PATH & Jr. PATH

PATH or Preschool Assessment and THerapy and Jr. PATH are the Children’s Treatment Centre in-house preschool programs dedicated to children with motor and communication delays. PATH children benefit from both one on one therapy and group therapy, within a structured play environment. The PATH programs promote:

  • curiosity and choice making
  • self-esteem
  • play skills, turn-taking and respect of others
  • gross motor skill development (e.g., positioning,moving, balancing, developing coordination)
  • communication skill development (e.g., making sounds, signing, using words, etc.)
  • fine motor skill development (e.g., colouring, cutting)
  • self-care skill development (e.g., dressing, feeding, toileting)
  • preparing a child for the transition to an integrated child care centre and/or school.

Therapies Involved/Team Members

Family
The Family, who knows their child best, is an important member of the Preschool team. After sharing their concerns and hopes for their child, the family plays a key role in goal setting and achievement, and incorporates therapy home programs into daily activities.

Preschool Leader
Acting as a key communication contact for families, the Preschool Leader greets each child and promotes their comfort, socialization, participation, and acceptance of preschool programs and routines.
The Preschool Leader promotes a collaborative team spirit and assists in the planning and delivery of activities which offer children a wide range of stimulating choices (e.g. toys, books, crafts, etc.) appropriate to their level of development and their therapy goals.

Occupational Therapist
The occupational therapist assesses and treats children’s function and independence in the following areas: fine motor skills (use of hands and arms), visual perceptual skills (how a child moves based on what they see and how they interpret it), play skills, concept development, sensory skills (how a child processes sensory information) and self-care skills (dressing, feeding, toileting and hygiene).

Physiotherapist
The physiotherapist assesses and treats children’s gross motor and mobility skills. Areas of focus may include movement, strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. The physiotherapist identifies the need for mobility equipment (e.g. walkers, canes) and works together with team members to select the best positioning equipment for each child (e.g. chairs, standers).

Speech Language Pathologist
The speech language pathologist assesses and treats children's communication skills. Areas of focus may include: interaction and play skills, understanding of language, expression of language (e.g., ability to convey ideas), speech sounds, augmentative ways of communicating (e.g., sign language, pictures), voice and stuttering.

Communicative Disorders Assistant
Under the supervision of a speech language pathologist the communicative disorders assistant works to treat children’s communication skills. They help to carry through with the goals put forth by the speech language pathologist.

Each of the therapy disciplines will identify opportunities to include therapy goals into regular activities and will share these strategies with the family and interprofessional team.

Social Worker
The social worker assists parents in accessing community and financial resources, provides counselling and support to families, and attends parent team meetings. The social worker organizes information sessions, parent networking groups and assists with the planning for starting school.  Parents can contact the social worker directly or a referral can be made by a PATH team member.

Volunteers & Students
Volunteers, college and university students on placement also provide support to the program.

About the Program

Duration, Frequency & Intensity
There is a three-morning PATH and a two-morning PATH. The two-morning PATH introduces the child to gradual separation from the parent, while providing physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy in a preschool setting.                  

The PATH Program is held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and JR PATH on Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  Both preschool programs respect holidays and follow the academic calendar distributed in September. The PATH programs are not offered in July and August.  In the event of school bus cancellations due to weather, the CTC’s preschool programs will also be closed, as driving conditions will be dangerous and the availability of staff may be reduced.

Structure
There are 3 terms during the academic year: September to November, December to March and March to June.  Early in each term, a meeting will be held between parents & the PATH team to jointly determine goals for the term. At the end of each term, a transition meeting will be held between parent & the PATH team to discuss the next steps (eg. block off/home program, outpatient services, SPOT, community program, etc.).  In order to allow for the maximum number of children to benefit form this intensive therapy experience, eligible preschool students can be considered for one Jr. PATH term and one Sr. PATH term; although not necessarily consecutively.  In the unlikely event that a term is not full with new participants, a student may be offered an additional term, at the discretion of the PATH teams and CTC therapists.                       

Eligibility and Admission Process

Age Range
24 months to 4 years of age

Screening and Assessment Process
CTC therapists suggest to parents that he/she may benefit from attending either our Jr. PATH (Preschool Assessment THerapy) or PATH Program. The purpose of these programs is to provide intensive therapies (physiotherapy, occupational and speech & language therapy) within a structured Preschool Program which emphasizes socialization and play.

Program Availability
The demand for the programs always exceeds the number of spaces available. If parents are interested in having their child participate, therapist will submit an application to either PATH/Jr. PATH. A meeting will then be held to review all potential candidates. A fair selection process will be undertaken based on each child’s needs and set eligibility criteria. Parents will be informed by their therapist if a space is available for their child. The programs run on 3 month sessions, and, if ineligible for one session, space may become available in the future.

Language Availability

PATH and Jr. PATH incorporate French and English, as well as sign language within the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can parents attend program?
Parents are welcome to attend the program with their children for the first few sessions in order to help the child transition. However the goal is for parents to leave the children as the sessions progress. Parents are welcome to participate in some sessions with the therapists as parent helper of the day.If the children exhibit extreme separation anxiety we do have a waiting area out in the hall for those parents who wish to remain close by as well as a Family Resource room.

Diapers and Snacks?
Parents are responsible for providing diapers, wipes, pull-ups, or underwear and a change of clothes. A nutritious snack is provided. Parents are asked to

advise the PATH/Jr. PATH team if their children have special dietary needs.


Cost?

Fees = $75.00 Jr. PATH or $100.00 PATH 
Fees may be waived if the client is absent for a prolonged period (e.g., more than 3 weeks in succession). Funding may be available to families requiring help.


Equipment & Transportation?

Parents are responsible for providing transportation to and from the program, as well as bringing in any braces, UCBLs, orthotics or splints with their children.  Other equipment such as standers and walkers may be required. Please consult with your child’s physiotherapist or occupational therapist.


Consultation with other service providers?

When infant development staff are involved with the child they will be invited to attend PATH/JR PATH transition meeting with parents.  This final meeting will serve to review the child’s progress and discuss recommendations for home as well as the next model of service delivery (i.e. Outpatient services at CTC, SPOT visits in daycare, etc.).