Laura and child having fun together!

The plan for FERN was conceived in 2009 when founder, Dr. Laura Cesaroni , began having informal discussions with parents, educators and colleagues about services and programs available for children and families. Laura was supporting families, children and youth in the GTA and she began receiving requests for consultations from parents, grandparents and teachers, who required specialized resources for teaching, managing and parenting children who were experiencing challenges. Some of these families were on wait lists for early intervention services and newly diagnosed, others had been in the system for a number of years but required more specialized support.  All were searching for a helpful and empathetic ear.

“I was inspired to create a community for these families – a place to meet, learn and feel supported. Families and children needed to be heard, they needed to be empowered. A vision for FERN was established”

Where Are We Going?

FERN secured a not for profit status in March 2009. FERN’s volunteer Board of Directors are like minded individuals and professionals in the field of education, special education and business. We currently have a number of volunteers and family members who have given their time and expertise to FERN’s initiative. Many of our resources are currently on loan, families are using our resources in their home and in schools. Our programs have included a pilot workshop for children with learning and social challenges, workshops for parents, special community events and most recently intensive academic remediation programming.  Our membership is growing. We have conducted a number of focus groups and will continue to listen and learn. We are also collaborating with other organizations and professionals in the field.


  • creates services that educate, engage and empower parents and children
  • is a community based contact for families and educators who are looking for professional resources
  • will serve as a drop-in center, and open to all families and children.