Links to Learning
Links to Learning Resource Centre offers a wealth of information on a variety of disability topics in three formats: Books, DVDs and VHS tapes. There is a toy and game lending library with material suitable for all stages of development.
Specialty products include speech, fine motor skills and picture exchange, as well as other autism resources.
All materials are available with payment of a yearly membership fee of $30.
Links to Leaning Ribbon Cutting Nov. 6, 2000
In 1999 a small group of concerned people discovered they had similar challenges. They were parents and caregivers struggling every day with the overwhelming task of helping young people with special needs. They started meeting and talking. Out of their discussions came the clear understanding that there was help out there in many forms. Unfortunately these resources were unavailable to most of those in our community who really need them. Slowly things started to take shape. Those who had already been through the funding hoops and the professional referrals shared their experiences with others. They got some funding, found a place to call home and started helping people understand and deal with the challenges their loved ones lived with. Eventually with lots of hard work by caring parents and volunteers the centre started to take shape. Today we have an excellent library, video collection, learning toys and more. The collection is constantly growing.
Our library is designed to meet the needs of every aspect of parenting. The unique range and subject matter that we carry appeals to parents as well as educators, students and other professionals. Look to the stack of books beside here for a sneak preview of what we carry.
Recent Changes to Our Library
When we opened people who came out opening night were amazed at how much we had stored in a tiny little room in an old church nursery. Funding from Ronald McDonalds Children's Charity has made a profound difference in the already ample stock we carry. With this funding earmarked for toys games and books, we were able to concentrate on the under stocked areas of the library.
Specifically, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia had few holdings and many patron requests, so we rounded out those areas with some excellent current readings on those two topics. Schizophrenia, OCD, ODD, Tourettes and Bipolar had no significant literature space on the shelves so purchases of 2-10 titles per topic were made. Autism and ADHD held the largest grouping of titles but were also in the highest demand and titles were constantly being requested or recommended that we didn't have so we chose to top up those shelves as well.
Games and toys were bulky and hard to stack and almost inaccessible to clients so we had to confer and develop a plan for storing and increasing the toy/game part of the library. Really, this is where LAP originated and has become a very popular lending resource with clients. An entire summer was invested in developing skill-based kits. The kit contents were culled from the shelves, sorted, bagged, and tagged. The dramatic changes that occurred after implementing this program were evident in the sharp increase in resources going out. Articles that had been heaped on the shelf and never used were now going out frequently. Money was also invested in the kit contents with purchases from Dragonfly, a developmental toy company we had been excited to find.
March of 2004, saw yet another dramatic change to the office as we found ourselves cramped and literally unable to keep more than one or two volunteers in the room at any given time. We measured the walls and decided that if we moved the bookshelves across the room we could add two more shelves and free up the centre floor space that in turn would allow freer movement of traffic. We also stumbled across a blow out desk sale and purchased two smaller office desks thus increasing the floor space dramatically.
So we held off on having to move. The centre really does need a larger space, however with the funding being acquired through our own fundraising efforts this will not happen in the near future. We are very happy at QBC and are very grateful to the church for allowing us to exist because of their generosity in supplying the space we do have.
Oldie’s But Goodies
For a library that is ambling nicely into its 6th year it would seem outdated to have holdings dating back to the 60's, but interspersed among the clever catchy new and best on the market are a fine showing of oldie's. Disorders are not new but the way we handle them and are challenged by them may very well merit a closer look.
Have we really come a long way? Has society become more generous in its outlook and cash flow towards its most needy members? One only has to poll a handful of people who would quickly say, "Oh my Gosh. Yes we've come along way." There is less institutionalizing of severely handicapped, more programs, more money. No word of a lie this is true. Historically children with severe disabilities or even mildly disabling conditions were put away out of site. Minds were not engaged and true or optimum potentials never reached. Further crippled by a system that could not provide for them, families pressed on consumed with guilt but free from the burden that no one would or could help them carry.
This however is not the case for, Nicola Schaefer, 1978 author of Does She Know She's There? Nicola and her family doggedly avoid the institutionalization of their severely handicapped daughter. Her timeline doesn't march with ours but her tenacity, ingenuity, and creativity are an inspirational model for modern day proactive families. The chronology of events is however encouraging when one looks into her world and realizes that indeed we the people and the government have come a long way. Witty, poignantly honest and alarming absurd she brings one to the conviction that life with a severely handicapped child can be lived within the home and community no matter how few the services or how tiresome the battles are.
