Tia was born in Japan and has lived all over the world with her family including places like Singapore, Australia, the USA and Canada. On a trip back to Australia, it became increasingly apparent that Tia had health issues. After taking Tia to healthcare professionals, she was ultimately diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Developmental Delay, Cytomegalovirus and seizure disorder. Finding high quality and trustworthy care for Tia was extremely difficult but necessary because her father, Brett, travels frequently for work. The family went through eight nannies before learning about Safehaven through some internet research.
“It was incredible to find Safehaven and to have her be a part of the program. You have no idea how it’s impacted my life,” says Brett.
When Tia’s family arrived in Canada seven years ago, she wasn’t going to school which meant as a young teenager, she was often home all day, bored and unstimulated. Tia is all about routine and the biggest struggle in the beginning was that there wasn’t a great deal of routine in her life.
Brett is grateful to Safehaven for being sensitive and responsive to Tia’s needs. “Safehaven brought to us a sense of stability, a sense of routine.” While helping to provide a stable and secure environment for her, Safehaven has also helped Tia explore new territories and further her development by getting her accustomed to new experiences.
Her progress and evolution since starting her journey at Safehaven have been extraordinary to witness. For example, in her early days at Safehaven, she was a very picky eater and now, she eats everything she’s given.
She also used to dislike being in a group setting but by participating in many of the outings Safehaven organizes for its clients, she has started changing her perspective and has become more open to novel experiences.
For Brett and his family, the safety and accessibility that Safehaven offers has been a gamechanger.
He feels at peace knowing that Tia is in great hands and loves how he can pick up the phone at any time and get an update on Tia from anyone at the home. Having access to Safehaven’s residential program has been life changing for Tia and Brett.
Safehaven’s residential program is critical to the lives of so many families with children living with medical complexities. An individual’s complex care needs do not change the moment they turn eighteen which is why Safehaven is working relentlessly to provide care from childhood through to adulthood so that our clients can thrive in place.