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Announcement from the Chair of FOOTPRINTS

April 24, 2020

To FOOTPRINTS Clients, Families and Supporters,

We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy as Covid-19 continues to impact family life. The FOOTPRINTS 4 Autism Steering Committee continues to review the COVID-19 situation. Since the Province has continued to mandate all the schools and most of the daycares closed our programs will continue to follow these instructions. The facilities that house our programs continue to be unavailable for use. This means for the safety of all concerned we cannot offer any of our programs until both these conditions have been resolved. We continue to follow the guidelines as the Federal and Provincial Governments plan for the coming months. As soon as these conditions have been removed, we will keep you informed of our plans to reopen our services.

We thank you for your continued support and understanding as we all adapt and take the necessary measures to navigate through these unprecedented times. Till then please be safe and well and together we will get through this.

Sincerely,
Sandra Chase
Chair of FOOTPRINTS

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Government sites regarding Covid-19

Durham Region Health Department
Government of Canada
Province of Ontario

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Source: Government of Ontario

Coronaviruses

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory infections like bronchitis, pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.
Some human coronaviruses spread easily between people, while others do not.
Your risk of severe disease may be higher if you have a weakened immune system. This may be the case for older people, people with chronic disease (for example, diabetes, cancer, heart, renal or chronic lung disease).

How to Protect Yourself

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.
There is no vaccine available to protect against the 2019 novel coronavirus, but there are actions you can take to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses.

Everyday Actions

Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand
  • sanitizer
  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • avoid contact with people who are sick
  • stay home if you are sick

Poster: What you need to know to help you and your family stay healthy

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FOOTPRINTS provides respite services for families with children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum in Durham Region. With programs located in Pickering and Whitby, FOOTPRINTS strives to provide respite care to as many as possible.

Having a child diagnosed with Autism can be one of the most stressful situations a parent ever faces.

The diagnosis is just the beginning of the journey as both the child and parent must learn together how to identify, prepare for and manage the variety of behaviours that make up the Autism Spectrum.

These might include impaired cognition and communication, social deficits, frequent tantrums and other challenging behaviours that often lead to physical and emotional exhaustion for all involved.

Faced with such overwhelming stress and barriers, many parents of children with Autism find themselves overwhelmed and unable to cope.

Crafts at FOOTPRINTS CampRespite care can help ease some of the burden on these families.  Respite care ensures that, for a few hours each month, the families can enjoy a short but much needed break from the 24/7 care required by these children.

Respite time allows parents to pay extra attention to their other children, spend some time together, run errands or just have some down-time.

The program at FOOTPRINTS is geared towards recreation, rather than therapy, for children.  Many children affected by autism spend several hours a week in therapy classes and often this does not provide a lot of time for social play and to just “be”.

Under the guidance of trained volunteers, who are supervised by a trained Program Consultant, FOOTPRINTS offers participants social interaction with others in a safe and happy environment.

Click for Brochure 2019