Early Intervention Therapy
Early Intervention (EI) Therapy Services of SHARE Family and Community Services Society work with children, their families and other service providers to help children participate in everyday activities. EI Therapy Services include Speech-Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. Depending on your child’s support needs, you may have been referred for one or more of these services. EI Therapy Services provide services that support your goals for your child and family. The following services are provided by SHARE and through the New Westminster Children’s Centre (NWCC) and/or Tri-Cities Children’s Services (TCCS):
Speech-Language Therapists (SLP) or Speech Therapists help children develop communication skills. An SLP focuses on a child’s understanding of language, spoken language, speech skills, eating skills (chewing, sucking, swallowing), hearing, gestures and body language. SLPs explore strategies to help children communicate more effectively and to develop the best language learning environment. If a child is slow to talk, for example, the SLP may explore other ways for a child to communicate, such as gestures/signs, pictures or voice communication aids.
Occupational Therapists (OT) help children develop skills in self-care activities, in play and in learning activities – so in developing skills for life. An OT focuses on how children manage with dressing, toileting, eating and personal hygiene as well as how children co-ordinate their eyes with their hands, how they process information through their senses, how they pay attention, how they socialize with others, and how they best learn and organize activities. The OT builds on a child’s strengths and interests using play-based activities and/or adapted equipment.
Physical Therapists (PT) help children develop mobility (crawling, walking, getting around) independence and physical fitness. A Physical therapist focuses on the strength and control of a child’s muscles, the movement of their joints, and the development of balance, and coordination. They use the information from focusing on the child in this way, to develop activities that will encourage new motor skills. PT’s will help families to access community recreation programs such as swimming, horseback riding, and playground activities for their child. PT’s may also recommend specialized equipment such as: walkers, wheelchairs, standers and seating systems.