Our Approach

Meeting the complex learning needs
of kids with autism

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Our Programs

Fostering our kids’ learning
during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Meet our Students

Student profiles, testimonials from families
and success stories

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News, Notes & Events

APRIL IS
WORLD AUTISM MONTH

____________________________________________________

April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day and kicks off World Autism Month…

a global effort to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism. 

In anticipation, we wanted to share this adorable photo of 7 year-old Mila, one of our students here at Giant Steps.

Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and heightened inequalities for so many, including those faced by people with autism.

With the loss of in-person interaction and learning this past year, families are concerned more than ever about their kids’ social, academic and behaviour skills and their mental health.

We’re grateful that today Mila and our other kids are at Giant Steps, happily engaging and learning with our teachers and therapists!

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Help save our partnership with the school board - visit savegiantsteps.ca

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GIANT STEPS NOW

The York Region District School Board has announced they intend to end our 25 year-old partnership in September 2021.

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MEET MARIKA!
Marika is a happy 12 year-old girl who is always smiling and giggling. Like so many her age, she dresses stylishly and rocks the nail polish!Marika is very affectionate and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.She likes listening to music and can often be seen singing or dancing to her favourite songs. She loves to dress up and has quite the costume collection.Marika loves animals and has a special soft spot for horses. She attends an equine therapy program and has a favourite horse there named Lola.Now in her 4th year at Giant Steps, Marika is excited to go to school each day and is a beloved member of our Intermediate Class.With the coordination of her academic program with our onsite therapies, and the dedication of a consistent expert team, the frustration and behavioural challenges Marika experienced in the regular school system steadily subsided.And she has blossomed. Marika has made steady progress with her speech and can now express her feelings. She has made great gains with reading and math, and in her social skills, and is so much more engaged in every aspect of her life at school and at home.Marika’s parents put it simply:
“Giant Steps has changed Marika’s life”.#WorldAutismMonth #autism #autismspectrumdisorder #ASD #saveourschool #savegiantsteps

MEET MARIKA!
Marika is a happy 12 year-old girl who is always smiling and giggling. Like so many her age, she dresses stylishly and rocks the nail polish!

Marika is very affectionate and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

She likes listening to music and can often be seen singing or dancing to her favourite songs. She loves to dress up and has quite the costume collection.

Marika loves animals and has a special soft spot for horses. She attends an equine therapy program and has a favourite horse there named Lola.

Now in her 4th year at Giant Steps, Marika is excited to go to school each day and is a beloved member of our Intermediate Class.

With the coordination of her academic program with our onsite therapies, and the dedication of a consistent expert team, the frustration and behavioural challenges Marika experienced in the regular school system steadily subsided.

And she has blossomed. Marika has made steady progress with her speech and can now express her feelings. She has made great gains with reading and math, and in her social skills, and is so much more engaged in every aspect of her life at school and at home.

Marika’s parents put it simply:
“Giant Steps has changed Marika’s life”.

#WorldAutismMonth #autism #autismspectrumdisorder #ASD #saveourschool #savegiantsteps
... See MoreSee Less

MEET JACOB!
At 9 years old, Jacob is known at Giant Steps for greeting everyone with a big smile and a wave, and for being an excellent partner for playing ball!He is smart and curious and pays special attention to details in his work and play.Jacob is also energetic and funny and loves to laugh. He especially enjoys listening to songs he has learned at school, jumping on his trampoline and playing outside.He shares a special love and affection for his grandparents.Like many children with autism, changes in routine and expectations that come with new experiences and environments have been a special challenge for Jacob.Jacob’s parents are delighted that he has learned to participate in new activities and environments with far less anxiety. Jacob is now able to enjoy skating, swimming lessons, track and field activities, arts & crafts and field trips – in pre-pandemic life anyway!Since starting Giant Steps, Jacob is much more socially engaged, and loves interacting with her peers and Giant Steps staff.Jacob’s family attributes their son’s progress to the expert team at Giant Steps and praise the involvement of parents: “It’s a great collaborative environment and parents like us are closely involved in shaping how their child’s educational and therapy experience comes together to help them reach their potential.”#WorldAutismMonth #autism #autismspectrumdisorder #ASD #saveourschool #savegiantsteps

MEET JACOB!
At 9 years old, Jacob is known at Giant Steps for greeting everyone with a big smile and a wave, and for being an excellent partner for playing ball!

He is smart and curious and pays special attention to details in his work and play.

Jacob is also energetic and funny and loves to laugh. He especially enjoys listening to songs he has learned at school, jumping on his trampoline and playing outside.

He shares a special love and affection for his grandparents.

Like many children with autism, changes in routine and expectations that come with new experiences and environments have been a special challenge for Jacob.

Jacob’s parents are delighted that he has learned to participate in new activities and environments with far less anxiety. Jacob is now able to enjoy skating, swimming lessons, track and field activities, arts & crafts and field trips – in pre-pandemic life anyway!

Since starting Giant Steps, Jacob is much more socially engaged, and loves interacting with her peers and Giant Steps staff.

Jacob’s family attributes their son’s progress to the expert team at Giant Steps and praise the involvement of parents: “It’s a great collaborative environment and parents like us are closely involved in shaping how their child’s educational and therapy experience comes together to help them reach their potential.”

#WorldAutismMonth #autism #autismspectrumdisorder #ASD #saveourschool #savegiantsteps
... See MoreSee Less

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Our Kids’ Favourite Places

Autism Speaks
Calming Centre
The Bridle Bash Foundation
Resource Centre
KRG Children’s Charitable Foundation
Climbing Centre
The Shayam Kaushal Charitable Foundation
Life Skills Room
Unity for Autism
Snoezelen Room

We’re STEPPING AHEAD!

THANK YOU for taking a few moments to connect with us by catching up on our news ….

. How we enable kids with autism
. Hear from a graduating family
. Read about our amazing Program Assistants
. Catch up on our busy year, and
. Check out our awesome donors!

Giant Steps in the Spotlight

For media coverage about the YRDSB’s plan to end their partnership with Giant Steps, visit SAVEGIANTSTEPS.CA

Scotiabank
Our success highlighted at the
Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
Global News
Giant Steps featured on “Making a Difference”
CBC News
Giant Steps’ student shines on The National

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