While Kayla is in Montessori, we knew the Montessori curriculum and style of learning would not be right for Lauren. So I embarked on an extensive search for programming and schools that would suit Lauren. Lauren was only 2, but I had my heart set on her going to some sort of structured program or school like her older sister. While we live in a suburb north of Toronto called Markham, after talking to Lauren's Early Interventionist, and doing an exhaustive search on the internet, I learned that a special needs day care or school did not exist close to where we live. So I opted to look in Toronto and found a few options
Holland Bloorview - http://www.hollandbloorview.ca/programsandservices/communityprograms/nuseryschools/index.php
Centennial Infant and Child Centre - http://cicc.ca/ - this is where Lauren currently goes to school
Yes I Can - http://www.yesicannurseryschool.com/ - this is where Lauren is going to camp in summer 2012
Zareinu - http://zareinu.org/
Aside from nursery school, Lauren's PT, OT, ST and music therapy bills have started to add up. At $125/hour and with only $500 work insurance coverage per specialty, we were paying out of pocket and soon running a huge whole in our pocket. A few workarounds to this we discovered:
- If you are joining the sessions, see if the therapist can write the receipt billed to your name as "parent training". Since often we are being trained on the technique and exercises to do with Lauren at home, this has allowed us to claim $500 under each parent for each specialty as well.
- Hire a student to carry out some of therapy sessions. I've hired recently an OT student from the University of Toronto who works with Lauren 1/week at a fraction of the rate of a licensed OT. I simply had the student shadow the OT a few times and then he carried out the sessions on his own with Lauren. Every few weeks, I have the OT shadow the student to do a check-in and suggest changes to programming. To hire a student, I posted at local universities and colleges. Often I'll contact the Head of a Department and simply ask what the best way to hire a student in their program for some assistance with my daughter. I've posted for Speech Therapy students, OT students and Early Childhood Educator students.
We do some of therapy through Blue Balloon - http://www.blue-balloon.com/ . Lauren did MEDEK for her physiotherapy and we went through an independent PT that I found on a list of private therapists that Lauren's Early Interventionist had sent to me. I simply started calling down the list, and didn't have to go to far when Bernie Connor picked up the phone.
For Speech, I went to https://www.osla.on.ca/en/childirectory and simply started sending emails to each and every thearpist on the list who lived closed to our home.