Local students with unique disabilities are finding a place
to succeed at the new Comox Valley Unique Kids Learning Centre. The
Centre is operated by NUKO, a registered charity who opened its first
learning centre in 2005 in the Nanaimo area. The Centre supports
children and youth with neuro-developmental disabilities like Autism,
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, Acute
Anxiety and other significant barriers to learning.

NUKO was approached two years ago by a group of parents in the Comox
Valley, spearheaded by Patricia Rousseau and Lisa Sandri-Rye, who knew
of NUKO’s Nanaimo Centre and saw potential there for their own
children. The group of parents were frustrated and concerned about
their children’s education and well-being. Rod Gallant, Chair of the
Board at NUKO knows this story well, as a founding family member of
the organization.

Gallant says, “The group of parents approached us with many of the
same issues that we faced back in 2005. They couldn’t find a program
that suited their children’s unique needs. That is what NUKO is all
about; meeting needs that other programs don’t through the methods
that work for each student.”

The Centre opened its doors to 9 students in September and has been
having great success. Lisa Sandri-Rye, now Co- Chair of the Committee
running the Centre says “Change is often challenging, but things are
moving forward in a positive direction. Our hope is, in years to come,
that we can support more families who need it.” At this time, the
organization is not able to accommodate everyone, and has a waitlist.
The organization is hoping to expand to support more children for
September of 2015.

Comox Valley Unique Kids Learning Centre is hosting a Beer and Burger
Fundraiser at the Waverley Hotel in Cumberland on Sunday November
30th. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from Lisa at
[email protected]

(Contributed)