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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

0.8 FTE Position with Parkland School Division

Parkland School Division 0.8 Occupational Therapist

Broxton Park School in Spruce Grove

Closes Jan 6!!

Click on the link below for details, including a link to more information/job description.


Monday, 19 December 2011

Calgary Group Meeting Minutes

The minutes from the September and October Calgary group meetings have been uploaded to google docs and are now available!!  Click above to view!

Developmental Aide Job Posting


We are looking to hire a Developmental Aide to work with our son on his stretching, exercises and goals with respect to his developmental issues.  We want someone fun and energetic, who would like to work about 8-10 hrs per week outside of school hours.  Pay is $30 per hour.  We'd like someone with experience working with children with special needs and a background in health care/rehab/early childhood evelopment.  Most important, we want someone who will be great for our son.  If you know of anyone in your circle who would be interested, can you please pass our email along and have them contact us?


Friday, 16 December 2011

Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy Course - Save the Date!


The Occupational Therapy Department at the  Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario  in Ottawa, Ontario, will be hosting a course on Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy on  May 11th & 12th, 2012.  Please save the dates in your calendars!  The course is open to Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists.

If you have any questions, please contact: 
Elisabeth Churcher
613-737-7600 ext. 2503

Wheel Chair for Pool

From: Maxine Labour
I am looking for a wheelchair that can transport a child/adult into the pool via a ramp.  The current swimming pool chair that the pool has is pretty standard and does not offer enough support for this child/adult.  He has very low tone and no trunk control so I was thinking something with a tilt would be needed. 

Please advise if you have any recommendations.

Maxine Labour

GAPS Diet and ASD

Please find below an email we received regarding the GAPS diet:

Hi to you all who involved in the Autism world,

A very interresting thing documentary was shown last Friday on the CBCs Nature of things: http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episode/autism-enigma.htmlthe full episode is available here and is about 45 minutes long.

It reveals the connection between the gut and Autism.  This is of course not new to lots those who have explore other than main stream treatments but the mainstream may catch up one day.  Please watch the episode and consider a Gut Healing Diet.  As most things you may not agree with all that is said, I also was disappointed with how miss information continues to be propagated about Dr. Wakefield (few check things out) but there are many good things in this documentary.  Somebody is actually listening to parents! 

I have included an attachment of an journal article from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride from 2005 on "Gut and Psychology Syndrome", which essentially says the same thing.  Many have found the GAPS diet to be very effective.  Here is the web site: gaps.me  There is also a link on how to get the book which is essentially all you need to get started as it includes recipes.  You can also get most of the information off the web site (no! expensive treatments).  The diet and information is free but there are supports available for people who are not familiar with traditional cooking and food preservation.  I have also attached some case studies on children who have been on the GAPS diet and which records some of the process and the various outcomes.  (Case 1, Case 14, Case 19)

Dr. Campbell's son was diagnosed with Autism very young.  He regressed to the point of head banging and losing all his language at 20 months.  As a Neurologist she could not help him but returned to the drawing board and studied nutrition.  Her son was the first treatment subject.  I talked to her husband in November 2011 about her son and he just got accepted into college in England and does not have the diagnosis of Autism any more.  She now runs a successful nutrition clinic in the UK.  People can implement the diet on their own from the book but if help is needed there may be Gaps Practitioners available and GAPS groups.

If more information is desired please e-mail me at: hescomingsoon@hotmail.com or my cell: 403-929-1500.

Thanks for your considerations,

Dirk Kuerschner
GAPS Practioner
Occupational Therapist
Hope Therapy Services
Coaldale, Alberta

Dynamic Core for Kids

Hello everyone,

In the process of obtaining approval to host the Dynamic Core for Kids course at an AHS site, it was decided by an upper level committee that the course would first be open to AHS staff and any leftover space would then be offered to community therapists outside of AHS. It was the working group's intention to keep it open for everyone, however, the course has become an AHS sanctioned course and we are now unable to make that change. We are hoping that there will be availability for all of you who would like to attend and we will make sure that you are the first group of people offered any available spots. I am sorry for the disappointing news but hopeful that you will be able to attend.

Have a wonderful holiday season,

Carolyn Fuss, MScPT
Pediatric Physiotherapist
High River Health Unit
Ph: 403-652-5476
Fax: 403-652-5499

Fragile Infant Feeding Institute Conference - May 2012

Here is the brochure and registration details for the Fragile Infant Feeding Institute Conference to be held in Edmonton,  May 2012. There will only be space for 75 registrants. Note that there is a registration form for Canadian registrants as well as USA registrants.

