Specialized Programming

We offer the following program in addition to regular therapy services (click on the program for more information)

The CDC's specialized programs are made possible through the major support of Provincial Gaming Grants

The CDC also recognizes the amazing support of TD Waterhouse, the Prince George Community Foundation, and many other community supporters in this area.

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology, also known as "adaptive technological devices", or "technical aides", are devices which allow individuals who have physical or cognitive challenges, independent control of objects, toys and the environment (e.g. lighting, music, air conditioning etc.).

Technical aides are valuable learning tools for special needs children. They help children reach their developmental potential. They have the potential to increase a child's control over his/her environment; provide the opportunity for age appropriate experiences; and increase a child's ability to learn through play and to communicate.
Some examples of these presently in use at the Child Development Centre include:

  1. Switches: These are basically on/off switches that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Children can use them to activate different mechanisms. They are activated in a number of ways, such as pushing them, motion of your head, and using your voice. These switches enable the child to independently turn toys or devices on/off.
  2. Control Units: which expand the potential use of switches e.g., a timer which keeps an appliance such as a tape deck, on for a period of time. This removes the necessity for the child with reduced physical endurance to hold onto the switch to keep it going themselves.
  3. Battery adapted toys: These toys have been adapted so that they can be activated via a switch. We have a large range of toys to meet the different play skills, age levels and preferences of different children.
  4. Computers: These are used to develop the children's early thinking and interaction skills such as imitation and matching skills; turn taking, visual tracking, attention control, choice making, visual motor skills and fine motor control. They can be used to enhance development of language skills such as following directions and vocabulary. There are also programs targeting early academic and pre-reading skills. The Centre has a number of adaptations which allow children with limited physical abilities to use the computer on their own. These include touch windows and ports to install switches.
  5. Augmentative Communication Devices: These include 'voice output' devices which 'speak' with prerecorded messages, for the non-verbal child when he/she activates the device.
  6. At present assistive technology is used in therapy, in the preschool and in the daycares. There is also a loan program enabling families of children with special needs to borrow switches and other equipment.
  7. The assistive technology team usually consists of an Occupational Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist, an Early Childhood Educator and a Physiotherapist.
  8. What Services does Assistive Technology Offer?
  • Purchasing and maintenance of all existing equipment
  • Toy Loan Program
  • Augmentative Communication Equipment Loan

Equipment Loan

Equipment loan is an important way in which the Child Development Centre helps our families. It allows families to utilize equipment that is often only required for a short period of time, without incurring the related costs. We loan baby equipment, walkers, standers, bikes, switches, communicators and much more.

Our Physiotherapy staff with assistance from Dr. Nelson, Orthopaedic Surgeon, undertook a drive to raise money to purchase addition Adapted bikes for our loan program. The response from the community was overwhelming and we have been able to make more children mobile as they happily have the freedom of riding a bike.

Seating and Positioning Clinics

Positioning and Mobility Clinic Picture
Photo by Darrell Roze

The positioning and mobility service provides assessment, review and recommendations for specialized medical equipment that may help your child with their everyday activities. This equipment might include wheelchairs, seating systems, walking trainers, standing devices or other types of medical equipment. Occupational therapists and physiotherapists at the Child Development Centre work with the families and caregivers to ensure that each child seen is provided with the most appropriate positioning and mobility equipment required to meet his/her needs. The Positioning and Mobility Service occurs on an ongoing basis at the Child Development Centre. Positioning and mobility clinics occur two times per year in cooperation with Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children for more complex cases. Funding for medical equipment is available through a variety of government and charitable sources. For further information, contact the Therapy Department.

Specialized Therapy Groups

Positioning and Mobility Clinic Picture
Photo by Darrell Roze. Playground/gross motor group

Our therapists offer a number of specialized groups in the areas of communication and fine/gross motor skills. The communication groups include the followign general goals: improving their speech so the children are better understood, increasing your child’s pre-literacy skills such as rhyming, awareness of words, syllables and sounds, increasing their literacy skills with name and letter recognition, and increasing their ability to recognize and name concepts such as colours, counting, and shapes. The fine and gross motor groups work to improve motor skills and eye-hand coordination. The aim of these groups is to help children to participate in everyday activities and to prepare them for the transition to kindergarten. The groups may run throughout the school year (September to June) or over the summer months depending on the number of children requiring the service, and the availability of our Therapy staff to run the group.

While most of our services are through open referral, these groups accessed via referrals from therapists. If you believe your child may benefit from these groups, please enquire with your therapist.

Adaptive Aquatics

In conjunction with the Child Development Centre, the City of Prince George is offering adaptive aquatics for the physically disabled child. Swim lessons are designed for children with physical limitations. This class provides specific instruction by a certified Red Cross Instructor with the assistance of a Physiotherapist. The overall goal of this program is to assist in the transition towards the Red Cross Swim Kids programs in addition to providing the skills required for life long leisure and fitness activity.

Each class has a maximum of 3-6 participants

  1. To improve the quality of aquatic programs for individuals with a disability.
  2. Offer swim lessons to individuals that may not be able to participate in a normal swim lesson class provided by the leisure services department due to physical limitations and the need for guided instruction.
Physiotherapists’ Goals and Duties of Instruction of Swim Skills:
  1. Facilitate with instruction of swim skills and provide individualized swim goals as they relate to each participants strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Provide modifications and instructional arrangements to accommodate participants
  3. Assessment of swimmer’s abilities, strengths and weakness and functional limitations as they relate to the aquatic and functional living.

The physiotherapist will be in charge of implementing individualized goals for each participant that are designed to be used in conjunction with Red Cross Kids Program.

Swimming Instructors’ duties:
  1. Instruct swim skills with modifications provided by the physiotherapist to participants.
  2. Facilitate physiotherapist with swim instruction and participants' swim goals laid out by the physiotherapist.
  3. Evaluate each participant with their knowledge on swim progression and the Red Cross Swim Program.
  4. Provide Red Cross Swim cards that relate to each participant's achievements.

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Accessing our Services:

Anyone can refer a child to the Centre with the child's parent/legal guardian's consent. To start the process, download our Request for Service and Concent for Service forms from one of the following links, then bring the completed forms to the CDC:

Choose this if you are filling it out by hand

choose this if you are going to fill it out on your computer and if your computer has the program to open it.

Speech/Language Therapy Services:

Intruductory Video 1

Occupational Therapy:

Visiting the CDC Video 2


Intruductory Video 1