Our therapy Department offers Speech Language Pathology (SLP), Occupational Therapy (OT), and Physiotherapy (PT) services. Most of these services are funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and are provided at no cost to families. Services are broken into the following two program areas:
Early Intervention Therapy (for children from birth to school entry). This includes most of our therapy programming.
School Age Therapy. We provide physiotherapy and occupational therapy services for children with gross motor delays. There is no cost to access these services as they are funded by the Province. We provide additional school age occupational therapy services on a-fee-for-service basis for children with other special needs. Although this programming is open to all school age children and youth with special needs, this service is most often utilized to assist those with autism and/or developmental coordination disorder.
The CDC also provides intensive therapy blocks for eligible children under the At Home program when the Centre has available staffing.
Local paediatricians, Dr. Boulding (Psychiatrist), and outreach teams from Sunnyhill Health Centre also provide services at the Centre.
Anyone can refer a child with the authorization of a child's legal guardian (usually the child's parents). Referrals can be done over the phone, in person at the CDC, or by completing and returning a referral form that can be downloaded from the following links: PDF file, doc file.
Referrals are taken at the CDC from 8:30-4:30, Monday to Friday. We are closed on statutory holidays and between Christmas and New Years.
Members of the Development Team:
Whenever practical and beneficial, we utilize a coordinated approach to our services. The therapist may be the only professional working with the child and family. However, with parental/caregiver consent, we may involve other health and developmental professionals to jointly assess and serve the child.
Where does therapy take place?
The CDC has child and family friendly treatment gyms and ‘quiet rooms’ where we provide much of our services. However, therapists also undertake home visits, especially to see infants where transportation is a problem. Therapists also see children at their daycare, school or wherever the family and therapist find most appropriate. The CDC also provides outreach services to Mackenzie, McBride, and Valemount. We also provide community outreach services, helping children than may not otherwise be able to come out to the Centre. These services are often provided to community daycares.
Speech Language Pathology (SLP):
Speech/language therapy services are designed to assist in the development of children’s verbal and non-verbal communication skills, including the following:
- Understanding and using language – words, sentences, telling stories
- Social uses of communication – greeting people, playing with peers, holding a conversation etc.
- Clarity of speech, including the ability to produce and combine the speech sounds of the child’s language; use of the voice.
- Facial expression, body language and gesture
- Alternative or augmentative ways of communicating, such as sign language or picture symbols
- Pre-literacy skills
Speech language pathologists also manage feeding difficulties in young children when they involve the ability to suck, chew and swallow.
When trying to improve the communication of young children, it is necessary to take a broad view of the child. Speech language pathologists are therefore concerned with the child’s hearing, general health, attention, memory, personality, socialization, movement skills, play and concept development. Family needs and lifestyle are considered in selecting treatment content and options, too.
Speech Language Pathologists have a Master’s degree, or equivalent, in Speech Language Pathology, and they are registered members of the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of British Columbia.
Occupational Therapy (OT)
Occupational Therapy is a health profession concerned with promoting health and well-being. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in occupations(activities) that give meaning and purpose to their lives. For children, these activities may include using their hands for play, dressing, feeding, toileting, bathing, following routines, and moving around their homes, communities, preschools/daycares/schools. Occupational therapists working in paediatrics help children who have been challenged by developmental difficulties, injury or disease to develop, function and participate in everyday life.
Together with the child and the child's family/caregivers, the occupational therapist will assess each child in order to determine goals and strategies that address the child's needs, abilities and environment.
An occupational therapist's education, training and clinical experience provides expertise in the following areas:
- Fine Motor Skills - hand function, eye/hand coordination, pre-writing/writing, skills, manual dexterity, grasp patterns
- Activities of Daily Living Skills - dressing, feeding, grooming, hygiene
- Perceptual/Cognitive Skills - design copying, matching, sequencing, color and number concepts, space and position concepts, memory.
- Sensory-Motor Skills - body image, body concept, motor planning, bilateral, integration, laterality, tactile sensitivity, sensations of movement
- Posture Control - positioning and posture control to increase function
- Splinting - fabricate splints for neurological or orthopaedic concerns
- Play Skills - age appropriate toys, social interaction, functional play
- Specialized Equipment - assistive devices, mobility equipment, assistive technology, home modifications, accessibility
Occupational Therapy, in collaboration with Physical Therapy and Speech Language Pathology, offer specialized teams in the following:
- Technical Aids Team
- Seating and Mobility Team
- Feeding Team
Our occupational therapists are registered with the College of Occupational Therapists of B.C.
Our physiotherapy services are concerned with how a child moves, what is typical and what is not, and what movement or lack of movement will result in problems for a child. The child’s development, especially in the area of posture and movement, is analyzed and a plan of action determined through consultation with the family.
We believe every child has the right of access to those interventions and supports which enable that child to achieve their highest potential, without regard to race, gender, age, physical and /or mental abilities.
- Treatment (direct or in groups)
- Program development
Children with the following diagnoses or conditions are most commonly seen: developmental delay, high risk infants, orthopaedic abnormalities, Cerebral Palsy and other neurological conditions, Muscular Dystrophy, Torticollis, brachial plexus injury, exposure to drugs and/or alcohol, various syndromes including Down Syndrome,and pre and post surgical needs such as rhizotomy and muscle release.
Our physiotherapists are registered with the College of Physical Therapists of B.C. This membership requires a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Medicine or an equivalent qualification. Most of our therapists have either many years of experience in working with children’s needs and/or have specialized skills in the areas of neurology, orthopaedics, rheumatology, respirology, infant and child development, positioning, splinting and orthotics.