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Resources to Support Children and Youth with Special Needs

Integrated Rehabilitation

Many children with special needs require supports from Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Pathology. It is important, where possible, to integrate these rehabilitation therapies. Learn more about how this is being done in our counties.

Integrated Rehabilitation refers to three therapies:
  • Occupational Therapy (OT)
  • Physiotherapy (PT)
  • Speech & Language Therapy (SLP)

These services are provided by different agencies depending on the age of your child and where in the 5 counties you live (Elgin, Huron, London/Middlesex, Perth, Oxford). Go to the Services tab of this Information Portal to find exact information. Here is a brief overview. 
Currently there is work taking place to make it easier for children to use these services. A brief update about this work can be found below.
Infant & Pre-school  OT, PT and SLP Oxford, Elgin, London, Middlesex, Huron, Perth smallTALK is the Preschool Speech Language Program serving families in Huron and Perth counties. Services are provided through all eight hospitals with a variety of interventions available in both hospital clinics and licensed childcare settings. We provide supports for children up until eligible for senior kindergarten registration.  If you have concerns about the way your baby or child’s speech and language skills are developing call 519-272-8216 or 1-866-333-7716 or go to http://www.smalltalkinfo.ca/contact/

tykeTALK is the Preschool Speech and Language Program serving families with children from birth to school-age in London-Middlesex, Elgin and Oxford Counties. It is a partnership with the following service provider agencies: Thames Valley Children’s Centre, Woodstock Hospital, and H. A. Leeper Speech and Hearing Clinic at Western University. If you have concerns about the way your baby or child’s speech and language skills are developing call (519) 663-0273 or go to http://www.tyketalk.com/online-referral-form

Thames Valley Children’s Centre provides integrated community-based services to infants and preschoolers with physical, communication, and developmental needs.  Individualized services vary depending on the child’s and their family’s needs and priorities at different times. Clients and their families can access a variety of intervention options. To make a referral, please call 1.866.590.8822 ext 58716 or go to http://www.tvcc.on.ca/intake-referrals. For infants two years of age and younger, please refer to Developmental Resources for Infants (DRI) intake at 1.866.590.8822 ext 58710.
School aged OT & PT, Speech Therapy Oxford, Elgin, London, Middlesex, Huron, Perth To request therapy support in your school, discuss with your school principal and resource teacher. These services are provided in school and focus on supporting the child's participation in the education setting. Because of a large demand for service, not all children are eligible, and there may be a waiting period before service is started. Principals initiate requests for service to the South West Local Health Integration Network.  There are school board SLPs who assess and determine if your child’s needs should be addressed by the board SLP or if a referral should be made for Speech Therapy. See the sections below about language therapy as well. Once your child is released from the waitlist, a therapist will contact you to discuss treatment. After April 1, 2018 in publicly funded schools only, principals will be making referrals directly to Thames Valley Children’s Centre (TVCC).
TVCC also provides OT and SLP services on a contract basis to Standing Stone School, on the Oneida Nation of the Thames and Antler River School on the Chippewas of the Thames.
For information about OT, PT and SLP services available at home, contact the South West Local Health Integration Network.
School aged Language Therapy Avon Maitland District School Board Speech and Language services are part of the Learning Services Department of the Avon Maitland District School Board. The Speech Language Pathologists provide a range of services to support students with speech, language and communication needs within the educational setting. The nature of the involvement is based on the individual needs of the students and may include the following:
  • assessment
  • consultation with parents, teachers, support staff and other professionals
  • intervention (in classroom, small groups and individuals)
  • programming and strategies provided to home and school
  • liaison with other professionals, agencies and organizations
  • monitoring of student progress
  • professional development
  • participation in school team meetings
  • preparation of claims for students requiring specialized augmentative or alternative communication devices.
School aged Language Therapy Conseil scolaire catholique Providence Au sein du Conseil scolaire catholique Providence, les orthophonistes fournissent des services directs et indirects en français, tels que des dépistages, des évaluations, des consultations, des interventions, des formations et des programmes à domicile avec l'appui des aides-orthophonistes. Nous valorisons l'identification et l'intervention précoce et  les services directs ciblent surtout les enfants de la maternelle jusqu'à la 3e année. Nous travaillons en équipe multidisciplinaire (services cliniques, équipe école, parents) afin de répondre aux besoins des enfants dans l'optique de la réussite scolaire.

