I have spoken with the YMCA Early Years Centre in Pickering, and we will be having our first "setup meeting" on Wednesday April 14th. This meeting will be between the manager, myself and Hunter's EI consultant Jenn. At this meeting, we are hoping to talk about the direction we want this play group to go, the frequency of the meets, and everything else that a special needs playgroup should have. I can't wait for this to become a reality. It's certainly been a long time in the making, but it was not for lack of wanting to do it. The centre has been extremely busy since last November, and I only got a call back last week. I will keep everyone posted on when the group will officially open!
On that note, I received a guestbook note a little while back from Anne Tsimelkas of Oshawa. Anne - if you are out there, I saw that you are interested in joining the play group! I don't have any contact information for you so, I am hoping you are reading these posts still, and you can email me if you are still interested in coming once the group is ready - coincidentally the day we have our meeting, you will be celebrating Taylor-Rose's 1st birthday, which is what made me think of you both!
"I am very excited to have stumbled upon your website. I am the proud mother of a beautiful "chromosomally enhanced" baby girl named Taylor-Rose. We were not aware that Taylor-Rose had Down Syndrome until she was born. Although we were shocked,scared and unaware of what DS was, we loved our little bunny boo sooo much:) Taylor-Rose will be 1 year old on April 14th...this has been the best year of my life:) I really loved your analogy, Welcome to our house,and really look forward to being a part of a playgroup."
And to everyone else interested in joining the playgroup - I will have more specific details after our meeting, but primarily the focus of the group is for children with special needs (we originally were going to have a group for children with Down syndrome, but we realized that we would likely get a larger group if we opened it for any child with special needs). We are hoping to be able to provide a place to meet, talk, play and get additional help/info from the O.A.I.C.D. team (Ontario Association for Infant and Child Development) on an as needed/scheduled basis. The group will be free, as the space and facility is provided by the YMCA, and myself and Jennifer will be volunteering our personal time to ensure the group runs successfully.
Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to join or would like further information.