Occupational Therapy

We offer help to children from birth to Kindergarten entry who have trouble with sensation or movement.  While we often don’t think of children as having “occupations”, their main job is playing and learning, and occupational therapists can evaluate kids’ skills for playing, problem solving and daily activities.  We work closely with families and caregivers to find ways to help your child to move with success. Things we can help with include:

  • Babies who are having difficulty with:
    • Settling to sleep
    • Playing on their own
  • Toddlers who are having difficulty with:
    • New places, crowds, noise, lights, smells, swings, textures (sensory issues).
    • Using their hands to play
  • Preschoolers who are having difficulty with:
    • Stacking blocks, doing puzzles, threading beads, colouring, using scissors.
    • Dressing, toileting, feeding themselves.
    • Sensory issues as above (places, crowds etc.) are resulting in behaviour concerns or significant upset.
  • Children with many needs and little movement:
    • Choosing and ordering special equipment (walkers, wheelchairs etc.)
    • Accessing funding sources for equipment.
    • Adapting equipment and environments to help a child do more (e.g. foam liner for swing seat or wagon)

The Occupational Therapy program is staffed by fully qualified Occupational Therapists (OTs).  OTs in BC must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy.  We are also certified to practice by our National Association (Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists – CAOT) and registered with our Provincial College (College of Occupational Therapists of BC – COTBC).

When we first meet you and your child, we will do an assessment.  The assessment usually involves us watching and feeling how your child plays and moves and then introducing challenges in the form of simple games and activities. We will take note of what’s working well for your child, and where s/he runs into difficulties. We won’t be “doing exercises” to “fix” your child, but rather working with you to find ways of moving with, supporting and playing with your child to help them learn to move, play and function more effectively.

We work closely with the other NONA programs that you and your child are involved with. We are also available to do home-visits and to consult to community settings including preschools, daycares and recreation programs.

Following your assessment you will be offered services based on your child’s needs and abilities.  Services are often affected by caseload demands, so your child may be on a waitlist for a period of time prior to receiving ongoing services.  We work hard to provide families with coaching and home-programming ideas, and rely on parents to follow-through with treatment strategies at home.  While at NONA, your child may receive consultative services, individual or group intervention, periodic reviews and monitoring, or a combination of these services.