Message from the CEO

July marks a time of transition for many of us, as the school year ends and we move into summer, enjoying longer days and warmer weather. This summer, I look forward to spending time with my own family, as well meeting some of yours at Grandview Camp and Park Playdates.

At Grandview, this time of year brings reflection on the year passed. Every June, we host our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and release our Annual Report, showcasing achievements from our last fiscal year. I encourage you to check out our 2022-23 Year in Review, highlighting stories and initiatives that have been delivered for you or with you across program areas.

We transformed the client and family experience in many ways in 2022-23. We welcomed more clients back to in-person appointments with rigorous safety protocols in place, closely aligned to Public Health COVID-19 parameters. We continued to amplify client and caregiver voices to drive program improvements and innovations, creating new ways to gather feedback from our most important partners in case. We leveraged new technologies to streamline client-facing processes. And we continued to ensure that families receive evidence-based, wraparound care throughout their journey.

Getting to lead this incredible organization over the last six months has been a truly rewarding experience. From day one, I received a warm welcome, learning quickly about Grandview Kids and who we serve, thanks to a thorough orientation with the Board of Trustees and leadership team, and a seamless hand-off with former CEO Lorraine Sunstrum-Mann. Now, half a year later, I don’t feel “new” anymore, but that same warm welcome still exists across the organization.

It's been amazing to see how everyone in this community has either a connection to or appreciation for Grandview Kids and wants to see us thrive. Many other organizations are keen to partner with us to continue improving our local service offerings. I am so impressed with the work of our Family Engagement Team and Family Leader Program, and I look forward to elevating the voices of more clients and caregivers through the strategic planning process in the year ahead.

Like always, thank you for reading this newsletter. We are committed to improving each issue, delivering content that you want, and creating ways to hear directly from you on other topics you care about. Keep letting us know what matters most to you!

Wishing you all a lovely summer.


Tom McHugh

CEO, Grandview Kids 

Caregiver talk: Summer Self-care Bucket List Challenge

Written by Grandview Kids Peer Navigator Jacki N.

For the past few summers, I have sat down with my four children and created a Summer Bucket List. We brainstorm 15 items that we want to do in the summer, then construct our list as a family. Going to a splash pad, hosting a family baseball game, and visiting an ice cream truck always seem to make the chart. Each year, we check off most of the list, and I can prioritize what is important to my kids over the summer.

But, I was thinking I may put a spin on it this year...

Self-care is essential. When you fill your own bucket, you are a better parent and caregiver. That is why, this summer, I have decided to create my own Self-Care Bucket List (and don’t worry, my children are still getting their Bucket list). I am going to challenge other Grandview parents and caregivers to do the same thing.

By thinking about my wants, priorities and dreams, I am practicing self-care. Self-care replenishes our energy, focus and positivity; it ensures our needs are being met. So often we get caught up in the important role of taking care of others, that we forget about ourselves.

Let’s see how you can commit to better self-care this summer >

Client Talk

July is Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month, which focuses on raising awareness about cleft lip and palate. Cleft lip is a condition characterized by an opening in the upper lip. It occurs as early as the first three months of pregnancy and can cause problems with speech, hearing and social development. Grandview Kid Charlie was born with a cleft lip and underwent a successful cleft palate repair surgery early in life; his story allows us to learn more about cleft lip and how it is treated.

Read more >

Family Leader Program

The Family Leader Program at Grandview Kids comprises parents, caregivers, clients and siblings who support Grandview Kids as our advocates, ambassadors and advisors. The Family Leader Program, supported by staff from our Family Engagement Team, includes many forums for families, caregivers and clients to get involved to make a difference for others in their community who access Grandview Kids programs and services.

One key group within our Family Leader Program is our Family Advisory Council (FAC). Grandview Kids’ FAC is made up of parents or caregivers to Grandview Kids. These dedicated and passionate volunteers provide advice and guidance from a client and family perspective to improve the planning and delivery of programs and services at the Centre and across the broader paediatric health system.

Members of the 2022-23 FAC included: Jennifer Cantwell, Shona Casola, Allyson Eamer, Seana Haley, Beth McBarnett, Sam Micieli, Colin Mills, Claudia Nossier, Debbie Smith, Lindsey Stevens, Krista Ormsby and Taju Punnoose.

The FAC meets quarterly to discuss topics or problems that all families may encounter, regardless of their child’s age or diagnosis. The group pulls from their lived experiences to provide recommendations to Grandview Kids, participating in the design and decision-making processes for programs and services at the Centre.

