Therapy services are offered by KidsAbility Centre for Child Development as a support to the child’s educational program. Therapists work as part of the team involving the child, the child’s family/caregivers, teachers and educational assistants. The team works together to set goals and develop an intervention plan in order to assist the child to function in the school setting.
Therapy services may include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and/or speech and language therapy, depending on the needs of the child and the availability of resources. Assessment and consultative services may also be available from social work and therapeutic recreation. Other KidsAbility services such as Seating and Mobility Services, orthopedics, orthotics clinics, and/or Augmentative Communication Services (ACS) may be accessed. A variety of approaches may be used by the therapists to assist the child in meeting his/her goals. These include direct service, mediation and consultation.
Intervention activities are implemented by a therapist with one child or a small group of children using specialized strategies and techniques. This may occur in the classroom, gym or therapy room and may involve more than one type of therapist (e.g. an occupational therapist and a speech language pathologist may see a child at the same time).
Intervention activities are implemented by “mediators” (e.g. parents, caregivers, teachers, educational assistants, therapy aides or volunteers) in the child’s environment. The therapist is responsible for training and coaching the mediators, monitoring the child’s program and evaluating his/her progress.
Intervention occurs by the therapist sharing knowledge, resources and expertise to enable others to make changes in their roles, functions, programs, and environments (e.g. parent education workshops, team meetings, written information etc.). Consultation involves evaluation and/or monitoring of the child’s progress and may occur in conjunction with another approach.
Depending on the needs of the child and the resources available, different approaches will be used at different times throughout the school year. For example, a therapist may begin with a direct service approach to identify strategies and then change to a consultation approach to share these strategies with teachers and educational assistants. The child’s therapists and school team work with the family to determine the most appropriate intervention plan.
Parent Information Sessions
A number of professional development sessions for parents may be offered throughout the school year.
These sessions may focus on speech and language development, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, behavioural strategies, and/or the transition of KidsAbility School students to their community schools.
As it becomes available, information about the sessions and registration details will be sent to families whose children attend KidsAbility School. Families are encouraged to take part in the sessions.
- Planning for the transition of KidsAbility School students to community schools begins in January/February of each school year.
- Consultants and Special Education Resource Teachers from the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board communicate with KidsAbility School staff to begin the transition process for the coming school year. Parent permission is obtained for this sharing of information.
- From February to April, personnel from the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board visit KidsAbility School classrooms to observe students and meet with teachers and therapists. These observation meetings help the receiving schools plan for appropriate student placements and special education programming.
- In May and June, “Transition Meetings” are held at KidsAbility to facilitate the transition of KidsAbility School students to community schools for the following September. Parents, KidsAbility School team members, and school board personnel attend these conferences.
- KidsAbility School has prepared a resource guide for parents. This helps to facilitate the planning process for KidsAbility School students who will be entering Kindergarten programs in the Waterloo Region District School Board or the Waterloo Catholic District School Board in September. Parents of each student at KidsAbility School each receive a copy of the guide. called The Bridge to Transition – A Parent’s Guide.
A Parent’s Guide: Transitioning from KidsAbility School to Your Community School