Exploring Independent Living Resources for Special Needs Kids

Family sitting on the grass

Every parent knows that all children are born with varying degrees of ability, and by the time they’ve reached adulthood they have usually adapted to the world around them. What, though, if your child has additional challenges or delays which are of a physical, intellectual, social, emotional, language or behavioural nature? What then?

When the time comes for your child to make the transition to adulthood and go from living at home with you to living independently it can cause some anxiety. Many questions will arise such as, “Where will they go and how will they cope with…?” and, “How will they manage without my guidance?”

Knowing exactly what resources are available to assist both you and your adult child during this phase of transition can be reassuring. Throughout the coming issues, we will be exploring the different avenues that are available to assist those parents who are trying to navigate this new and challenging territory.

A big consideration for many parents is the realization that once their young adult child has left home and is living on their own, they will likely be utilizing adult services which means they have become the client and are then responsible for making their own decisions. Community Living can help.

Community Living Ontario is a province-wide network offering a variety of opportunities and support for families. A non-profit provincial confederation with over 12,000 members across Ontario, they not only work with families but with schools, employers and the community advocating for the rights of people who have an intellectual disability.

Supported Independent Living (S.I.L.) is a program for adults with an intellectual disability who require minimal and individualized support. The service is available to qualifying adults over the age of 18 and is tailored to the individuals’ unique needs. Living accommodations in a Community Home environment, or alternatively, personalized support for people living on their own are both available through Community Living.

From Peterborough to Haliburton and from Campbellford to Fenelon Falls, Community Living provides a network of support with a goal of creating inclusive communities.

In addition, throughout Peterborough County, Northumberland County, Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes there is also an opportunity for adults to connect with Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) which provides information about community services and resources as well as assisting you in connecting with additional support from the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Here at Cottage Country Connection magazine, we have a passion for attempting to make a difference in the lives of kids and young adults with special needs. Many of our valued clients and readers will be sharing their stories and advice with us in upcoming issues and we would like to continue this dialogue to include many others as well.

Whether you are a professional with information that could help, or you are a parent, relative, or caregiver with advice which you would be willing to share with our readers, please contact me at connectionmoira@gmail.com We’d love to share your story!

By Moira Gale

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