn more about Respite Services...

Every summer, The Independence Program (TIP) works with a group of young adults with physical or cognitive disabilities learning how to live away from home by staying at a university or college residence for three weeks.For some participants, it’s the first time they’ve spent the night outside their family home. Learn more about the TIP...

Over the summer this popular outdoor art, garden and summer camp program will invite more than 200 kids to let their creativity and individuality shine as aspiring artists, sculptors, gardeners, puppeteers, story tellers and theatre performers. Learn more about Spiral Garden camp...

On TRACK Concussion Program, a new initiative at Holland Bloorview, is giving kids and parents much-needed relief while they wait for their appointments. Learn more about On TRACK...

 

Dr. Jessica Brian and her team at Holland Bloorview’s Autism Research Centre are looking at how predictors for autism could be discovered in babies who have siblings who have already been diagnosed.Learn more about the social ABC's program...

Jenette has been with Holland Bloorview for 34 years. She’s seen a lot, caring for countless kids while moving through different hospital names as well as locations. Today, she’s part of a new chapter of nursing at Holland Bloorview – a growing culture of strengths-based nursing that’s helping families feel less anxious and even empowered.Learn more about strengths-based nursing...

Geoff Feldman is 76 years old, semi-retired and a single parent to a daughter with a disability.  “Basically my whole life revolves around trying to help her,” he said. “It’s extremely tiring, especially as you get older.”

His daughter, Isabelle, was born with what he calls, “multiple exceptionalities.” Though she’s never had an official diagnosis, Geoff refers to her condition as “Isabelle syndrome. Learn more about Family Support Fund...

The Family Advisory Committee (FAC) is the eyes, ears and voice of families at Holland Bloorview. Funded by donors, the FAC is made up of a devoted group of parents and former clients that represent all children and families who come through Holland Bloorview’s doors. Find out more about FAC...