Specialized ProgrammingWe offer the following program in addition to regular therapy services (click on the program for more information)
- Assistive Technology
- Equipment Loan Program
- Seating and Positioning Clinics
- Specialized Preschool/Therapy Groups
- Adaptive Aquatics
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Augmentative Communication Devices: These include 'voice output' devices which 'speak' with prerecorded messages, for the non-verbal child when he/she activates the device.
The assistive technology team usually consists of an Occupational Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist, an Early Childhood Educator and a Physiotherapist.
What Services does Assistive Technology Offer?
- Purchasing and maintenance of all existing equipment
- Toy Loan Program
- Augmentative Communication Equipment Loan
Equipment LoanEquipment 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.
Oour 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 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/Preschool GroupsThe Early Childhood Education and Therapy departments jointly offer two types of specialized groups. One is to assist children with communication delays. General goals for the group include: improving their speech so they 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.
In addition, we offer groups that assist with the development of fine motor skills and hand eye development. 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 the therapist and early childhood educators.
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 AquaticsIn 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
- To improve the quality of aquatic programs for individuals with a disability.
- 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.
- Facilitate with instruction of swim skills and provide individualized swim goals as they relate to each participants strengths and weaknesses.
- Provide modifications and instructional arrangements to accommodate participants
- 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:
- Instruct swim skills with modifications provided by the physiotherapist to participants.
- Facilitate physiotherapist with swim instruction and participants' swim goals laid out by the physiotherapist.
- Evaluate each participant with their knowledge on swim progression and the Red Cross Swim Program.
- Provide Red Cross Swim cards that relate to each participant's achievements.