With the onset of COVID-19 and the directive of the Provincial Health Authority to reduce/close or realign services, the Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA) has been faced with some very tough decisions. The Autism Program (TAP) is one of the few CVCDA programs that relies on service fees to operate these services. As the community closed and social isolation began we were forced to begin layoffs in this program. We were willing and hopeful about continuing remote services but for some children this absolutely did not work. One example of this is when children rely on cochlear implants. With the announcement of the Comox Valley Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Grant we were hopeful that if we were successful in obtaining additional funding we could provide emergency services to TAP.
As an eligible Comox Valley, not-for-profit organization, our application was approved. The CVCDA has since been granted $21,000.00 towards the CVCDA’s Autism Program. CVCDA and families who receive our services are incredibly grateful for the support of the emergency funding through CVCF! We cannot begin to express how important this funding has been to the viability of TAP. Other Autism Treatment Centres in the province are facing closures, and thanks to the Comox Valley Community Foundation, TAP has avoided this devastating outcome.

Nearly 300 children and youth in the Comox Valley have been diagnosed with Autism. Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder that affects the brain’s normal development, impacting on social and communicationskills, as well as behaviour. Currently 1 in approximately 68 children in B.C. are diagnosed with ASD. This is over a 300% increase in the last decade.

At the Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA), our mission is to help children, youth and adults with diverse abilities in the Comox Valley to reach their highest potential. Through a wide range of services, we help local children who have developmental delays or simply just need a little bit of extra support. We work not only directly with children and their families but also with their care professionals and teachers, either at our Centre or out in the community. The CVCDA provides critical developmental support to children with Autism in the community and as recent as two years ago we opened the new Comox Valley Autism Centre to expand our autism services to families to meet the growing need. Visit www.cvcda.ca for more information.
The COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants from the Comox Valley Community Foundation are a response to the unprecedented situation in which we currently find ourselves. This granting stream is intended to offer resources for the community where it’s needed most and will support urgent issues, particularly those being experienced disproportionately within vulnerable sectors.
In keeping with the intentions of Robert & Florence Filberg Fund, the funding source, the funds will be directed to support organizations focused on child welfare in the broadest sense, and religious organizations/churches providing services to our community. More info about the grant: https://cvcfoundation.org/grants/covid-19-emergency-response-grants/

Brooklyn Galloway

Marketing & Communications, Comox Valley Child Development Association