We 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
- School Adaptive Aquatics Program
- Early Intervention Pool Program
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.
- 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.
- 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 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,
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 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
Our therapists offer a number of specialized groups in the areas of communication and fine/gross motor skills. The communication groups include the following 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.
School Adaptive Aquatics Program
School aged children that are on the physiotherapy caseload have the opportunity to partner with the school, the city and the CDC to participate weekly in the pool program. This is a weekly program that follows the school and Aquatic Centre calendars. The students come with their educational assistants or family member and work on swim skills and physiotherapy goals. A physiotherapist and therapy assistant work with the students and care givers to achieving their goals. The students have a variety of tools and toys to try out, such as specialized personal floatation devices during this swim times.
Early Intervention Pool Program
Each physiotherapist takes a turn to see a 3-4 of their clients and their caregiver weekly at the Four Season’s Pool for about 6 sessions. The goal of this program is to promote community involvement by families and to show them alternative ways and places to work on physiotherapy goals.