Message from the Executive Director old
A Message from New Haven Learning Centre’s Executive Director
March 31, 2020
COVID-19 is changing everything about life and work as we know it. We’re all focused on how to best protect and support our clients, students, families, employees, and communities in the face of this unfolding crisis. On behalf of all New Haven Learning Centre employees and Board of Directors, I want to let you know that our thoughts are with those who are affected and with those self-sacrificing on the front line of emergency services across the world.
New Haven’s vision remains focused on positively changing the lives of individuals with ASD, and related disorders, by helping them to overcome barriers and integrate further into their communities. We fulfill this vision with grounding in the science of Applied Behaviour Analysis and a target of improving the quality of our client’s lives.
There is little doubt that creativity, productivity, and the use of modern technology as allowed us to provide a continuity of care during such unsettling times. Working remotely to build a better future for our clients has challenged each of us to see learning opportunities in a new manner.
All of us at New Haven are focused on enabling our clients and students to be successful while limited to the physical boundaries of their home environment during this challenging time. We also know that at times like this, our clients might need us more than ever. There is no denying the impact that COVID-19 will have on Canadians’ lives will be significant, so we have chosen to remain committed to your needs as best we can throughout this period of global change.
Here are a few things we are doing to accomplish this goal:
Ensuring continuity of service
We recognize the critical role our treatment and educational programming plays in your child’s success. I’d like to assure you that our clinical team, at all levels, remains diligently working on daily program planning, parent training and educational interventions; unified fin a single focus of continuity of care. This ensures our ability to continue to deliver our support services, educational solutions and serve your needs.
Making it easier than ever to learn with us using new methods of support
We have immediately implementing a number of customer-friendly service changes intended to provide continued access to our evidence-based interventions and reduce the implications of service interruption.
• Students, clients, and their families have been supported to download the free Zoom meeting virtual platform needed to provide TeleHealth ABA services
• We are making our resources accessible to families to use in their own homes. We hope the ability to create and share documents will help our service users see they are not alonein building a home program for their children.
• Given the urgent need for some families to get daily support, we are working to ensure all families have access to meaningful interactions with their service team. We are providing greater access and flexibility with web- based TeleHealth on the specific needs of our clients, students, and their families.
• We have reached out to government representatives in an effort to ensure they know the importance of a continuity of care and a focus on better and brighter futures which include a commitment to our clients and our employees while responding to State of Emergency and recommended restrictions on physical proximity.
• We are empowering our parents and caregivers to recognize their own strengths in working with their children and in making learning an enjoyable and shared experience.
Focus on the health and safety of all community members
New Haven Learning Centre is here to support you during these unprecedented times. Our staff, at all levels, remain available for any questions or concerns you have and are focused on supporting you through this period until we can safely return to building our centre-based services once more. Please know that we are here to support you – now and in the future. I am grateful for so many of the calls I have shared with family members and for the extraordinary stories our staff share of learning success shared in our daily staff meeting and clinical programming and supervision sessions.
Our commitment is to keep the lines of communication open as we continue to assess this evolving situation. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to stay informed, follow the advice of health care and government officials, and stay safe and healthy. Please also follow our social media links and frequently check for news resource recommendations and motivating stories via our email shares.
Above all, stay safe and healthy,
Sandra Hughes, M.Ed., BCBA
A Message from New Haven Learning Centre’s Executive Director
MARCH 26, 2020
In recent days, we have all become familiar with the frequently referenced concepts of ‘social distancing’, ‘self-isolation’ and ‘flattening the curve’ – all part of our individual and collective efforts to slow and limit the spread of COVID-19. New Haven has had to move thoughtfully to plan a series of extraordinary measures to put these concepts into practice and respond appropriately to government and medical official updates. We have been guided in this effort by the advice of local, provincial and national public health authorities as our leading information and data partners as we make decisions.
Our goal remains centred on trying to do our utmost to protect the health and safety of our community and the extended residents of Ontario, and to creatively pivot in order to support our students and clients in a new format, and to continue to support the critical actions that focus on reducing the impact of COVID-19.
As a gold-standard evidence-based treatment and education centre for individuals with autism and related disorders in Ontario, we are focused on supporting our clients and students grow their potential and ultimately change lives while respecting that an unprecedented disruption to service was required. At this time, our service model has adapted to a TeleHealth model, which is effective and both a creative and safe means of supporting our community. We are transitioning many of our services to alternative means of delivery, making innovative use of online technologies and other ingenious strategies to carry-on with our teaching and learning activities that are so important to each individual client.
As we explore this, we ask for your patience in the coming weeks. We have enabled most of our staff to prepare for alternate intervention options through vital work from home during the requested social distancing. We look at all risks associated to a return to work, in any format, and ask that you work with us as we align with the safest and most constructive next steps in return to our valued services.
None of these decisions were taken lightly, and each has presented significant implementation challenges for us as a non-profit charitable organization. Incredibly, our staffing community are rising to these unprecedented challenges with creativity, commitment, and goodwill. I want to whole-heartedly thank all members of our community across our two campuses for their co-operation and support in all of our efforts. We remain a strong and dedicated body of service providers that will no doubt go to incredible lengths to support our students and their families in the coming weeks.
We will be reaching out directly to ALL families as we work steadily and effectively, under enormous pressure, to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We will also be sharing resources that appear to be supportive to current home isolation. We know this is not easy and we are there to listen and to plan with you how to make the most of possible schedules, structure, and planning as we abide by the request to physically remain separated, and embrace new means of connecting with one another.
I will also be reaching out to all of you myself, as I receive further information from government services for Ontario Autism Program (OAP) funded services and privately funded families are challenged to find the resources to maintain services and tuition payments. We will be working together to plan for each individual circumstance and our ability to maintain our services and the required funds to maintain our exceptionally qualified staff.
The coming days and weeks will no doubt bring further challenges, calling on all of us to be adaptable, creative and understanding. But I am confident that New Haven will be resilient in its commitment to future success for our clients.
Wishing you all safety and good health, as we move confidently forward. We commit to communicate with you regularly, as developments require. In the meantime, please visit the website often and our social media links for up-to-date, detailed information.
Sandra Hughes, M.Ed., BCBA