In 2022-23, the FAC responded to four strategic focus questions:

  1. How might we increase family voice and participation from a broader group of clients and caregivers?
  2. How might we ensure technical and digital resources at Grandview Kids meet the needs of parents and caregivers?
  3. What aspects of Grandview Kids make it a ‘Centre of Excellence’ and how can these activities be developed to their full potential?
  4. How might we broaden the network of Grandview Kids to form meaningful partnerships within and beyond Durham Region?

Through feedback received in these meetings, the following improvements were made at Grandview Kids:

  • Integrating a new quarterly touchpoint, called The Buzz, where current or “hot topic” issues – outside of designated meeting focus questions – could be shared anonymously by FAC members with Grandview Kids’ senior leadership team, who respond with concrete next steps or anticipated action items within two weeks.
  • Caregiver focus group established to provide feedback on School-Based Rehabilitation Services (SBRS), with recommendations embedded in program changes coming Fall 2023.
  • Introduction of the Gather client and family monthly newsletter, adding new way for our most important partners to stay informed and provide feedback.
  • Process for scheduling reminders updated to include videoconferencing information in more accessible way. Other recommendations were embedded into the organization’s emerging Technology Strategy.
  • Implementation of new, quarterly Caregiver Experience Evaluation to more consistently collect insights from clients and families, in response to FAC feedback that “not all voices are being heard.”
  • Expansion of caregiver events across Durham Region planned for Summer 2023, helping Grandview Kids reach more families in our catchment area.
  • Developing compensation framework for paid family advisors/volunteers as part of new “Family Advocate” role.
  • Support in defining “Centre of Excellence,” capturing what clients and caregivers think Grandview Kids already does well.
  • Initiation of process review for client/caregiver compliments and complaints, with a focus on transparency and clear communication.
  • Identification of future-state partnership opportunities.
  • Creation of secure, electronic referrals for caregivers and youth clients, citing feedback that most people access information on their mobile phones, and our former process was not mobile-friendly.

Grandview Kids remains committed to moving our engagement approach from consultation to empowerment, where clients and caregivers participate and drive decision-making for the organization. The FAC makes this possible. We especially look forward to working with the FAC in 2023-24 as we embark on a new Strategic Plan.

From the Grandview Kids archives

This year, Grandview Kids celebrates its 70th anniversary. After seven decades, much has changed, but much has stayed the same. We have grown in size and scale, but we have not waivered in our family-centred approach, and understanding of the value of partnerships and community.

In this video, you’ll see how we have continued to evolve, while remaining rooted in our values, throughout our rich and meaningful history. Keep an eye out for more "From the Archives" content on social media and at our offices as we celebrate this milestone event.

Do you have photos, stories or other artifacts from Grandview Kids over the years? We would love to include it in our growing archives collection. Please email with the subject line “Archives” if you have items or stories to share.

Celebrating Team Grandview

Power of One Award

This award recipient is recognized for going above and beyond, helping children and youth and their families achieve their personal best. This nomination is very special, as it comes directly from clients and caregivers for a member of Team Grandview.

This year’s recipient is Karen J., Speech-Language Therapist Assistant.

Karen joined Grandview as a Speech-Language Therapy Assistant in 2003. She has been a strong champion for the caregivers’ role in therapy, celebrates successes with her families, and has an unbelievable skill to empower parents. She is eager to share her passion and skills with her peers.

Making a Difference Award

The Making a Difference Award is for Grandview Kids staff, nominated by other staff. Award recipients are those who: exemplify the Grandview Kids values; demonstrate a commitment to our organizational vision and mission; champion and envision change for the betterment of Grandview Kids staff, clients and caregivers; and are known for excellence in their work, often going above and beyond what is required to drive change and innovation.

This year’s award recipient is Venus D., 

Team Assistant.

Community Corner

Our friends at the Ajax Public Library have issued a new series of recommendations geared towards Grandview Kids children, youth, parents and caregivers! With engaging and relevant books remaining at the core of their recommended resources, they also recommend toys, audiobooks and more. Check out the recommendations below.

Child and youth recommendations >

Parent and Caregiver recommendations >

Program spotlight: Audiology

Hearing plays a crucial role in a child’s ability to communicate, as well as their overall development. Audiology involves testing a child’s hearing, monitoring any middle ear problems, as well as prescribing hearing aids and other listening devices.

Using the advanced equipment at Grandview Kids, our Registered Audiologist is able to assess the hearing of even the youngest infants. Audiology services are provided by a registered audiologist and offered at Grandview Kids’ Main Site in Oshawa.

Our assessments and follow-up care are individualized and geared to a child’s age and developmental abilities. This may include:

  • Testing to determine if your child’s hearing is within normal limits or if a hearing loss is present.
  • Objective middle ear impedance testing to assess if fluid or excessive wax could be interfering with your child’s hearing.
  • Objective Otoacoustic Emissions testing to assess cochlear function and to provide further information regarding hearing status. 
  • If permanent hearing loss is present, a hearing aid evaluation, prescription and verification of hearing aids is performed for children over the age of six. For children under the age of six, a referral to the Infant Hearing Program may be conducted.
  • Support through ongoing monitoring of your child’s hearing.

