In the past week FIVE toddlers have been referred to our KickStart program. It is wonderful to see toddlers being referred so young, however, with our charity funding the $4,000 per child, we need help to make sure no child has to wait. Early intervention is critical.
We had been seeing children within 4 to 6 weeks of referral but it's been increasing and is now 10 to 12 weeks. Unless we can raise more funds, the times will increase even further. Currently we fund 3 children per month.
Did you know our program is changing the trajectory of the child's development? That there is no program like it being offered in our region and, in fact, we get calls from as far away as Toronto and even Nova Scotia?
It's so important to reach the children right away.
As with many who become involved, I am touched by autism, both my grandsons are on the autism spectrum. My eldest grandson missed out on critical early intervention due to the long wait-times. I didn’t want other children to miss out and so began our charity.
We are a grassroots charity.
All our programs and services are funded through our donors and fundraisers so there is no cost to the families. We don’t receive any government funding and I donate all my time to operate our charity so more funding goes to the children and their families.
We are especially proud of our innovative and life-changing program called KickStart, however we offer much more.
Here’s what our charity was able to accomplish last year thanks to our generous supporters!
- We funded 36 toddlers in our leading edge KickStart program at $4,000 per child ($144,000) all at no cost to the family
- We funded 36 diagnostic assessments shortening wait-times for services by upwards of 18 months ($21,600)
- We funded 30 parents for a one or two night respite stays at local hotels, including childcare funding for while they were away ($12,000)
- We hold free workshops for parents (we’ll be offering two this year)
- We held our Sensory Santa in six local malls providing an opportunity for children on the spectrum to see Santa, many for the first time (350 children saw Santa)
- We held our National autism awareness event, Autism on the Hill, on Parliament Hill with a record number of self-advocates, MP’s, Senators and 500+ families and professionals showing their support of people with autism. With awareness comes understanding and acceptance.
Note from a family whose children did our KickStart program:
We are a family in Ottawa who have 2 boys under the age of four with ASD. They were fortunate enough to be able to go through QuickStart's Kickstart Program which has made a huge positive impact on all of our lives.
Early intervention is so important, and as many parents of children with ASD know, there aren't very many options out there. Most options include an incredibly long wait list, or the parents have to pay for private therapy which would cost thousands of dollars.
Within 2 months of diagnosing both of our sons with ASD, QuickStart had them in an early intervention program called KickStart that included Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and a Parent Coach. This was at absolutely no cost to us and it provided our children with therapy that has helped them to learn new skills and has taught us to follow through on the therapy at home through parent coaching. There isn't anything out there like this. My youngest son, who is 20 months old, was not speaking at all when he started the program, within 3 months, he now has more than 25 words and is starting to put 2 words together. The parent coach also gave me the tools to prepare my eldest son for JK in September. We continue to implement socialization and imagination skills that we were coached on during the Kickstart program.
We are incredibly grateful to QuickStart and to the people that support this amazing early intervention program. We cannot express in words how much this has changed our lives! Thank you!
Catherine & Derek
Would you help by holding a fundraiser through your workplace, your church, sporting event or simply donating what you can today? Every donation makes a difference.
Change a child's life - please donate now!
Thank you for making a difference for the children and their families!