Families Speak Out
Our dedicated families are strong advocates for their children and active partners in their program planning and implementation.
Here, several families speak out about their children and their progress at Giant Steps.
“When we think of Alessio today, we realize that he is quite a different little boy from 2 years ago.
At 6 years of age, our son Alessio is verbal, reads and prints, and is socializing with his family and friends. With his Program Assistant from Giant Steps, Alessio now happily attends our local school 2 mornings a week.
But when we received the diagnosis of autism, we were very fearful of what Alessio’s future would be. At 3 years of age, he had very little speech, weak fine motor skills, and little interest in those around him. We were painfully aware that Alessio was nowhere near being ready to attend his junior kindergarten class in our local school. But upon hearing of Giant Steps, we became hopeful. We were certain that Alessio would thrive in an environment that provides intensive therapies and academic programs for children with autism AND inclusion with typical children, and we were right. Alessio has made such wonderful gains! We are thrilled to say that we are full of hope for his future and feel it won’t be too long before Alessio is ready to be a full-time student at our local school.”
- Patricia & Gaetano, Alessio’s parents
“Lauren started Giant Steps in grade 4, a child who had given up on learning. She struggled for so long in school with no results. Everything took a long time to learn and even more frustrating was not being able to find the right people and the right strategies to enable her to learn. It was so hard for us as parents to see her fall further and further behind.
After only a year and a half at Giant Steps, Lauren has taught us not to give up hope. Lauren can now communicate through picture symbols and is learning to use an augmentative communication device. She has discovered a love for music, and is well on her way to catching up in her academic and self help skills. Lauren has even learned to ice skate and is learning to swim. The expertise and dedication of the staff at Giant Steps is allowing our little girl to reach her full potential in life. We are so very proud of Lauren's hard work and forever grateful to the teachers, therapists and program assistants at Giant Steps for helping Lauren reach her goals in a nurturing and supportive environment. We look forward to many more accomplishments as Lauren continues her journey with Giant Steps.”
- Julie & Jonathan, Lauren's parents
“Before Kyle entered Giant Steps, we were extremely worried about him; at age 6, he was an isolated little boy with very limited academic, social or self-help skills.
Since then, Kyle has come such a long way. Now at age 11, he attends Giant Steps in the mornings where he receives specialized therapies and academics. In the afternoons, he attends our neighbourhood public school with a Giant Steps Program Assistant, and her knowledge of autism and the therapeutic, academic and behavioural strategies that work for Kyle enable him to function in his Grade 6 classroom. Giant Steps has set up a special social group with Kyle and 5 of his classmates and this circle of support has made a difference; we are delighted to report that he is much liked and accepted by his peers at his school. In addition, Kyle can now read, write, ride a bike and tie his shoelaces, wonderful achievements for a child with autism.
The support and guidance Kyle has received from Giant Steps is beyond anything we could have imagined. Giant Steps has played a huge role in helping Kyle become the happy and competent boy he is today, and, while he faces many challenges ahead, we are so very proud of him and his accomplishments.”
- Risa & Gary, Kyle’s parents
School photos courtesy of Sono Photography