Those who may be eligible for Audiology services include children ages seven months to 18 years old who may be at risk for or identified with a hearing impairment and/or disorder, or who may benefit from an Audiology assessment to determine whether a hearing impairment is a leading cause for the identified developmental concern (i.e., speech and language delay).

The child is not required to be an existing client of Grandview Kids in order to access our audiology services. A medical referral is also not required. For more information, please visit

Project spotlight: Annual Report

An annual report is a comprehensive report detailing a company’s activities throughout the preceding year. Its purpose is to provide information about the company’s operations and financial performance, which may be of interest to various stakeholders. In our case, this includes clients, caregivers, staff, Board members, government officials, donors, community partners and more.

Grandview Kids produces an annual report every year, which includes a summary of achievements and our audited financial statement. We typically refer to our annual report as our “Year in Review.” The report profiles various teams, programs and areas within Grandview Kids, using data assembled by our Quality and Finance teams. Our Communications team packages the data, images, graphics and stories into a final report, which is released to the community.

Our 2022-23 Year in Review is now available on our website!

This year’s report review progress against our four strategic directions:

  1. Transform the client and family experience across all life stages
  2. Champion a connected system
  3. Advance research and evidence-based practice
  4. Build capacity


For the first time, we created a multimedia report, including video spotlights of some initiatives. For an overview of all 2022-23 achievements, watch this video. It includes a New Build update and celebrates our expansion into Bowmanville. You can also watch video features about our Complex Care and Entry to School programs, as well as our new Research, Innovation and Knowledge Mobilization portfolio.

Thank you to the clients, caregivers and other family advisors who have shared their time, expertise and ideas to support momentum, growth and change in 2022-23. Here’s to another great year ahead!

Your voice matters

Ask us anything

Got a question about Grandview Kids? Send it our way for possible inclusion in a future edition of the Gather newsletter. Submit your questions in this survey.

Research opportunities

Measure of Processes of Care (MPOC) 2.0 – Towards the new gold standard in measuring family-centred service: Field-testing the new MPOC 2.0: The purpose of this study is to develop an up-to-date tool that will accurately measure caregivers’ experiences of the delivery of pediatric healthcare services. Researchers want to learn about caregivers’ experiences with the way health care services are delivered in the present day, based on what they report they need, want and expect from these services. Those eligible include parents of a child/youth who has been receiving developmental, medical, service navigation or behavioural services for at least 6 months in the past 5 years. Find out more >

Computer-Based instrument for Low Motor Language Testing, Parent and Caregiver Focus Group: The purpose of the focus group is to introduce families to a new accessible language comprehension test for children with Cerebral Palsy and complex communication needs and understand the perceived barriers and facilitators to using the test in Canada. The measure is called the Computer-Based Instrument for Low Motor Language Testing (C-BiLLT). Parents and caregivers can participate in this focus group if: they have a child with CP up to age 18 who have complex communication needs (i.e., limited motor and speech function); live in Canada; and heir child is currently receiving or has received health/rehabilitation services in Canada. Find out more >

Childhood Cerebral Palsy Integrated Neuroscience Discovery Network (CP-NET) – Research Database: The CP-NET Research Database is an Ontario Brain Institute funded research project. We are collecting information to better understand how many kids are affected by Cerebral Palsy (CP) in different parts of Ontario and what causes CP so that we can improve care and treatments. Children aged 2-7 years old, who have CP and live in certain regions of Ontario, are eligible to participate. Find out more >


Questions? Email or check out the “Research” tab on the top menu of our website.

Events and important dates

Family Engagement events

Find all Family Engagement and Grandview Kids-hosted events here on our website!

Park Playdates

When: Every Tuesday in July from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (weather permitting)

Where: Grandview Kids' Oshawa Main Site - 600 Townline Rd S. Oshawa

Park playdate activities:

July 4 - Rock painting

July 11 - Photos and families

July 18 - Making fossils

July 25 - Art at the park

Other events

Coffee + Connecting: After an autism diagnosis (Registration required-by invitation)

When: July 10 at 11 a.m. and again at 7 p.m.

Eligibility: All Grandview Kids caregivers whose child received recent autism diagnosis

Where: Zoom - Email for the Zoom link

Meet up at the Oshawa Zoo 

When: July 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Oshawa Zoo & Fun Farm, 3377 Grandview Street North, Oshawa, ON L1H 0J5

Click here* to learn more and register.

