Children’s Treatment Centre Foundation of Chatham-Kent, Ontario

GoodLife Kids Foundation is supporting the Adapted Swim Program at the Children’s Treatment Centre of Chatham-Kent. The Centre offers a full range of services for families with children who have physical, developmental or communication challenges. Services range from physiotherapy, audiology, and speech therapy to social and recreational programming. The Adapted Swim Program allows children to participate in leisure activities while still working toward therapy goals such as low-impact strength building. Children at the Treatment Centre learn pool safety and basic swimming skills with the support of Adapted Recreation therapists. Swimmers also have year-round access to the Centre’s hydrotherapy pool where they can continue to enjoy physical activity in the water once their lessons come to an end. Funds from GoodLife Kids Foundation will go towards specialized staffing and a variety of toys and equipment to keep participants engaged and having fun in the pool. 

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The Confidence to Try #FEELGOODFRIDAY Lukas is a 10-year-old Raptors fan who plays basketball with his local chapter of Special Olympics, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was afraid to join a team. Lukas is an outgoing kid who likes to make friends and has always been very active. But his early experiences in organized physical activity were not positive. One of his biggest challenges with autism is struggling to follow directions in large groups. He was often told he was doing things wrong and even that he would embarrass the team. “These negative comments deflated his confidence, and he became afraid to try new things,” explained his mom Lisa. When he was eight, Lukas took part in the Sports of All Sorts program at the Geneva Centre for Autism. The supportive environment in the Sports of All Sorts program, funded by a GoodLife Kids grant, was a real game-changer for him. Constant encouragement and positive reinforcement gave Lukas a safe space to explore new activities without a fear of being judged. With one-on-one support he played basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf. “We’re so glad to make physical activity a regular part of Lukas’ life and we’ve found ways for him to continue practicing at home,” said Lisa. “We bought a tennis net for the backyard, and now that he’s not afraid, he loves to go to glow-in-the-dark mini-putt with his dad!” As Lukas turned around on the basketball court to wave to his mom, he gave her two big thumbs up and her eyes welled up with tears of joy. “Watching him enjoy himself, I’m overwhelmed with happiness and pride,” she shared. “He has talents! But most of all, he has regained a belief in himself – that he CAN do it – and that is so powerful.”

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