At the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) provide direct and indirect services in French, such as screening, assessment, consultation, intervention, training and home programming, with the support of communicative disorders assistants. Early identification and intervention are the priority, and direct services are primarily focused on children from junior kindergarten through grade 3. The SLP works closely with the school team, the clinical services team and the parents in order to best meet the child's need for academic success.
School aged Language Therapy Conseil scolaire Viamonde Speech Language Services
Early intervention for students beginning in JK
Focus on oral language skills, phonological awareness and articulation
Speech and language therapy
Consultation Assessment and Intervention at school or home
Programme de services en orthophonie
Dépistage précoce à partir de la maternelle
Développement de la parole et du langage; conscience phonologique et articulation
Programme de rééducation de la parole et du langage
Consultation Évaluation et Intervention à l’école ou au foyer
School aged Language Therapy Huron Perth Catholic School Board Currently, in the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board, speech and language services are delivered through a shared model of responsibilities. Our local preschool service agency, smallTALK, provides early assessment and intervention which is transferred to school based services in Kindergarten. Similarly, for school aged children, initial assessments and recommendations are the responsibility of contracted speech and language services.

These contracted services, comprised of Speech Language Pathologist and Communication Disorder Assistant supports, provide therapeutic interventions for children with mild articulation difficulties and language problems. The South West Local Health Integration Network provides services for students with moderate to severe phonological disorders/articulation delays and other speech problems (voice, resonance, fluency, neuromotor and other motor speech disorders). At regular intervals, reassessments are held to determine the need for further intervention based on the child improving with a home/school program and/or direct intervention. The child is discharged from service at the discretion of the overseeing Speech Language Pathologist. An excellent working relationship exists between the Huron Perth Catholic District School Board and each of the partners.
School aged Language Therapy London District Catholic School Board SLPs assist teachers in understanding the oral language needs of students and the interrelationships between listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Together with teachers, SLPs develop curriculum-based strategies to address the language learning needs of students in the classroom. (OSLA, 2016) The school-based SLP provides a range of services to support students with speech, language, and communication needs within the educational setting. Services may include: consultation; assessment; direct programming; and liaising with community-based service providers. Referrals to school-based Speech and Language Services begin with the school. Parents should contact the school classroom teacher or Student Program Support Teacher to present a concern.
School aged Language Therapy Thames Valley District School Board Speech-Language Pathologists provide a full range of services to meet the communication needs of a student through an educational service delivery model, advancing communication skills within the school environment and fostering the transfer of these skills to other settings. The Speech-Language Pathology staff offer screening, assessment and intervention services for students. Collaborations with families, educators and other team members are instrumental. A full range of evidence informed interventions are employed. The team also provides professional development and public education opportunities for school and system staff, families and community partners.

Changes for OT, PT, and SLP for Students in Publically Funded Schools for Bruce, Elgin, Grey, Huron, Middlesex, Oxford, and Perth Counties.

Integrated Rehabilitation is part of the Ontario Special Needs Strategy and involves planning to improve how Occupational Therapy (OT), Physiotherapy (PT) and Speech Language Pathology (SLP) are offered for preschoolers, children and youth in Ontario. On Sept 1, 2017 the Ministry of Children and Youth Services announced a hold on local planning while a Provincial Advisory Group is in place. http://www.tvcc.on.ca/news/special-needs-strategy In the meantime, an interim plan has been put in place affecting how these services are provided in some schools. Beginning April 1, 2018, Children’s Treatment Centres across Ontario will be responsible for managing the contracts with agencies that provide OT, PT and SLP services in publically funded schools. This transition plan will be in effect from April 1, 2018 at least to the end of March 2019. Meanwhile, a province-wide advisory committee is working on how services will be offered after April 1, 2019. OT, PT, and SLP services for children prior to entering school will continue as is during this interim period.

To learn more about how these changes are taking place go to: http://www.tvcc.on.ca/news/changes-therapy-services-publicly-funded-schools