Ontario Renews Funding for Legends Mentoring Program at Jake's House for Children with Autism
Helping children build social skills; feel part of their community
TORONTO — The Ontario government is creating better outcomes for children and youth with autism by investing $325,000 in the Legends Mentoring Program at Jake's House for Children with Autism.
"Children and youth with autism are often subjected to bullying and harassment from their peers," said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. "It is difficult to find mentorship and afterschool activities that cater to their specific needs. By investing in mentorship programs, such as the one's offered by Jake's House, we are normalizing the inclusion of children and youth with autism in our society."
The Legends Mentoring Program matches volunteer mentors 18 years or older, many from university and high school hockey teams, with children or youth with autism and their families for three to nine month periods. The program increases their community engagement, helps them develop social skills and a sense of inclusion as well as improve their relationships with their peers and community members.
"We know that when children and youth with autism have positive role models and get support to develop relationships, they are able to live better and happier lives," added MacLeod.