Diane Legris is a mother. She’s someone who encourages others to contribute to United Way of York Region; but not just because she knows that your dollars have a tremendous impact on the lives of others. Diane knows firsthand the impact that these dollars have had on her life and the lives of those in her family.

When Diane’s son Nicholas was seven, he experienced social, behavioural and academic difficulties. As a result, he was segregated from his classmates, which was difficult for both Diane and her son. During this time, Nicholas was diagnosed with Aspergers’ Syndrome – a high-functioning form of autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and a non-verbal learning disability with memory and processing issues.

But Diane’s struggles with her son began much earlier when she experienced behavioural challenges with him when he was just four years old. “At that time, and thanks to the support of United Way York Region, we were directed to the Zero to 6 program at The York Centre for Children, Youth and Families – a United Way funded member agency,” explains Diane.

This organization is dedicated to helping families who face mental health challenges. The organization helped Diane and her family receive the counselling they needed to manage Nicholas’ disruptive behaviour.

The centre is also where Nicholas was diagnosed and this allowed him to be admitted to a day treatment placement where he could get the immediate help he needed.

“The York Centre is only one of the many agencies United Way York Region is supporting across the region to meet critical needs,” says Diane. “And thanks to United Way’s support, I know that I too am a priority. My family and the thousands of families like mine, need the help and support to raise happy, healthy children.”

Today, Nicholas has returned to regular school on a full-time basis thanks in part to UWYR and its funded agencies.

“Every one of us can change and improve a life…change starts with your gift. Change starts here.”

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