Occupational therapists, also known as OTs, help children develop skills in self-care activities and in play. They look at how children manage with dressing, toileting, eating and personal hygiene, how they co-ordinate their eyes with their hands, how they process sensory information, how they pay attention and socialize with others and how they best learn and organize activities. Occupational therapy builds on a child’s strengths using play-based activities, and/or adapted equipment.
This service works with young children, newborn to age five, and their families living in the Tri-Cities to assist children in developing new motor skills as well as self-care, play and learning skills. Therapists may suggest specialized toys or mobility aids to provide opportunities for play and exploration within home and preschool environments.
The wait for Occupational Therapy services at SHARE can vary greatly. Our goal for service is to respond to your referral by making contact with you within 30 days – you will be invited to attend an initial consultation with a therapist. Typically intake and prioritization for ongoing service is determined considering three things:
- Feeding Concerns – for example a young child who is experiencing difficulty related to a feeding dysfunction, when feeding difficulties are affecting adequate nutritional intake and children/infants who are tube-fed.
- Physical Disability – for example there is a need for positioning or mobility equipment, need for splinting, and/or needs for toileting, bathing or other home management equipment.
- Entering Kindergarten in September (of the year of referral) – children who are eligible to enter kindergarten in the year of their referral will be placed on a priority list for an Occupational Therapy Screening Assessment. They will be placed in a therapy group, if available/suitable or the needs of the child will be addressed in consultation with the family.
How to Apply
To access this service please call the Tri-Cities Children’s Services intake worker at 604-525-8242 or download our service request form here and follow the directions on the bottom for returning it to us. Families may self-refer or be referred by their doctor or other community professional.
If you have any questions regarding the occupational therapy program please feel free to contact the Occupational Therapy Team Leader, Zahra Lalani, at 604-529-5114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.