Cheryl McKenna, MSc.O.T., OT(c)
Occupational Therapist
Pediatric Home Nutrition Support

Stollery Children's Health Centre
1C3.53 Walter Mackenzie Centre
8440-112 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T6G 2B7
Tel:  (780) 407-7799
Pager: (780-445-7453
Fax:  (780) 407-8502

Children's Autism Services of Edmonton 2012 Conference

Children's Autism Services of Edmonton 2012 Conference

Join us for our 5th annual conference (Jan 19-21, 2012)

Please check out http://www.childrensautism.ca/ for more information. 

A full description of sessions is now posted and we are excited to have Winnie Dunn speaking at our conference as well as our keynote speaker Eustacia Cutler (Temple Grandin's mother), Dr. Pat Miranda, Sue Mitchell, Emily Rubin, and Dr. David Nicholas!!!

Leanne Wong, MSc(OT)(c)
Occupational Therapist
Children's Autism Services of Edmonton
Email: leanne@childrensautism.ca

Edmonton SHIP Job Postings

The Student Health Partnership (SHIP) Occupational Therapy program has three positions available for school based practice.  All three are maternity leave positions. 
  1. We are looking for an OT to work out of the office at St. Kevin School in Edmonton 3 days a week http://www.healthjobs.ab.ca/Jobs.Edmonton.Occupational-Therapist-I.159605.aspx
  2. An OT to work in Parkland, Evergreen and area schools 3 days a week http://www.healthjobs.ab.ca/Jobs.Edmonton.Occupational-Therapist-I.159597.aspx
  3. And an OT assistant (the posting title says PT-A, but it's really OT-A) to work out of the office at Killarney school in Edmonton 4 days a week http://www.healthjobs.ab.ca/Jobs.Edmonton.Physical-Therapy-Assistant.159616.aspx.  
Please contact me with any questions,

Natalie Gamache Hutchison MSc(RS) BSc(OT)c

Occupational Therapist & Team Leader
Student Health Partnership
Allied Health - Edmonton Zone
Public Health, Primary Care and Chronic Disease Management
St. Kevin School
10005-84 Street
Edmonton, AB T6A 3P8
tel: (780) 408-5881 mobile: (780) 905-9216      fax: (780) 408-5887

Calgary Private Practice List

Big thanks go to Heather McKenzie for compiling this information about Private Practice Occupational Therapists in Calgary and area.  Please click here for the list.  It will be updated periodically. 

Monday, 28 November 2011

Small Talk, Gym Buddies and Quirky Teen - Infinite Resources Inc. Class Details


My name is Michelle Evans and I am the Peer Interactions Coordinator for Infinite Resources Inc. I am pleased to announce we now have the dates for our next session of groups to start in January for Small
Talk and Gym Buddies. Quirky Teen dates will be finalized by Dec 1st and information will be emailed out.
Small Talk and Gym Buddies groups will run January 14th, 2012 - March 10, 2012. There will be no groups February 25, 2012 due to a Gymnastics Competition. However, we have rented Grandin Theatres February 25 at 11:00am for a movie our families can attend together.

More details will be sent out closer to the date.

*Please note there have been time changes.

Small Talk!
"Small Talk" has been designed to create opportunities for children to improve their communication & social skills in a safe & supported environment. In this 1.5 hour - 8 week program, children will work with a professional and knowledgeable staff to develop the necessary skills to engage in social play with their peer group. Objectives will include: good listening behaviors, sense of responsibility, conversation skills, volume and tone of voice, good manners, personal space, turn taking, fair play, etc... The will be one group for 3 - 7 year olds, and another group for 8 -12 year olds.

Cost: $280
Dynamyx Gymnastics
#104, 25 Chisholm Ave.
St. Albert, AB
Small Talk 3-7 year olds 11:15am - 12:45pm
Small Talk 8-12 year olds 1:00pm - 2:30pm

"Peer Interactions" Gym Buddies!
In this eight week program, children will work on developing friendships, self-esteem & understanding social cues. "Gym Buddies" creates opportunities for children to explore social situations, positively engage with peers, and have fun with gymnastics. Objectives will include: paired play, strategies for regulation, sensory breaks, good choice making, gymnastics/gross motor activities, personal space, etc... Student activities are based on the groups age and ability. Staff will support students to manage their behavior, interact with peers,
complete gross & fine motor tasks, as well as self-regulate with sensory breaks & communicating needs.
The will be one group for 3 - 7 year olds, and another group for 8 - 12 year olds.

