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.
"Our family was struggling with our daughter Shir’s behaviour problems when we got the news that there was a space for her at Giant Steps. We quickly realized that we had not only found a great school for Shir, but that we had found a new family.
Giant Steps’ knowledgeable and compassionate staff designed an academic and therapy program tailored to Shir’s sensory and behavioural needs, and her behaviour improved rapidly. She is learning to communicate her needs and regulate her emotions, using sensory input and tools like a weighted blanket and the crash pad to reach a state of calm. Shir is more engaged in constructive activities and learning at school, and seeks out and greets her peers appropriately.
At Giant Steps, we get a lot of support from other parents who are in the same situation and are able to share tips and information that helps our kids. Our daughter is finally happy, arriving home each day with a smile – what a reward!"
-Dorit & Oded, Shir’s parents
"Now in his second year at Giant Steps, our son Johnny is an energetic and happy 9 year-old boy who has made tremendous progress. Johnny is now motivated and engaged in communication. Using his PECS binder, iPad, and visuals, he is spontaneously requesting items and activities in various settings. The Squeeze Machine, Double Roller, trampoline and other therapeutic strategies address Johnny’s sensory and motor challenges and organize his mind and body. He loves the climbing wall, and with the focus and motivation he gains there and his “toolkit” of a basket system, visual schedule, first-then and token boards, Johnny is much more prepared for learning. He is working hard on his sight word vocabulary, his printing skills and numbers to 100, and loves the skating trips, swimming lessons and walks in the community with staff and students.
Johnny would not be where he is today without Giant Steps. The knowledgeable staff, innovative programming and specialized equipment have enabled our son to make wonderful gains!"
-Bessy & Mike, Johnny’s parents
"When Ethan started at Giant Steps at age 9, he was quite withdrawn and very dependent on adults; at school, he had made very little progress working on the same goals for years at a time. Now at Giant Steps, Ethan has learned to use pictures and his PECS binder to communicate --- a dream come true! An individualized motivation system and token board is helping Ethan stay on task and engaged in constructive activities. He is much more aware of his surroundings and those around him, and he has developed quite the personality to match. And it is wonderful to have Ethan and his brother attend Giant Steps’ Sports & Rec Club together where Ethan is a full participant in the routines and skill-building activities.
We are very proud of Ethan and his accomplishments. Words cannot describe our gratitude to his teachers, therapists and program assistants at Giant Steps; their dedication and hard work has been the key to Ethan's progress. We look forward to more milestones ahead!"
-Galit & Richard, Ethan’s parents