Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy (OT) is a regulated healthcare profession that enables individuals to achieve their optimum ability to engage in everyday activities. A child’s occupation is to continually develop a range of new skills through engagement in play, self-care, social and academic activities. Paediatric occupational therapists help to enhance skill development and quality of life for children who experience motor, sensory, learning, social and behavioural challenges. Occupational therapists, through their unique combination of skills, are well positioned to support parents and educators to effectively and creatively problem solve to enhance quality of life for all children.


When to contact an OT

A child would benefit from seeing an occupational therapist when they experience difficulties in any of the following areas:


§  Gross motor skills (riding a bike, running, throwing a ball)

§  Fine motor skills (cutting, printing, fastening buttons)

§  Visual perception/visual motor skills (matching, printing, copying)

§  Oral motor skills (chewing, drinking)

§  Sensory processing (hyper or hypo reactivity)

§  Play and toy use

§  Socializing with peers

§  Self-regulation (issues with emotion and arousal regulation, attention, aggression, impulsivity)

Children seen by our therapists often have, but are not limited to:

§  Sensory Processing Disorder

§  Developmental Coordination Disorder (gross and fine motor delays)

§  Dyspraxia (impaired motor planning)

§  Autism Spectrum Disorder

§  Global Developmental Delay

§  Learning Disability

§  Regulatory Disorders

§  Attention Deficit Disorder

§  Cerebral Palsy

§  Feeding Disorders such as ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder)

§  Poor Handwriting

§  Mental Health Challenges (anxiety, depression, low self-esteem)

Unique to our occupational therapy team

is the depth of understanding of a sensory integration frame of reference and its application to assessment and intervention. Many of our associates also have a special expertise in working with children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). These associates have a wide range of experience working with this population. Some associates worked as ABA providers prior to graduating as OTs and others have provided or continue to provide OT consultation to various treatment centres, as well as public and private schools, often working with children and adolescents with dual diagnoses. Many of our OT associates have certification in the provision of DIR/Floortime® services which helps parents learn to expand their ASD child’s social communication and play skills.  In addition, we have expertise and experience utilizing recognized cognitive behaviour therapy models designed to develop self-regulation, social interaction and social thinking skills in children without formal diagnoses.  We also have expertise managing the picky eater whose restricted diets are related to a combination of sensory, motor and behavioural challenges.

Our occupational therapy team has expertise in the following areas:

o   Sensory Integration Theory

o   Sensory Processing Disorders

o   Sensory Diets

o   Wilbarger Therapressure Protocol

o   Alert Program

o   Ready Approach

o   SOS Feeding Program

o   Beckman Oral Motor Evaluation Protocol (for Feeding)

o   Face Your Fears Program

o   Astronaut Program

o   Vital Links Therapeutic Listening

o    DIR®/Floortime

o   Handwriting Without Tears

o   Early Intervention

o   Applied Behaviour Analysis

o   Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

o   Zones of Regulation

o   Incredible 5-Point Scale

o   Social Thinking

o   Trauma Informed approaches

Speech and Language Pathology

Ellen Yack and Associates provides a unique venue to offer speech and language pathology (SLP) services to our clients.  Our SLPs have access to sensory motor gyms to conduct evaluations and treatment.  These gyms have a range of equipment including swings, barrels, therapy balls and crash mats.  They are child-friendly environments that entice children to engage and communicate.  Our SLPs frequently use swings during their assessment and treatment sessions as research has demonstrated that some children with special needs have increased verbalizations when swinging. Research also supports the use of movement to enhance self-regulation and attending behaviours and this input assists our clients to meet speech and language goals. 

Our SLPs have a range of specialized training with specific expertise in facilitating oral-motor development and feeding skills and see children in both individual sessions and group programs.

Our SLP team has expertise in the following areas:

§    Autism Spectrum Disorders

§    DIR®Floortime

§    Receptive and Expressive Language Delays

§    Learning Disabilities

§    Late Talkers

§    Acquired Brain Injury

§    Articulation

§    Fluency

§    Oral-Motor Development

§    Apraxia/Motor Speech

§    Feeding

§    Social Communication

§    Phonological Awareness/Literacy

Our SLPs have received training in the following specialty areas:

o  Hanen

o  Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

o  Prompt for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT)

o  Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson Oral Motor Therapy/Talk Tools™

o  Social Thinking

o  DIR®/Floortime

Behaviour Therapy

Contact us for more information