What is Occupational Therapy (OT)?

Occupational therapy is a profession dedicated to improving an individual's function and performance in everyday life. Through the use of therapeutic self-care, productivity and play activities, OT's strive to maximize a person's independence, enhance their development, and prevent disability.

Children's productivity is play and learning, both of which are crucial for development. When a child's ability is affected as a result of injury, illness, disability or disease, an occupational therapist can evaluate a child's skills for daily activities, school performance and self care activities and compare them to what is developmentally appropriate for an age group. Treatment is focused on improving a child's skill level to meet those of his/her peers.

Does my child need OT?

Please call our Pediatric Occupational Therapists for a free phone consultation to determine the need for OT services or other professional intervention for your child.

How does OT help?

Our pediatric therapists work with children to maximize each child's potential by providing individualized sensory motor activities that require a child to perform with a little more skill each time. Children learn improved skills through therapeutic play. In addition, when children engage in these sessions, not only do their sensory processing and motor skills improve, we can also see a great impact on their social / emotional development, self esteem and peer relationships.

What does an OT session look like?

Our therapists use a variety of approaches including but not limited to Sensory Integration and Neuro Development Treatment through activities based in therapeutic play. The child is not aware that every step of the way a therapist has a therapeutic goal in mind and is moving towards those goals in each and every session. Many of the "toys" are usually available only in therapy catalogs however others are highly familiar and can be played with in a new therapeutic way. Each treatment session is planned and customized for an individual child's needs, goals and that particular child's inner drive to provide the 'just right challenge' for the child.

How do children react to OT?

Our therapists use a playful, individualized approach to help your child reach his/her potential. Children view therapy as 'play' with a special friend and look forward to seeing their therapists every week.

How do I begin therapy at Symbiosis?

Please contact us to provide some information about your child and a package of forms and questionnaires will be sent to you. These forms can also be downloaded from our website. Our office manager will then book an appointment with you and your child for a Comprehensive Assessment or a Clinical Consultation. Following either of these evaluations, treatment sessions can be booked based on our therapists' availability and the child's schedule.

My child has a recent (within last 1 year) comprehensive OT assessment. Why do I need to book another evaluation?

For a child with a comprehensive OT assessment, only the Clinical Consultation will be indicated. This session will be spent on clinical observations of the child, going over the previous OT report and setting up OT goals with the family. A written report can also be provided upon request.

What is Sensory Integration?

Sensory integration theory proposes that sensory integration is a neurobiological process that organizes sensation from one's own body and from the environment and makes it possible to use the body effectively within the environment. The spatial and temporal aspects of inputs from different sensory modalities are interpreted, associated, and unified.

Essentially, the theory holds that disordered sensory integration accounts for some aspects of learning disorders and that enhancing sensory integration will make academic learning easier for those children whose problem lies in that domain. (Source: http://www.siglobalnetwork.org).

What is Neuro Developmental Treatment?

NDT is a problem-solving approach to the examination and treatment of the impairments and functional limitations of individuals with neuropathology, primarily children with CP and adults with stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI). These individuals have dysfunction in posture and movement that lead to limitations in functional activity NDT focuses on the analysis and treatment of sensory-motor impairments and functional limitations that physical therapists (PT), occupational therapists (OT), and speech and language pathologists (SLP) can address. (Source: http://www.ndta.org).

Are there any strategies that I can learn to help my child at home?

There are many strategies that a parent or caregiver can use to help their child at home. Once your child starts therapy with our pediatric therapists, a home program can be provided that includes exercises, activities and suggestions that take into consideration your individual child's current level of functioning. A Sensory Diet can be developed for the child if indicated. Suggestions to incorporate these strategies at home and school are also provided as part of the Comprehensive Assessment in the accompanying report.

Where can I obtain funding for OT services?

Information for funding can be found on our Resource page under Funding Agencies. Occupational Therapy is not covered by M.S.P. but may be covered by some extended health plans and is a tax-deductible medical expense. Please contact our office for more information regarding funding.

Symbiosis provides Occupational Therapy intervention for children of ages ranging from infants through 16 years. The intervention is targeted to children who have a difficulty with participation in one or more of home, school and play environments.

Our Forms

[PDF] Client Agreement

Funding Agencies

Autism funding program-BC

At Home Program Funding

Variety - The Children's Charity

President's Choice Children's Charity

Equipments and Supplies

School Speciality Canada

Flag House Canada

Southpaw Enterprises

Other Useful Links