*Please note that while it is free to register for the meet-up at this link, entry to the zoo costs $10 per person for Grandview Kids families. Kids under 2 are free. You can also use your season pass.

Purchased Services

Mediator Model

Using the principles and teaching methods of ABA, goals are determined based on client and parent/caregiver input and assessment outcomes. A broad range of goal areas can be focused on, which may include: behaviour management, communication, play skills, self-care, job readiness, motor skills, etc. (one to four goals are often focused on at a time in this service). This service option is appropriate for children up to the age of 18.

Foundational Applied Skills Training (F.A.S.T.) Model

Foundational skills are the focus of goals in this program. Skill domains of focus could include: communication, play skills, behaviour management, imitation, self-care, and motor skills, to name a few (five or more goals are often focused on at a time in this service). This service option is most appropriate for children under 11 who would benefit from skill development in various developmental domains.

Beyond the Walls: Friendship in Leisure (Youth program)

Beyond the Walls is a program created to encourage independence, wellness, improved mental health, community involvement, joy and resilience in neurodivergent adolescents. This module promotes the development of social relationship skills while participating in inclusive leisure activities.

  • Beyond the Walls: Friendship in Leisure (ages 13-19 yrs): Register here

Let’s Get Active

This program promotes physical activity, physical literacy and socialization.

  • Summer Session of Let's Get Active (ages 7-12 yrs): Register here
  • Summer Session of Let's Get Active (ages 13-18 yrs): Register here

Dates of significance

Canada Day - July 1

Many organizations and communities, including Grandview Kids, are reimagining Canada Day celebrations to recognize Indigenous Peoples, especially as the country continues to reckon with its legacy following the discovery of possible unmarked graves at former residential schools.

Being Canadian, at this moment, does mean reflecting on the history of colonialism and residential schools as a way of trying to establish new, better, stronger relations moving forward. Canada Day can be a day to celebrate the privileges we enjoy as Canadians. However, we must also acknowledge that we enjoy these privileges as settlers.

This Canada Day, settler Canadians should take time to reflect on our responsibilities to build a better and more equitable relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. One that all sovereign nations on this land can celebrate.

National Disability Independence Day - July 26

Starting with signing the “Americans with Disability Act” (ADA) in 1990, July 26 became National Disability Independence Day, in commemoration of the act. The ADA is a law that protections people with disabilities from discrimination.

In Canada, section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedom protects against the discrimination of people with disabilities. In addition, Canada is now working towards a barrier-free society as outlined in the “Accessible Canada Act” by January 1, 2040.

It is important to know that not all disabilities are visible, and therefore, not all barriers are visible.

Barriers are considered anything structural, technical, physical even attitudinal that hinders full and equal participation in society.

Check out our Ability Acceptance Vlog series on social media for more information.

Grandview Kids Foundation

Ajax Mayor’s Gala

The Ajax Mayor's Gala was a truly magical evening, overflowing with warmth, delight and pure brilliance! Grandview Kids Foundation extends its heartfelt gratitude to the Ajax Mayor's Gala, the dedicated Committee Members, and the tireless volunteers who poured their hearts into creating this extraordinary celebration of community and compassion.

We also want to extend our deepest thanks to all of the generous sponsors and participants of the Ajax Mayor’s Gala! Your unwavering commitment has paved the way for us to embark on a journey of excellence and commitment to children and youth with communication, physical and developmental needs in Durham Region.

McHappy Day

McHappy Day donations are now spreading their warmth throughout the Region, and Grandview Kids Foundation is absolutely thrilled to announce that $75,000 was raised with the collective support from Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa and Clarington McDonald’s! This remarkable generosity fills our hearts with joy and gratitude. McHappy Day would not be as successful without all of the volunteer families and Grandview staff that joined together to make this day possible. Thank you to everyone who participated and donated!

Rotary Club of Port Perry

In June, Rotary Club of Port Perry and Grandview Kids Foundation united to visit Grandview's Port Perry satellite location. We are thrilled to announce that Rotary Club of Port Perry graciously donated $10,000 to support Grandview Kids Foundation. This heartfelt contribution demonstrates the compassionate and uplifting nature of the Port Perry community. We are grateful to be part of such a caring family north of Oshawa. Together, we give!

Get Active Challenge

Mark your calendars! Grandview Kids Foundation's annual Get Active Challenge kicks off in July, and we need your support! Prepare to embark on a joyful journey of movement, while making a difference for Grandview clients and families. It's as simple as signing up, setting your personal challenge, and fundraising for children and youth throughout Durham Region. Together, we can embrace the power of physical activity and warm hearts with every step we take. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to create positive change and spread smiles along the way.

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Content in Gather is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor. Views expressed in posts and resources listed do not signify endorsement by Grandview Kids.

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