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26 Jan, Thursday
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Montreal Families

Free workshops for parents, and kids with learning difficulties

Families who have children with learning disabilities can take advantage of two free, weekly workshops via zoom led by Linda Aber, a nurse and family life educator.

Aber founded TacTics Resource Services in 1997 after the two children she adopted from Russian orphanages were diagnosed with learning disabilities and severe attachment disorders. The organization aims to help parents create strong, healthy bonds with their kids. She says she specializes in helping those who have children with ADHD, learning disabilities, mild autism spectrum disorder and anxiety.

Aber says her children’s early life experience in orphanages — with two caregivers per 100 children — deprived them of bonding with a primary caregiver and hindered their chances for healthy development. “”Because of their difficulties, I sought out all the specialists in the city and attended many conferences on attachment issues,” she said.

Consequently, TacTics offers many programs and services, including parent educational support groups for those who have adopted internationally as well as those whose children have been diagnosed with ADHD and other learning disabilities.

When COVID-19 locked down schools, businesses and forced many people to work from home, Aber started getting phone calls from overwhelmed parents. They were looking for ways to help their children, because, since they were now home together all the time, parents were seeing increases in arguing, sibling rivalry, and becoming less tolerant to frustration, among other things. So, that’s why she decided to set up these online workshops.

“With all the stress going on in the world, I wanted to create a safe weekly place for parents to join together, gain knowledge and new skills and not feel that they are alone,” Aber said. “It’s been absolutely wonderful and will continue as long as needed.”

Every Tuesday from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., TacTics offers a Kids After School Connect & Activity Group workshop via Zoom. Targeted to kids aged 7 to 12, the goal is for kids to socialize and meet other kids their age through play. Activities include bingo and Pictionary, virtual scavenger hunts and virtual tours of places like space centres, zoos, and museums. Kids can also share and express any problems they might be facing, so they can work out various solutions together.

The Parent Support Group, also via Zoom, is held every Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The group is open to all parents, but is especially helpful for those with kids who have learning difficulties like ADHD and learning disabilities, mild autism spectrum disorder and anxiety.

In each session, Aber will help parents to understand how to deal their kids’ learning difficulties and how to have a relationship with their children so they feel safe, seen and heard. In these sessions, parents will be shown DVDs and hear guest speakers on subjects like how to deal with sibling rivalry, reduce anxiety, understand ADHD, and cope with back-to-school and sleep challenges.

Parents can register for either of the free groups by e-mailing tacticsmtl@yahoo.com.

For more information, click here.

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