Incorporating therapies into our day-to-day activities at daycare is one of things that makes Hope’s Home so special.
Children with complex medical or developmental needs often have various therapies they need to do everyday to promote healthy development. In order to provide high quality, inclusive care – we staff Physical Development Consultants to help children with their therapies in a way that doesn’t segregate them from the rest of the children.
To learn more about this, our wonderful Physical Development Consultant, April, explains more about it.
What exactly is a Physical Development Consultant at Hope’s Home?
As a Physical Development Consultant (“PDC”), I work closely with the Developmental Workers. My daily goal is to make sure that our children with complex medical needs and developmental delays are equipped with the programs and plans they need to master new skills and participate fully in activities. Whether with adaptive equipment, a hand over hand assistance, or them building the skills to be able to dance on the floor with their friends, we aspire to give the child the maximum participation and incorporate fun therapies into their daily activities.
I am a Physiotherapist by profession, specializing in pediatrics for most of my career. I have been trained for some Neurodevelopmental Techniques of therapy and recently received a certificate of training for the Cognitive Orientation Approach for Individuals with Motor Difficulties.
A closer look at therapies.
The programs and goals we set to support the achievement of the child’s developmental milestones are in continuance to the goals of the parents and all the supporting professionals that are involved in the child’s life. The various therapies are decided upon by the specialized professionals and carried out by the PDC at Hope’s Home in an integrated way.
A list of outside professionals we work with:
- Occupational Therapists
- Speech Language Pathologists
- Social Workers
- Other professionals from organizations such as Children’s Rehabilitation Centres, Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECIP), and AIM (“Ability in Me”).
Integrating Therapies to make them fun!
After deciding on goals for the child, we work together as a team to translate them into different activities that are incorporated through play in their day-to-day fun. Ensuring that our staff are trained to adapt materials and help the child regulate emotions; and that tools such as switches to support communication and adapted equipment are accessible, is all an integral part of inclusion for Hope’s Home.
All of the therapies also occur in their classroom to allow other children to play along. This gives us more opportunity to educate and create that loving, caring, and helping relationship between typically developing children and children with complex medical or developmental needs.
For example, when a child is in a standing frame they can happily do pretend play in the kitchen with friends. So even though standing for certain periods of time is considered part of their therapy, they are enjoying their time and therefore the therapy is incorporated in play.
A favorite memory was seeing a child in a walker playing eagerly with friends in the backyard. With just amount of challenge and support, he was able to let go of the walker and did his independent steps to catch his friends. And when you see a proud grin and friends proudly celebrating, you just know Hope’s Home made it happen.
Our Physical Development Consultants are an un-funded position at Hope’s Home. If you wish to help us out and ensure that our children are getting the best care possible by having a PDC on staff, please visit our donate page.
That’s why there is no place like Hope