When Isaac struggled with his hand-eye co-ordination at age one, Five Counties staff were there to help him develop those skills. When his hearing challenges delayed him from learning how to speak, they supported him in learning his colours and shapes.
Isaac was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, but his mother believes there is more affecting him. He ‘graduated’ from Five Counties’ services when he started school, like many children do.
Shortly afterwards, he began taking prescribed medication to help him stay calm and focused. He is happiest when he is active – playing lacrosse or running.
Now, without these services, the 7-year-old is struggling. His mother Mara desperately awaits the chance to get him off the waiting list for speech therapy. “I had such positive experiences with Five Counties; I want that again,” Mara says. “He’s at a standstill at school since the teachers can only do so much.”
Isaac is acutely aware that he is two grade levels behind his classmates at reading, grammar and sentence formation. “His teachers are doing everything possible,” Mara says. “He could excel even further if he had more support. They cannot give him the one-on-one attention that he needs.”
Five Counties offers services and treatment to more than 4,000 children each year, including more than 1,200 in Northumberland County alone. However, the demand for services outstrips the government funding available, so children like Isaac wait, falling ever further behind.
Isaac was provided with a sensory pillow and a squishy ball by Five Counties staff to absorb his restless energy. However, he needs help to develop the specific skills he needs to get him on the path to succeed at his schoolwork, which will help to boost his confidence.
“We are all thinking of our family, friends and communities during what is a worrying and difficult time. We believe the generosity of spirit shown in our communities will be what helps us get through this current crisis together. While our sites are closed, be assured that we are continuing to do all we can to address the immediate needs of our clients like Isaac,” shared Lyn Giles, Director of Fund Development.
“For years our communities have supported our kids and their families to get the treatment they need. We know that virtual care and telephone consultation is not a temporary solution for supporting families during this emergency closure. At Five Counties, services on-line and by phone will be our new normal and will continue to be the backbone of our service delivery model for several months as we gradually re-open our sites.”
“Staff at Five Counties see what I’m going through and do their best with suggestions or behaviour modification,” Mara says. She particularly enjoyed a course on dealing with a “spirited child,” leaving feeling validated that she was a good parent doing all she could for her only child. Meanwhile, she knows that getting professional services will do more. She says “When he has that support, he thrives.”
To find out more about Five Counties Children’s Centre visit www.fivecounties.on.ca