Cost: $280
Dynamyx Gymnastics
#104, 25 Chisholm Ave.
St. Albert, AB
Gym Buddies 3-7 year olds 11:15am - 12:45pm
Gym Buddies 8-12 year olds 1:00pm - 2:30pm

** Please note that we will no longer be able to place younger children in the older group and vice versa. This is a new policy that has been implemented to help with planning appropriate programming for each group both by the gymnastics coach and Infinite Resources Inc. Staff.

If you would like to register for any of these groups please complete the attached registration form and email to michelle@infiniteresources.ca.

Any questions can be answered by email or  by phone 780-298-5291.

Michelle Evans
Peer Interactions Coordinator
Infinite Resources Inc.

Extra Curricular Activity Ideas for Child in Calgary


I have a parent who is looking for an extra-curricular activity/ sport group for her physically involved daughter. Ideally the activity would include some

1. core strengthening
2. mild vestibular challenges
3. mild visual challenges
4. peer interaction (for motivation)

This 7 year old girl lives in the deep south Calgary, is ambulatory but unstable on her feet, difficulty using both eyes together, and very low tone.  Dance would be good, or a therapy group....

Could you reply if you know of any such options? 

Charlene Wright B.Sc.O.T.(c)
Occupational Therapist
403 277 8508
Email: Effective.Strategies@shaw.ca
Web: http://effectivestrategies.shawwebspace.ca/

Private Practice Opportunity

Are you ready and eager for growth, freedom and creativity in your Private Occupational Therapy practice? Does independence, flexibility and autonomy while working as part of an established, holistic, and professional team appeal to you?  If so, then the IDEAS team awaits you!

IDEAS Inc. (established in 1992) is looking for a registered Occupational Therapist who loves children, is out-going, organized, motivated and ready to work in a fun, multi-disciplinary environment. 

Candidates must have a minimum of two years’ experience working with children and families in a clinic or educational setting. 

An energetic, creative thinker can look forward to an established referral network, mentoring by a therapist with more than 30 years of pediatric experience and unending opportunities for expansion, growth and challenge. 

Be supported while also maintaining control of your own caseload, of your own practice, of your own future! 

For more information please visit our website http://www.ideascalgary.ca/ and/or contact:

Karen McIntosh

Khan Communication Services Seeking More Occupational Therapists

Khan Communication Services is continuing to expand services in Alberta, and we are currently seeking Occupational Therapists for January 2012. Our practice is based in Edmonton, and provides services to schools in rural Alberta. On site and telepractice services are provided to schools. Our team includes SLP's, OT's, and behavior consultants who travel together, and conduct telepractice sessions to service KG and elementary students.

We are leading innovative service delivery in the province. More information can be found on our website at http://www.khancommunicationservices.com/. The ideal candidate should have a keen interest in using blogs and telepractice to provide workshops and training. The candidate should also have skills in providing functional assessments for school aged children, and experience with students with severe disabilities. Recent graduates are welcome, but will work closely with more experienced clinicians in private practice. Khan Communication Services will provide OT assessment tools to the practitioner, and payment of a subcontracted private practice hourly rate for a 6.5 hour day, with travel time and mileage reimbursements when travel is required.

Interested candidates should contact Nausheen Khan at (780) 440-3251 ext. 222, or email at info@khancommunicationservices.com

Thursday, 24 November 2011

DCD Parent Support Group Meeting December 1st

The next meeting for the DCD Parent Support Group is on Thursday December 1st at ACH. Parents are invited to join us for a presentation by Kristine Neil, a parent who has conducted a national  study on  Awareness and Knowledge of DCD among parents, teachers and doctors. Parents can support the ‘Next Steps’ in improving awareness in Alberta.  Please send out this poster freely to families in your practice.

Social Media Workshop December 2nd - Spaces Available!

There is still some room in the Social Media Workshop for Dec. 2nd that is being facilitated by Susan Burwash and Anita Hamilton from U of A.

See the original post and information here.

Private Contract in Drayton Valley

St Thomas Aquinas School Division is looking for an occupational therapist to provide general classroom consultation to their preschool program in Drayton Valley.

