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 Daughter Clara
“From the first information session we could hardly believe our ears – a school dedicated to supporting the development and learning of autistic kids, with therapists on staff and consistent one-on-one support?! Not to mention the climbing and life skills centres, sensory room, and more – this was exactly what we wanted for our daughter.
At Giant Steps, Clara has incredibly caring and knowledgeable teachers, therapists, and program assistants. They tailor robust Individual Education Plans that are truly individual and focused on presuming competence. She’s made great strides in learning, social skills, and communication. She gets to hang out with autistic peers and will experience integration into her ‘home school’. She gets to do activities like ice skating, swimming, and track in ways that work for her sensory needs. Best of all, we get to be involved every step of the way. We love the daily communication book, the ‘parent training’ sessions, and the always open door. Giant Steps is so much more than a school – it feels like a family.”
-Dave & Kelly, Clara’s parents
Our Son Alex
“Alex was diagnosed with autism at the age 4. He struggled in the regular school system, and upon the recommendation of one of his Special Education teachers, we applied to Giant Steps. When he was accepted into the program we felt like we had won the lottery.
The therapies that Alex has received from Giant Steps in the last three years have transformed our son. Back then, he was not able to hold a pencil — now he can write his name. He was never interested in any kind of interactive physical activity — now he engages with his siblings and enjoys playing trampoline basketball. He is much more verbal, now using full sentences and his iPad to communicate.
We are so grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity for Alex to attend Giant Steps, and grateful to all his teachers, therapists and program assistants there for the wonderful progress our son is making.”
-Carmelo & Rose, Alex’s parents
Our Son Johnny
“Our son Johnny is an energetic 12 year-old boy who has made tremendous progress at Giant Steps.
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!”