Mom in Norman Wells, N.W.T., frustrated over lack of services for children with disabilities – North

Mom in Norman Wells, N.W.T., frustrated over lack of services for children with disabilities – North


The mother of a mentally disabled teenager in Norman Wells, N.W.T., says she’s frustrated by the lack of support available for people with disabilities in the territory’s communities.

Jennie Vandermeer and her 18-year-old daughter Caitlin moved from Yellowknife to Norman Wells, a community of about 727, to be closer to family in November 2015.

Vandermeer says her family has been a great support system for them, but they’re the only support they have.

“In terms of getting any kind of help with regard to what to do for Caitlin’s future, there’s little to none,” Vandermeer said.

“There’s really no support from [the GNWT] for kids her age, let alone people in the communities.”

Wants to stay in hometown

Caitlin, who was diagnosed with a moderate mental disability as a child, grew up in the territory’s capital.

She and her mother previously accessed programs and supports through the Yellowknife Association for Community Living (YKACL), including meet-ups for children and teens, and information sessions for parents on how to plan for their child’s future.

Caitlin Vandermeer was diagnosed with a mild mental disability when she was a child. Her mom says she needs more support living in Norman Wells, N.W.T. (Submitted by Jennie Vandermeer)

 

When they moved to Norman Wells a year and a half ago, Vandermeer said there were no programs like that for people with disabilities, and no supports to help parents.

It’s something that makes her feel alone and scared for her daughter’s future.

Fears move back to Yellowknife 

She’s concerned that without support as Caitlin gets older, the pair will have to move back to Yellowknife.

“It would change everything,”…



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