Services would include observation and teacher consult, with a follow up observation visit 2-3 months after the initial visit.  A printed package of recommendations/activity suggestions to be provided to the instructor after the initial consultation.  The budget would be approx. 6 hours per class (including time to prepare printed package)  plus travel time. 

If interested please contact:
Marilyn Kunitz
Student Services Coordinator
St. Thomas Aquinas
RCSRD No. 38
4906 50 Ave.
Leduc, Alberta
T9E 6W9
Phone: 780 986 2500
Fax: 780 986 8620

Monday, 21 November 2011

DCD Parent Support Meeting

Join us for a presentation by Kristine Neil, a parent who has conducted a national study on awareness and knowledge of DCD among parents, teachers and doctors.

We can support the ‘Next Steps’ in improving awareness in Alberta.

Thursday, December 1st 2011
7:30 p.m.
Alberta Children’s Hospital ~ 4th Floor
Conference Room #1

DCD Parent Support Meeting Poster

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

AOTA Autism West Specialty Conference

For the first time, AOTA is sponsoring a WEST Autism Conference to match the EAST one that has occured for a couple of years now. Please click here for information on speakers' presentation summaries; there are many great topics directly related to the kids we see daily, plus the research being presented that will back up some of the approaches we use. The conference is being held in Long Beach, California on December 2 and 3.  Registration information is on line.

Social Media for Occupational Therapy

Anita Hamilton and Susan Burwash from the University of Alberta are facilitating a Social Media for Occupational Therapists workshop:

Date: Friday, December 2, 2011
Time: 0900 – 1530 hours
Place: Foothills Medical Centre, South Tower, Room 1003 (10th floor)
Cost: Free!
Registration: Due to the small size of computer training rooms, the workshop is limited to 15 registrants.  Please register by emailing jutta.hinrichs@ualberta.ca or jutta.hinrichs@albertahealthservices.ca

See poster here

Monday, 31 October 2011

Edmonton and Area Private Practioner List

The Edmonton and Calgary OT Pediatric Interest Groups frequently receive requests for contact information for private practicing therapists.  The link to SAOT's list is here.

The Calgary OT Pediatric Interest Group has started to compile a list of private practicing Occupational Therapists who have provided their information for the use of parents and professionals who are looking for a therapist to provide service privately or through an FSCD contract.  Please email Heather McKenzie bhmck@shaw.ca if you are not already on the list and wish to be added.

We will also compile a similar list for Edmonton and area private practicing Occupational Therapists.  If you wish to be included on this list, please email ab.ot.pedintgroup@gmail.com with the following information:
  • name
  • contact information (phone, email, website, etc.)
  • location of practice
  • short biography and/or information on your experience and expertise
This information will be compiled and accessible as a link on this page and will be periodically updated.

Please note that the Alberta OT Pediatric Interest Group does not endorse any therapist or company,
and holds no responsibility for services provided by anyone on the lists.

OT and SLP Education Series - November and December

Please find the attached posters for more information about the series of OT and SLP education sessions running again this November and December 2011. Sessions will be taking place at the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital, but are also available via Telehealth in Brooks, Bow Island, & Oyen.
If you work with children who are diagnosed ASD/Asperger's/PPD-NOS these sessions may be useful for their parents/caregivers/educators.  If you are working with children who are not diagnosed, but have similar difficulties - these parents are also welcome to attend.  Encourage caregivers (both family and education) to come to learn how to support these kids!  

Click here for the brochure.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Chronic Fatigue Illness

I am wondering if anyone has treated a child with Chronic Fatigue Illness?  If so, I would appreciate the opportunity to touch base with you as I am currently working with a 4 y.o. girl who has been diagnosed with this condition.  


Comment below if you have experience with this diagnosis.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Edmonton Community Activities and Resources

I am trying to compile a list of community programs and resources for children with special needs in our communities. Too often families are coming to me (in the SwimAbilities swimming program) with few or no other leisure activities that their child participates in. There are lots of programs out there, but not a lot of common knowledge about them. I'm a huge advocate for the families getting active and involved, and if you know of a program, I'd be happy to put it up on the swimabilities.ca website.

Please email me the program information at Laura@SwimAbilities.ca.

Laura Dumas

Meds exacerbating sensory concerns?