The Siege, by Clara Claiborne Park written in 1967, is so rich in determination and family bravado that one would want to take on the challenge of absorbing the writers attempt to portray the first eight years of an autistic child's life. Completely unaided and shall I admit unhindered by the offering of inadequate or non existent programs for her daughter, Clara begins to attack the protective world her daughter resides in. What possibly can one learn from her story from way back then? The answer is plenty. This parent's journey did not stop at the age of six as current government initiatives for autistic children say we ought to.\
The window of learning was never shut for young Elly, as the persistence of her family held it up, propped it open and consistently stuck there head through it. Time and again no matter what the adversity of their era was handing them by way of, apathy, non existent therapies, inconsistent diagnosis, and lack of knowledge or understanding of autism this family forged ahead.
Clara's story however, smacks of the familiar. If the truth be studied, if research was compiled the face of this stories trials and triumphs could be penciled in as a 2003 portrait. It would bear the markings of any portrait of a family raising a child with a disability. A worry line here, and weary line there, a wrinkle marking the times of joy and one not far off etching out the pain, one or two depicting worry, fear, and hurt, and then a final obvious line far more visible than the rest. The line etched historically in every parents face. The mark of time.
Yes these are fabulous reads. They tell us where we have been and yet they also tell us to continue. To wait ,for in good time something good something sincerely stable will come of the patient persistent plodding along all parents do when faced with the many challenges of raising a special needs individual.
by Joan Burton
Video/DVD Library Sneak Peak
Here is the Sneak preview of some of the videos from our library:
HOPE AND SOLUTIONS FOR OCD
An excellent comprehensive look at OCD
MISUNDERSTOOD MINDS, PBS 1:30 , Documentary. Five families piece together the nature of their children's LD over several years with the help of experts. For teachers and families and students interested in gaining insight and affirmation that they are not alone.
DEVELOPING MINDS Twenty two volume video library is based on the work of Dr. Mel Levine and his colleagues at the All Kinds of Minds Institute. They include eight THEME videos and eight CONSTRUCT videos, the latter providing deeper insight into specific neuro-developmental breakdowns that contribute to learning problems. Construct videos are individually titled such as: "Helping a Student Get Organized" or "Getting Thoughts on Paper".
HOW DIFFICULT CAN THIS BE? Richard LaVoie's first video. Look at the world through the eyes of an LD Student. Also known as one of the "Fat City" videos from the series as listed in the following reviews. Very popular at the library and just one of the many videos we must put on a reserve list.
LAST ONE PICKED...FIRST ONE PICKED ON 2nd video by Richard Lavoie. This video offers suggestions to parents and teachers on how to help an isolated LD child. Known as the social skills and LD video and also on reserve list.
WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN Practical advice in the third video from Richard Lavoie on dealing with behavioral problems quickly and effectively. Reserve list.
LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE! Dr. Robert Brooks says we need to find each child's "islands of competence" and then build on those strengths. Known as the self esteem video on the reserve list.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: "My brother has special needs and I feel lonely because he seems to get all the attention."
A: We have books for siblings and can suggest places in the community that may be offering sibling support groups.
Q: "My oldest son has a learning disability and his brother seems slow. What can I do to help them?"
A: We can help by suggesting toys, games, and books that may help the children learn more efficiently.
Q:"The speech therapist says that my child has Apraxia and a few other problems that I can't even pronounce myself. What does this mean?"
A: Our library and our volunteers can help you to better understand your child's difficulties.
Q:"Do you do advocacy?"
A: A lthough we would like to, one of the main arena's we stay out of is attending schools with families. Our objective at LLRC is always to educate not advocate. We teach families how to advocate and have links to those who do this professionally.
Q:"Do you work directly with children?"
A: Yes. We work with children in the Reading Roundup! program to optimize their reading skills so that they are functioning better at school.
Q: "You are not open when I need you to be is there some where I can return books other than the office?"
A: We are very fortunate to have some of our volunteers' work the nine hours a week we are open. Unfortunately, we cannot just yet move beyond the hours we have as we do not have the work force. We highly recommend that when your due date is near that you phone the centre and extend the time so that your items can be logged as renewed. This usually works out well for those who are having trouble with the hours.