Overview

Special Needs Resource Services (SNRS) partners with community child care centres to support children with special needs. The main goal of Special Needs Resource Support is to build capacity among community child care staff to provide support to children with identified needs so that they can participate in activities along with their peers. We aim to accomplish this through assessment, consultation, education and modeling strategies. This service is funded by the County of Lambton.

Who we are and who we serve:

The Special Needs Resource Support team is composed of Registered Early Childhood Educators and other persons with child related College/University education such as Child and Youth Workers, Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, Developmental Service Workers and Registered Ontario Teachers. Many have post graduate certification in Autism and Behavioural Science or ECE Resource Consulting.

The team promotes the belief that every child has the right to high quality, meaningful childhood experiences that respect diversity, promote healthy development and allow the child to make contributions as part of a group and the community.

We advocate for an inclusive, integrated and accessible community service system which places children at the centre, is responsive to families and promotes positive outcomes.

Special Needs Resource Services are available for children, birth to 12 years of age attending licensed childcare and home childcare settings in the County of Lambton (this includes licensed summer child care and Before & After School programs).

What we Provide:

Resource Consultants (RC) and Resource Assistants (RC): Work as a team with community childcare educators, other Pathways Health Centre for Children clinicians and partner agencies, where applicable, to support the inclusion of children in the licensed child care system.

Entrance to school: With parent/legal guardian consent, RCs work with other clinical staff at Pathways Health Centre for Children, childcare educators, partner agencies and school board personnel to ensure information is shared that can assist with a child’s successful transition to school (JK, SK, or Grade 1).

Behaviour Consultants and Behaviour Assistants: Specialize in behaviour management and are able to collaborate with Childcare/School Age educators and Special Needs Resource Support staff to support Pathways Health Centre for Children clients enrolled in licensed childcares who are struggling with behavioural challenges. They provide group programs and educational opportunities for childcare educators. They also can offer consultation in Before and After School and Summer School Age programs, act as liaisons with school and other community partners and provide individualized therapy and consultation for children on the Special Needs Resource Support caseload.

Therapeutic Recreation Specialists: Collaborate with childcare educators and other Special Needs Resource Support staff to increase children’s physical activity engagement, decrease negative behaviours, and increase “fair play” and inclusion. They can help increase capacity (comfort and ability) to offer the choice to participate in active group play in Before & After School and Preschool programs as well as in summer programs.

Assessment

  • A Resource Consultant will complete assessments of a child’s strengths, needs and goals in consultation with child care educators, parents and other Pathways clinicians. They will determine and identify the initial plan for the level, type and frequency of support to be provided.

Intervention

  • Once a child is admitted to Special Needs Resource Support, they can access any of the services that Pathways offers through a referral process.
  • After a child’s goals are identified, the Special Needs Resource Support team will work the child care educators in the classroom to use activities that will support growth and development. This plan will be reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis and can be discussed at any point upon parent request. Because each child and child care environment is unique and ever changing, supports in the classroom will differ in level, type and frequency.

What to expect:

Once a child’s referral is received by Pathways Health Centre for Children, an intake package is completed. A Resource Consultant (RC) will contact the parents to get consent and to learn about their child. Next, the RC will set up a time to observe the child in the licensed child care setting and speak to their child care educators.

Special Needs Resource Support staff will immerse themselves in child care programs to support children’s participation and inclusion through such things as:

  • Helping them to join in play with their peers
  • Assisting child care educators in adapting the curriculum and environment as needed
  • Providing recommended materials or resources
  • Working with child care educators on how to use those materials in the classroom environment
  • Sharing strategies regarding how to manage challenging behaviours such as biting and emotional outbursts

We believe strongly in the importance of working together with families and welcome the opportunity to speak with them about their children and answer any questions they may have. Special Needs Resource Support staff will consult with families to discover what their goals are for their child and incorporate those goals in the child’s individualized Care Plan. They will also work to empower families so that they can be strong and effective advocates for their children.

Special Needs Resource Support is meant to be time limited, focused on helping to create a sustainable program. Each childcare is responsible for providing the necessary supports for the children enrolled in their programs. Ongoing one to one support is not the mandate of this service.

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UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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How To Refer:

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PHONE PATHWAYS

519-542-3471
or 1-855-542-3471

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CONTACT YOUR CHILD'S PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER