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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Visual Rehabilitation and Development Clinic for Northern Alberta

Visual Rehabilitation and Development Clinic for Northern Alberta
Dr. Charles Boulet is pleased to announce he will be taking patients for visual rehabilitation and development support starting in October in St. Albert. Services include case analysis, consultation, diagnostics, and treatment planning.

Who should be seen?
Any child with a developmental or learning concern has an 80% or better chance of having some significant concern with refractive error, binocular alignment and control, strabismus/amblypia, fine visuomotor skills. Dr. Boulet encourages collaborative approaches to care and prefers to work closely with OTs to integrate visual rehabilitation activities with existing therapy planning.

See this recent press release re: vision and child development:

You can contact Dr. Boulet directly at caboulet@mac.com, or at his clinic in Black Diamond:
Phone: 403-933-5552
Email: info@dvvc.ca
You can book appointments in St. Albert by contacting St. Albert Optometrists:
Phone: 780 458 0335
Email: stalberteye@gmail.com

gOT Spirit 2013 - Queen's U MSc OT'14 (OT "Gift" Shop)

OT students at Queen's University have made a video parody of "Thrift Shop" explaining what Occupational Therapy is! 


Published on Oct 9, 2013
This video was created by the Queen's MSc Occupational Therapy class of 2014 to raise awareness about Occupational Therapy. For more information please refer to the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy website: http://www.caot.ca

Monday, 28 October 2013

Kids Brain Buddy App

Kids Brain Buddy is an app for 4 year-olds to first graders (including special needs children, of course) that contributes to and develops motor and cognitive skills. Partly designed by an occupational therapist who specializes in child development, Kids Brain Buddy's four sections (Memory,Differences, Shadows and Match-it!) and up to 100 different levels contribute to visual attention, visual-spatial relations, short term memory, visual-motor coordination, bilateral coordination, tactile skills and more. Through their own children, our developers know that it can be tough to keep a child interested in only one game, let alone an educational one. Therefore, our developers are always sure to update the game at least twice a month with new levels, graphics, etc. One of our favorite features is that it has absolutely NO ads.

There is a lite/free version and a pro/paid version -however we constantly run special offers via our official facebook page (Forqan Smart Tech).
Unfortunately, right now Kids Brain Buddy is only available to android devices. However, we are hopeful that we'll be able to release Kids Brain Buddy for iOs very soon.

We honestly believe that Kids Brain Buddy is a great way to keep children busy and learning without having them realizing it. We also find it's a wonderful pass-time for daycares and pre-schoolers; and also believe that it can be a tool for child-development professionals to help test and access a child's basic mental skills and abilities.

We hope you enjoy Kids Brain Buddy and are able to review it soon. Please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments or concerns.

Thanks for your time,

Forqan Smart Tech

SCERTS Training

Don’t forget to register for SCERTS training!
TIME IS RUNNING OUT to register for the SCERTS training – November 12th-14th.  There are only 22 days left to get your registration in for the event!  You can register on our website at www.childrensautism.ca or you can fill out the form and fax it to (780) 484-9265, or scan it and email it to info@childrensautism.ca.  I have had a few calls with questions so I thought I would include some answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions.
Answers to FAQ:
What time are the sessions and what will be the schedule for the day?
The training sessions go from 8:30-4:30 each day.  Lunch will be from 12-1 on your own.  We will provide a list of restaurants close to the Oasis Conference Centre.  We will have two 15 minute breaks throughout the day.  Therapyware will be there with some resources to sell and the SCERTS manuals will also be available for sale.
Should I go to all 3 days of training?
Depending on your needs, you may want to look at just attending the intro on the 12th, or the full three day training.  The following is a description of the content of the intro vs. the advanced:
Day 1 of this course will introduce the SCERTS model, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary educational approach designed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  This model is not exclusive of other treatment approaches and methodologies, but rather provides a framework for those who are seeking guidelines for implementing a comprehensive educational plan that is based on our knowledge of the recommended tenets of educational programming.  The model was designed to provide guidelines for helping children progress through the stages of becoming a competent communicator.  It was also designed to provide families and educational teams with the help they may need to feel successful in supporting the child.  Participants of this course will learn how to determine meaningful, purposeful and motivating goals and strategies based on a child’s developmental stage, functional needs, and family priorities.
Day 2 and 3 of this course will move toward a more advanced discussion of the use of the SCERTS assessment process to determine developmentally sensible and functional goals, to determine appropriate evidence-based supports, and to monitor progress over time in meaningful, functional contexts.  Day 2 will begin with the essential priorities for applying the SCERTS assessment in program development, namely writing goals and determining supports (i.e. educational planning).  On Day 3, the formal assessment will be introduced with an emphasis on how to use this tool to determine a child’s stage of language acquisition, establish a profile of strengths and areas of need in those areas most impacted by the core challenges of ASD and monitor progress over time.
Should my EA at school go to the SCERTS training?
The introduction to SCERTS session on November 12th would be the most applicable to school EA’s.  The session will cover the core values and guiding principles for working with children with autism.  It will also go over Social Communication including joint attention and symbol use goals, Emotional Regulation including how to support regulation in the classroom, and Transactional Supports including specific interpersonal strategies to use when working with children with autism.  Depending on the role of the EA in different settings, the advanced sessions may not be as applicable.
Can I go to just the advanced training and not the intro?
If you have already been to an intro training at another time, you can attend just the advanced session. However it is recommended that you review the SCERTS manuals and your handout from the intro training before you attend so you can get the most out of the training.  If you have not been to the intro training, it is not recommended that you attend just the advanced as it will be difficult for you to follow how to apply the SCERTS principles in programming if you have not been to the intro session.
Can I get continuing education credits for the sessions?
Yes.  We will be providing certificates of attendance that give you the number of hours of training for you to use with your profession’s Continuing Education program.  The session is eligible for ACSLPA Continuing Competency program, ACSWCategory A, and we can provide you with an ASHA Verification of Attendance form to document your Certification Maintenance Hours (19.5 CMH for 3 day training). 
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to call!
Terri Duncan MSLP, R.SLP
Executive Director
Children's Autism Services of Edmonton

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Visual Impediments in childhood learning and behavioural difficulties

Article by Dr. Charles Boulet on Visual Impediments in childhood learning and behavioural difficulties.

A University of Lethbridge researcher is calling for more comprehensive, and compulsory, early childhood vision assessments to help reduce potential learning and behavioural difficulties that affect children with impairments to eyesight and visual function.
In a paper recently published in the Journal of Optometry and Vision Performance (http://www.oepf.org/visual-impediments-to-learning), co-authors Dr. NoĆ«lla Piquette of the University’s Faculty of Education and developmental optometrist Dr. Charles Boulet assert that visual impediments to learning (VIL) are rarely detected in common sight screenings, leading to difficulties with reading, memory, emotional awareness and impulse control in children. The resulting effect, enhanced by the greater visual demands of today’s neo-traditional classrooms, alters children’s academic outcomes, health and behaviour, leading to limited socioeconomic success and even decreased social skills.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Private Contract in SW Calgary

Occupational therapist needed for school aged (grade 1) child with autism/ODD living in Westhills community.  About 30 hours left in 6 month contract.

Contact Mandy (mandy@serenitynowwellness.ca) or Jen (jenloewen@gmail.com) if interested.