I have a girl who is in elementary school. She has a diagnosis of mild C.P She has sensory issues and recently went on medication for a diagnosis of attentional problems. Since being on the meds, she has become very oversensitive to sounds…people talking, a binder closing, etc. to the point she is in tears and says it hurts. Her mother says she had been fairly sensitive to noises when she was young but she had improved greatly and only had a few issues, prior to being on the meds. Mom reportsshe is getting enough sleep. I haven’t seen her since this began so I have not put any sensory strategies in place yet.  I have two questions:
  1. Does anyone have any thoughts about the meds? ( sorry, I don’t know which one she is on) Has anyone seen problems with any ADD meds which exacerbate over responsiveness to sound.
  2. Which sensory strategy would be the best to try first?

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Children's Autism Services of Edmonton 2012 Conference

Join us for our 5th Annual Edmonton Conference!!

JANUARY 19TH - 21ST, 2012

Keynote Speaker: Eustacia Culter - author, advocate and Temple Grandin's mother

Registration Form and Information Here

Kim Barthel Workshop in January 2012

Kim Barthel Workshop coming to Edmonton in January 26 and 27

Collaborating Clinicians
Occupational and Speech Therapy Using a Sensory Motor Approach

This two day workshop is designed for speech/language pathologists, behavioral interventionists, and occupational therapists who work collaboratively towards the enhancement of communication, interaction, organized behavior, learning, joint attention, and modulation using sensory integrative principles. An intimate relationship exists between sensory motor function and the development of relationship, communication and speech. Join these master clinicians as they explore the neurobiology, the art of therapy and collaborative approaches in the treatment of children with communication challenges. Strategies presented will emphasize an OT/SLP integrated approach for children diagnosed with developmental challenges, autism, attention deficit disorder and language delays, etc.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Calgary OT Pediatric Interest Group Upcoming Event

Date: Monday October 24
Time: 7:30pm
Location: G.R.I.T. Calgary Society
#4, 6020-1A Street SW Calgary (1 block north of Chinook LRT and 2 blocks east of Chinook Center Mall) 
Topic:Visual Perceptual Treatment: Evidence from the Literature
Lauren Rhynes will be sharing the results from her literature review on visual perception and ocularmotor delay treatment.
This presentation is to review the results of a literature review and critical appraisal I completed in the Spring of 2011 entilted Efficacy of intervention for visual perception and oculomotor delays in school-aged children. The study analyzes the literature on visual perception and oculomotor treatment that could be implemented by an occupational therapist.  The overall literature, as well as individual studies will be discussed.  As well, this information will be integrated with clinical evidence to determine the best course of action when working with these children, and will lead to the creation of a document for clinicians.  Discussion about the impact on clinical practice will be welcomed and encouraged!
Having any burning questions or case studies you want to discuss? Bring them along!
Any new resources, books, toys etc, you have found... we would love to hear about them!

Toileting strategies for BM?

I have an 8 year old that uses the toilet for voiding but not for bowel movements. He is a picky eater and is on a routine bowel softener. Does anyone have any ideas to encourage the use of the toilet for bowel movements?

I forgot to mention that he is FASD, no overt signs of SPD, liked deep pressure,higher level motor planning issues.

Thanks muchly.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Request for short video clips of DCD in daily life

The Bow Valley Community Care OT/PT contingent is facilitating a meeting of community partners in November to discuss how best to support kids and families who are facing DCD. Wondered if anyone has some short video clips (1-2 mins) that we could use to send out with our invite, demonstrating some of the functional impact of DCD on daily life? I recall the dance class clip, and would love that link, with any others that you have collected.

Contact Adrienne Lawlor (with permission would insert her email address here)

Saturday, 22 October 2011


Hello OTs!

This blog serves as a website for Alberta pediatric Occupational Therapists to "meet" and share information, network and support each other!  It replaces the email list-serves that the Edmonton and Area OT Pediatric Interest Group (coordinated by Nicole Ebbesen Rowan/Believe OT) and the Calgary Pediatric Interest Group (coordinated by Heather MacKenzie) have been using for several years.  However, the 'mandate' of the blog is the same as the email lists:
  • to share information about professional development, both formal and informal
  • to share information about job postings and professional opportunities, including private practice
  • to network and engage in clinical discussions
  • to share any other information relevant to pediatric occupational therapy
This blog is intended for use by Occupational Therapists and related professionals; please see the disclaimer below.

For more information on this blog, please click here to view the page "How does this blog work?"