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Your “go to” place for developmental services and supports for children and youth in Sarnia-Lambton!

Not sure where to go? Let us help you! The SmartStart Hub at Pathways is a clear entry point to service for families and caregivers concerned about their child/youth’s development, and day-to-day functioning related to development. As a SmartStart Hub we connect families with child development agencies and professionals, with seamless connections to assessments and services in a family-friendly environment.

Developmental services and supports might be required if you have concerns about your child/youth’s ability to…

  • move around; and/or
  • perform daily activities such as feeding/eating; and/or
  • understand other people or tell people what they want; and/or
  • participate in activities

What to Expect

Pathways’ Intake and Service Coordination team will have an exploratory conversation with you to discuss concerns related to your child/youth’s development and will work with you to develop a plan to address your child’s needs. The team will connect families to appropriate assessments and child/youth development services.

Information Gathering

At the information gathering stage, SmartStart Hubs will engage families in an exploratory conversation using the About My Child tool (common across all SmartStart Hubs) to gather information about their child and family, their concerns related to their child’s development, and work with them to develop a plan to address their child’s functional and other needs, based on the child and family’s priorities and goals.

Visit the Ministry website

We’ve collected some tools and information for you as you monitor your child’s development.

Reach out to Pathways if you have any concerns about your child’s development.

Play & Learn Activities

Try activities brought to you by experts in child development at McMaster University and The University of Toronto.

Early Years Check-In

Use this simple and convenient tool to quickly identify any concerns you may have about how your child is developing.

Early Childhood Indicators of Autism

You’ve heard a lot about autism, but may be wondering about the early signs of autism. If you observe multiple items on this list, it may mean that your child is developing differently. If you suspect your child is on the autism spectrum, consider talking to your family doctor or pediatrician about what you can do to learn about and support your child in growing their communication skills, fostering connections, and interacting with the world around them in a way that allows them to flourish and meet their potential.

Speech and Language Milestones

Communication skills develop over time as children interact with others and their world. Complete this checklist to mark your child’s progress as they learn to communicate and gain speech and language abilities. If children are not meeting one or more of these milestones, please contact SoundStart, the Lambton County Preschool Speech and Language Program through Pathways Health Centre for Children.

Partners for Planning

In 2014 Partners for Planning launched the P4P Planning Network. The Planning Network is a powerful tool that was designed to connect families to professionals, information and value-based resources required to build a good life for a loved one with a disability. The Planning Network is the go-to-place for planning resources in Ontario. They have created planning resources, creative tools and captured stories that can help families build an everyday life and a secure future.

Partners for Planning


When working with Pathways staff, you may be invited to talk about our favourite words! These “F” words help us to focus on what is important to you and your child. Focussing on these areas will help us help you and your child make meaningful differences for today and tomorrow! With goals that are developed to address needs in Function, Fitness, Friends, Family, Future, and Fun, your team will help design an approach to move forward in partnership with you!

The “F” words were birthed from the research of Dr. Peter Rosenbaum and Dr. Jan Willem Gorter through CanChild and are being used to support the work of Children’s Treatment Centres across the province of Ontario.

CanChild's F-words Knowledge Hub

SmartStart Hub Partners & No Wrong Door

The SmartStart Hub is not the only way to access services, and families will not have to go through the Hub to access other services across Sarnia-Lambton. You can contact any of the partner agencies directly. If you’re not sure which one, our new SmartStart Hub service will help get you to the right one.

Working with community partners, the local “No Wrong Door” philosophy and process aligns well with the SmartStart Hub goal of making it easier for families living in Lambton County to connect with services needed by their children/youth.

No Wrong Door Resources for Community Partners

How To Refer:

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or 1-855-542-3471

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Make A Referral
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