Special Needs Strategy Update

February News: Update #2

For Release: February 13, 2015

Lanark Leeds & Grenville Special Needs Strategy Proposal Development Table

Hello Community of Lanark Leeds and Grenville,

Our “Table” of service providers and now parents is clear on its goal to improve special needs services for children in our region as part of the Ontario Special Needs Strategy http://specialneedsstrategy.children.gov.on.ca. (The Strategy is described in more detail in Update #1). Success in this task means listening to parents and providers at all stages as we propose changes in the local system to make it more accessible, coordinated and focused on meeting the needs of families. What’s new this month?

We are in the midst of fruitful discussions examining successful strategies — local and from elsewhere in the province — to improve the coordination of special needs services. We have also established a Speech and Language Working Group to look at making those services work better for families.

But, our biggest news this month is welcoming three parents to our planning table. Our application process for this role attracted many interested parents. After a careful process to get a good mix of geography and other characteristics, we are delighted to welcome to the Table:

> Andrea Brett of McDonalds Corners (North Lanark) > Jessica Champlin of Elgin (North Leeds) > Nancy McNamara of Brockville

How can I share my thoughts on improving the system?

We need your ideas, whether you are a parent or a service provider. Our first question is for families: What is working well now for you and your family in regard to special needs services? What do you think is working well in our system that we should not change? Please go to our online answer space http://everykid.on.ca/working-family-special-services/ and provide your answer. Please spread the work to other families by sending them this update. By the end of February, we will have posted more survey questions. In March we will start a series of meetings — the times and locations will also be posted on the website.

How can I stay up to date?

If you would like to receive future updates like this, please ask Pam Fergusson, our table administrator at llgspecialneedsstrategy@gmail.com to add you to our mailing list. Also tell us if you would like to be invited to focus groups and/or alerted when more questions are posted in our on-line survey.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Table Co-chairs

Margaret van Beers, Director, Child Development Centre, Hotel Dieu Hospital

Paula Perrault, Principal of Special Education,

Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario

Gillian Jackson, Manager, Children’s Services Developmental Services of Leeds & Grenville

Donna Davidson, Director, Lanark Community Programs, Lanark Renfrew Health & Community Services


Don’t Wait and See

from phone 183

Don’t Wait and See!

Is your child ready for Kindergarten?  It is very important that your child be able to speak clearly and ask questions, listen and follow instructions, and play appropriately with other children. 10-12% of preschool children have speech and language difficulties that will make it hard for them to succeed in school and in life.

Take a moment to think about your child’s speech and language skills:

Can your 4 year old:

Follow instructions with three or more steps? e.g. “First get your crayons and paper, then draw a picture and then give it to Grandma.”?

 Use adult-type grammar?

 Tell stories with a clear beginning, middle and end?

 Talk to try to solve problems with adults and other children?

 Be understood by strangers almost all of the time?

 Make up simple rhymes e.g. Cat – Bat?

 Match some letters with their sounds e.g. letter T says “tuh”?

 Start a conversation and keep it going on the same topic for at least three turns?


If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language skills or are interested in how your child is doing, call the Language Express Preschool Speech System at 1-888-503-8885. A speech-language assessment can identify your child’s strengths and needs and can help you prepare your child for school.

For more information, check out our website: www.language-express.ca

Networking Day – Municipal Drug Strategy

MDS Pillars
The Lanark County and Town of Smiths Falls
Municipal Drug Strategy Committee invites you to attend our
Nineteenth Network Day


Confirmed Presenters: Lanark County OPP; Smiths Falls Police; Crime Stoppers; RNJ Youth Services; Upper Canada District School Board and Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario

Friday February 27th 2015

8:30 a.m. Registration and Refreshments
Program 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Light Lunch included)
Beckwith Township Hall
1702 – 9th Line Beckwith
(White Municipal Building, corner 9th Line and Hwy #15 at Blacks Corners)

This program will involve the Enforcement Pillar

This education day is open to new and existing members – all youth, adults, Municipal Leaders, educators, service providers, enforcement officers, media and businesses concerned about substance abuse issues in our communities and. Please pass this invitation to anyone who may be concerned and interested.
Light lunch provided.

Cost is $10 (if able) – Registration is required by February 20th 2015
Please make your cheque payable to Township of Beckwith
Mail to Paula Davio, LGL Health Unit, 25 Johnston St., Smiths Falls ON K7A 0A4
Register at this link http://mdsnetworkday.eventbrite.com
Contact paula.davio@healthunit.org or 613-283-2740