Connor – Member
What would we do without our YMCA?
We have been a part of the YMCA “family” for over 6 years now.
We moved to Innisfil six years ago and did not know anyone in the area. Connor was six at the time and had a whole summer of new friends and neighbours to meet. It was overwhelming! We signed him up for a couple of days a week in the YMCA childcare and we have not looked back since. Connor found new friends very quickly and couple of them even lived on our new street! Mom was able to find new friends very quickly too, and because of the YMCA we soon began to feel as a part of the community. We continued with the childcare, signed up for swimming lessons, the gym…
The year we moved to Innisfil, our second son was born. When he was two he was diagnosed with autism. This was a very difficult time for the entire family. Things were not easy at all and were not getting any easier either. We started to feel very isolated and judged. As any parent with an autistic child knows it is very hard going anywhere with a child who cannot manage the sensory overload of the world around them and has tantrums that are hard to manage. But YMCA came through for us again.
Adam joined YMCA daycare early on and got the most amazing care we could have ever hoped for. Slowly we added Kids Gym, swimming lessons and other programs and every single one of them was a great experience for us all. Every staff member went out of their way to make things easier and manageable.
Fast forward to year 2012 when our family welcomed a new member – a Lions Foundation Canada Dog Guide. Totem, Adam’s service dog has made a huge difference to Adam’s and our lives. Adam is able to manage the everyday world so much better now. But with the excitement of Adam improving so rapidly, new worries emerged for us. We knew that the Ontario Accessibility Act meant that Totem is allowed to go everywhere with Adam, but we worried about how people would accept the two of them coming in for programs, childcare, etc. We were VERY pleasantly surprised at how welcoming all of the YMCA staff and members are to not only people but service animals as well!
Currently, YMCA is part of our lives every day of the year! Adam is part of the before and after school care at YMCA and is doing fantastic! All of the staff take an AMAZING care of not only Adam, but Totem as well. Both Connor and Adam are part of other programs such as swimming lessons, family swims, weekend programs and summer camps. And while the boys are all busy having fun, mom and dad take advantage of all the other facilities – alone… and enjoy some valuable personal time.
YMCA has been a part of our lives for six years now and we don’t know what we would do without it! The staff has been amazing, caring, understanding, and welcoming! We thank you ALL – staff and members, for making our lives so much better!