Special needs

Children with special needs need support in Vernon. Larger cities have places to go for support, and often these places offer support to both the child and the parent.

My child has special needs and received support from the North Okanagan Neurological Association, but once children turn school age, they are no longer eligible for NONA's services because the school district is supposed to support them.

The school district does what it can with the amount of money it has to work with. That said, my child gets a very small amount of therapy via the Vernon School District. The therapists are extremely over-loaded with students they must divide their time amongst. This results in very little time spent with each child; therefore, it can't be considered quality therapy that can make a significant difference. Also, the child's family is not involved in the therapy sessions received at school, further limiting the therapy benefits. Common sense says that if parents can practise at home with their child, the learning outcomes will be greatly increased.

As for the lack of parental support, this  leaves parents struggling to learn on their own and that itself is a full-time job. Parents turn to books, Google, blogs, etc. trying to figure out what might work with their child's issues. Sometimes that's a big waste of time because you don't always find the information you're looking for. It would take a huge load off of our shoulders if we could have access to the professionals who are educated and trained to help children with special needs. Everyone thinks the government takes good care of children with special needs by providing support. This is not the case, especially in a smaller community like Vernon.

Darlene Ludwig



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