The Saturday Children’s Learning Program

The Cause

The Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre (DDRC) is seeking this grant to launch the Saturday Children’s Learning Program with the objective of helping youth with autism, Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities improve their day-to-day lives.  The Field Law Community Fund would provide much needed seed money to establish this necessary program.   Many children who have developmental disabilities require assistance, and their families lack the resources or networks to provide the best opportunities for these children.  A second, but equally important benefit of the program is the opportunity for the parents and families of these young people to develop an organic support network of people facing the same challenges.  Parents can also use the respite time afforded to them by the Saturday Children’s Learning Program to attend appointments or take care of other family business, reducing stress in the home and improving family mental health.

As children with developmental disabilities are an at risk youth population, the DDRC feels that this grant will allow our organization to begin bridging the gap between transitioning from youth to adult. Currently, youth with developmental disabilities do not have the continuous reinforcement of basic skills that allow for them to transition easily into adult life. Providing a resource for these basic skills to be further developed, allows for these vulnerable youth to have more independent futures. The overall goal of this program is to begin building these basic skills at an early age.

Who Will it Benefit?

This program will benefit youth ages 2 to 14 who have a developmental disability. A developmental disability is a permanent disability, present before age 18, that causes challenges with day-to-day living. A developmental disability may be mental, physical, or a combination of the two. People with developmental disabilities experience difficulty with things like personal care, language skills, learning, and independent living, and the difficulties may be mild or severe.

The program will be open to residents of all quadrants of the City of Calgary and surrounding area who have children with developmental disabilities. Also the program will focus on building stronger relationships amongst youth with developmental disabilities, their parents and their siblings.