Breaking through barriers for workers
who have children with special needs

Two Weeks of Respite

Letter 26


November 24, 2007

TO: The CUPW Special Needs staff

I'd like to tell you a bit about my son, Julien. He was born on June 19, 2001 in Montreal. Even before he was born, we knew Julien had only one kidney. It's possible to live normally with only one kidney, but there's a lot more to it than that.

When Julien was born, he stayed six days in intensive care for respiratory problems. Time went by and we noticed that he wasn't developing as quickly as he should. For example he started walking at 27 months, he could hardly speak, and there was a lot of other little things that worried us. At the age of 3 and a half, he was diagnosed with moderate developmental delay.

This was soon followed by occupational therapy, speech therapy, and his condition entailed a great number of expenses, since getting public-health care means long waiting times.

In the spring of 2007, I learned at work that CUPW sponsored day camps on the North Shore. We wanted to register our daughter in the program, and, we were greatly surprised to find out that our son could also register. But we had a lot of questions about it: Would Julien get the support he needed? Would he be safe around the pool? What about outings? And more.

Ms. Doris Tremblay was patient and understanding, and she reassured us. She told us about the Special Needs program. Julien enjoyed two wonderful weeks in the day camp with the help of a special education student. He became part of a group of children his own age. We were totally satisfied and enjoyed these two weeks of respite.

Thanks to Ms. Tremblay, we are now getting funding from the Special Needs program to help our child's many needs. This is helping Julien become socially more independent. It's a wonderful thing, and we'd like to thank the Special Needs program and Ms. Tremblay for making things a bit easier for us.

Letter Carrier
Blainville, QC