I had a tour of an amazing facility in Toronto that has been a hidden gem for me until today. I am so excited about this wonderful place that I want to shout it to the rooftops.

Mukibaum Treatment Centres serve children and adults with complex disabilities in a number of venues from residential facilities, day programs for children and programs for adults. I visited the bright, spacious facility which houses day programs for adults. I met some of the people you can see in these images.

One of the staff was saying that people have a willingness and understanding that children with the kinds of complex disabilities that Mukibaum serves have the possibility for growth and development. Unfortunately this attitude often does not extend to adults, and this lack of enthusiasm and commitment hampers fund raising and the visibility of the center.

Once inside the walls what I sensed was total commitment and enthusiasm from those who work at Mukibaum and from the people that they serve. Everyone was recognized as an individual with a unique personality. The program was tailored to work with each individual’s strengths and to offer support in areas where it would be of benefit.

There was so much to take in but in the midst of expressive arts rooms, music rooms, dance rooms, art studios, rooms for storytelling, many rooms for sensory development there was the virtual reality room. It was here that I got an understanding of the level of creativity and dedication of the staff.

One of their clients had been a kayaker before head trauma changed his life. Seizure activity prevented working a therapeutic way in a kayak on a river or in a pool, but the virtual reality experience did not produce seizures. This fabulous set up allowed them to help use the kayaking movements to exercise the parts of the brain that had previously had strong neuro-pathways.

The use of technology provides a lot of fun and is so rewarding that people are motivated to learn how to work with the equipment. This is a big reach that is a bonus side effect of the value of the experience from a therapy perspective.

Not only did the staff understand the needs of the clients but also their own needs and what keeps the work alive and fresh and their spirits intact. One small example is the room that is set up for the volunteer chiropractors that serve both staff and clients.

It is well worth visiting the site to see what else is happening and to watch the video of the real Michael aka Muki Baum who inspired it all.

I came away “filled up” by being in an environment where everyone was viewed through the lens of possibility. A good reminder for us all.

Category: creativity / Personal
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