Thames Valley Children’s Centre is a regional rehabilitation centre for children and young adults with physical disabilities, communication disorders, developmental delays, and autism spectrum disorders, living primarily in Southwestern Ontario. TVCC provides assessment, diagnosis, consultation and therapy to help young people reach their potential in terms of independence, self-esteem and participation in society. TVCC serves more than 8,000 children ranging from newborns to young adults, every year in the ten counties surrounding London.
With the help from events like the Forest City Road Races (FCRR), Thames Valley Children’s Centre (TVCC) is able to provide Opportunities to Participate programs to their clients and families. These experiences can significantly enhance a child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. Further, these experiences can lay the foundation for lifelong interests.
Opportunities to Participate at TVCC helps children attend summer camp, perform on stage, learn to take the bus, play on a soccer team, swing a golf club or ride a bike. It helps parents be ready for their child’s participation in life by supporting valuable information sessions and workshops such as: “Getting Ready for School”, “Getting Ready for Recreation”, or “Getting Ready for Summer Camp”. Through Opportunities to Participate, children can participate in existing community programs or get involved in specialized opportunities with partners like Original Kids Theatre Company.
Donations from Forest City Road Races will ensure that children with special needs and their families have the best options to support their participation and decisions about how they wish to live their lives.
Supporting participation for kids with special needs is a critical component in achieving the mission of TVCC… “our clients at their best”. Forest City Road Races provides much needed funds but more importantly, FCRR is creating awareness of Thames Valley Children’s Centre and their vital programs across our region!
LET’S ALL RUN, WALK OR WHEEL... FOR THE KIDS!
“The Forest City Road Races is a Not for Profit Corporation dedicated to hosting a first class annual running event where all proceeds are donated in support of our chosen charity.”
Since she was an infant, Arta has struggled to move and get around on her own. Arta was born prematurely at 30 weeks gestation and suffered a traumatic birth that caused damage to parts of her brain, leading to cerebral palsy.
As Arta grew and developed, she required assistive devices to help her move. She wore ankle-foot orthotics, had a lift on her shoes, and wore twister cables (which attached at the waist and connected to her orthotics). Surgery was recommended. To determine the best course of action, Arta visited the Gait Lab at Thames Valley Children’s Centre. Through the use of electrodes and special cameras, doctors could see exactly how she moved, and what adjustments were needed to help her walk with ease.
“Before the Gait Lab, one doctor had only seen her in his office, walking up and down the hallway. With the lab’s electrodes, you can see a range of motion, pressure and exactly how she is compensating movement due to limitations on the left side,” shares mom, Christina, noting that Arta walked back and forth 63 times, with and without assistive devices, giving a clear picture of her abilities.
In March 2016, Drs. Megan Cashin and Tim Carey at Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre performed a six-hour surgery on Arta based on the analysis they saw in the Gait Lab. The surgery meant Arta no longer needed the twister cables or lifts in her shoes. She can now walk barefoot and put her heel down, which she couldn’t do before, as well as navigate stairs more efficiently.
Arta and her family are thankful to Thames Valley Children’s Centre for the incredible support and care they provided.