Urgent Response Service (URS) is a key component of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services’ Ontario Autism Program (OAP) and a program delivered by CTN with 10 partner organizations in Simcoe County and York Region.
The service provides a time limited rapid response to support a child or youth who is in danger of harming themselves, others or property. Families access the service by calling the CTN access team.
This past year Sienna, aged 10 and her family including her mom Cecilia, her dad Anthony and twin sister Sophia, were involved with the URS program. Sienna was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when she was four years old and up until recently her behaviour was manageable. In June of 2022, she began to exhibit aggressive behaviour at home and at school and the family was referred to URS.
The service is focused on stabilizing high risk behaviours. Sienna’s plan included strategies to implement at home throughout the summer and in the classroom at school in September. Validation of her emotions, breathing techniques, a safety plan and a tailored chore board thematically tied to Sienna’s favourite story were part of the approach. This is an interdisciplinary service and Sienna’s team created a customized support plan that began to create positive changes in her behaviour immediately.
In the late fall, Sienna began exhibiting even more worrisome behaviour and some mental health concerns. URS was once again provided to her and her family. The team involved in her care had an incredibly holistic view of the entire family’s situation and Sophia, Sienna’s twin, also received support. After the holiday break, Sienna’s family noticed incredible changes in her. The strategies implemented had great success and Sienna's communication improved greatly reducing her stress levels. Now, the worrisome behaviour is completely gone and the support Sienna received gave her a whole new sense of security and confidence. Cecilia is so grateful she could share her story openly with her service providers without judgment and felt that she was in great hands throughout their journey.
Read the 2022-2023 Annual Report.
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