My name is Nicholas Cleroux from Ottawa, ON and my supporting Independent Facilitator is Manon Leblond-Leduc.
The Independent Facilitation support has provided crucial assistance to my family providing guidance in the complexity of the system and answering all our questions in a clear professional manner. Due to the various programs available, my family was ensured that assistance was provided when required even when it was not evident that it existed and/or apply.
Having an independent facilitator supporting my family has provided us with the confidence that my personal needs are fully met and without any prejudice or stress. The experience in my facilitator has proven a great asset at becoming more independent from my family and helping me become more confident. Knowing that I can reach out and count on her removes an enormous amount of stress and anxiety off me and permits me to live a “normal” life outside my family which is something I would not be able to have or experience if it was not for this program.
My family and I are extremely happy that I can reach out to my facilitator and be able to obtain an unbiased opinion regarding life situations. I often feel anxious and suffer from severe stress when faced with difficult situations, and I feel comfortable now with my facilitator and can discuss personal issues when faced with them and this is something I cannot do with family.
My family are very satisfied with the program as it provides me with confidence and independence. They oversee matters as required and have noticed significant changes on how I deal with issues. This program has permitted my family the ability to see my developments, changes in my confidence and attitude in life in general and this is something that would not be possible without this specific program. As parents, they tell me that someday they will no longer be there and that this program provides the necessary tools and guidance required in preparing me to cope on my own.
Having a younger brother, if this program would have existed earlier, would have given my parents more time to concentrate on him even though he didn’t have a disability. Valuable time that many parents face when trying to cope with a family where one child has a disability. They are forced to divide their time unequally amongst their children in order to help the one child leaving others aside unintentionally.
What has concretely changed in Nicholas’ life is the noticeable increase in independence and confidence which has facilitated his sharing of thoughts and emotions with his worker and spreading through all aspects of his life both personally and professionally.
My son’s support through this program has reflected on all aspects of his life including but not limited to his work, volunteer programs and leisure activities. As an employee, Nicholas has learned that inappropriate comments to other co-workers and supervisors were not always acceptable. Through coaching and discussions with his facilitator, Nicholas has learned when and how to discuss sensitive issues and how to address them when speaking with a supervisor. With the growth of confidence, this was easier for him as positive feedback was provided therefore growing in other aspects of his life. As a continued volunteer with the Ottawa Mission, Nicholas gives his time with the less fortunate helping in food preparation, serving and dishwashing two to three times a month. This has proven to be a great reward and something that would have been impossible without the encouragement of his facilitator.
In addition, Nicholas remains in a long term relationship and is very happy even though at times faced with difficult situation, he reaches out to his facilitator when he is unable to deal with situations and where family are unable to do so. Nicholas even with great difficulty in eye hand coordination has joined a dart league and has been an accepted active member for the past few years not missing a game. He is enjoying an activity like all should with his maternal grandfather. His league is aware of his limitations and have no issues with picking him for their team and coaching him as the season unfolds. His confidence and growth as a young man has increased tremendously with the program. The expertise and knowledge of Manon Leblond-Leduc was crucial to his development and confidence which we didn’t believe was possible.
The obstacles my Independent Facilitator helped me overcome as mentioned above are, confidence in myself and being able to open up to her extending to members of my family and girlfriend on personal issues and knowing Manon would be able to help me without feeling judged or embarrassed. Manon has shown me that being different is not a bad thing and that other people are like me. Without this program I would have never been able to achieve everything that I have so far. The program also partnered me with a friend with same interests and monthly we go out for dinner and a game of pool on occasion.
This program has helped me think differently about how people see me and understand how we are all different in our own way. My facilitator has always taken the time without making me feel important and not a bother. She has always listened to me with regards to my feelings of insecurities and worries and has always provided me with advice on how to handle the situation which I would do without hesitation because I knew it would be work.
The Independent Facilitation program is different from any other support/service my family or I have ever encountered in the past because of their resources and knowledge available to them.
The importance for MCCSS to provide secure and adequate funding to Independent Facilitation Organizations after March 2019 is essential to ensure the independence of young adults preparing them for the future. The investment provided today will provide the information and knowledge to become active members of the community and not rely on the system in the future.
It is critical for other families across the province to have the kind of support that I have had as I have never had such great support. The knowledge transferred with my facilitator has relieved other programs for other types of support required for many. This program is crucial to help young adults like myself be more independent without relying on family and obtaining the necessary coaching on life and work skills to help continually grow.