For years, kids with special needs and children with learning disabilities were forced into the shadows and in a relatively close-knit community like CSL, it was taboo to talk about these issues. In this day and age however, more and more families are dealing with issues such as ADHD, ADD, Aspergers and the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“While the City is neither a health care institution nor a replacement for a health care professional, it could serve a role in providing activities or a friendly social environment for some kids who sometimes may feel isolated, particularly for adolescents and teenagers,” said Robert Libman this week who is running for Mayor of Cote Saint-Luc. He announced that he would set up a pilot program to build trust, organize activities and even some counselling on improving social skills. Kids will also be encouraged to volunteer for the City.
“This could take the form of putting on plays, discussions about dating, even teaching kids to ride a bike in a safe environment like grassed areas in the park, arts and crafts, music, sports, etc. “, he said. Instilling a sense of independence and confidence is critical and many parents are often concerned about how their kids will fit in, within a locker room, or other competitive environments.
Initiatives could also take the form of mainstreaming special needs kids into existing City programs, whether acting classes, painting or modified sports activities that are tweaked to adapt to kids with needs. Meetings among parents dealing with similar issues, is also an option.
– 30 –