Patients and Families
For answers to your questions please look at the frequently asked questions below, or contact us.
About Kids Health is a website with a wealth of information for you, your family and your child regarding nutrition, education, how the body works and resource centres. The information has been provided by experts and will answer many of your questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between OT and PT?
I have an appointment in rehabilitation for my child as an outpatient. What should I bring?
How do I get to the Rehabilitation Department?
How long will I be there?
What should I do if I or my child is sick?
Can I bring my child’s siblings to his appointment in rehab?
What is the difference between Physical Therapist and Physiotherapist?
How do I locate a physiotherapist near me?
Are there any OHIP Physiotherapy Clinics near me ? (i.e. covered by provincial insurance)
How can I rent crutches or a wheelchair for my child?
Do you treat autism?
Do you have an OT sensory motor program?
What is a feeding study?
What is the best type of backpack for my child to take to school and how much weight should he/she carry?
My child is going home from the hospital. Which kind of car seat I should buy?
I would like to know more about my child’s condition. Which websites are accurate?
A: Many parents ask therapists this question. At SickKids, Occupational Therapists (OT) focus on the participation and engagement of a child in their daily environment and daily occupations (self care, school and play). OT services include the assessment and treatment of feeding skills, swallowing safety, cognition, and engagement in daily life. Physiotherapists (PT) provide assessment and treatment to children with movement dysfunction related to cardiorespiratory, neurological or musculoskeletal conditions. Their focus is to optimize movement potential and function. OTs and PTs have areas of their role that overlap e.g. developmental intervention and some parts that are very separate. OT and PT will work with you and your child to set goals of therapy.
Question: I have an appointment in rehabilitation for my child as an outpatient. What should I bring?
Answer: Bring your child’s health card, appropriate clothing for your child and snacks if you have a long day of SickKids appointments
A: Take the elevators near Shopper’s Drug Mart (Black Wing) down to the S level. Once out of the elevators there is a sign on the wall that points to the Rehabilitation Department. The department’s room number is S229 in the Burton wing.
A: Your initial assessment will take between ½ hour and 1 hour. After that your therapist will be able to tell you how long any follow-up appointments will take. Please be on time as our therapists work within a very tight schedule and other children's therapy sessions may be compromised if appointment times are not kept.
A: If you or your child is sick, please call your therapist directly or call the Rehabilitation Department at 416-813-6755 (PT) or 416-813-2153 (OT) to reschedule.
A: Yes, you can bring your child’s siblings to his appointment, however please note that they cannot play in the gyms or in the therapy pool. These areas are for patients only and are needed for therapy sessions.
A: Nothing, the terms are synonymous. At SickKids we use "physiotherapist". Physical Therapist tends to be used more in the U.S.
A: If you have been treated by a physiotherapist in the hospital or rehabilitation centre, you may want to ask your therapist for a list of community therapists in your area. However, there are many ways to find a therapist regardless of whether you have already received treatment:
1) The Canadian Physiotherapy Association: www.physiotherapy.ca. You can use this website to find a physiotherapist in any province either by linking to the College of Physiotherapist or the Physiotherapy Association of each province. The direct link is http://physiotherapy.ca/Finding-a-Physiotherapist.aspx .
Note that all Physiotherapists are required to be registered with the Colleges and therefore will have a directory of ALL Physiotherapists, where as the Associations membership is optional.
2) The College of Physiotherapists of Ontario: at www.collegept.org you may access the public register of all Physiotherapists registered to practice in Ontario. The direct link is : http://publicregister.collegept.org/PublicServices/Start.aspx. If you live outside Ontario, perform a search for “the college of physiotherapists” for your province and find the link for the public register.
3) The Ontario Physiotherapy Association: http://www.opa.on.ca/. You can use this website to find physiotherapists near you, as well as physiotherapists with experience in certain practice areas. However, please be aware that therapists are only listed in this directory if they are members of the organization (which is optional for practice). For other provinces, simply search for your province's Physiotherapy Association.
Note: you may also call any of the previously listed organizations
A: There are a select few designated OHIP clinics in Ontario. These clinics provide OHIP covered Phyisiotherapy for children under 19 years of age (as well as those over 65 years of age). Please see the following link to find a clinic in your area as well as more information on how to qualify for OHIP physiotherapy: http://publicregister.collegept.org/PublicServices/Start.aspx.
A: To rent any form of equipment for your child – including crutches, canes, wheelchairs, commodes etc, please refer to the following link: http://health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/adp/registered_vendors/ambulation_aids.pdf. You may also speak with your therapist (OT/PT) regarding your equipment needs.
A: No, SickKids does not have an outpatient program for therapy services in the treatment of autism.
A: A 'feeding study' or Videofluoroscopy (VFS) is a video x-ray that allows a Radiologist and Occupational Therapist to see swallowing at the back of a child’s throat. Your health care provider or Occupational Therapist may recommend a feeding study if your child is having difficulty swallowing safely. An Occupational Therapist will generally conduct a clinical feeding assessment before booking a feeding study. A feeding study can be recommended in order to assess swallowing function and determine safe feeding recommendations.
What to know before a feeding study:
Preparing for the study:
- Beforehand let your Occupational Therapist know what liquids your child drinks, what recipe(s) you are using to thicken (if any), and how much your child typically drinks at one time.
- Please bring feeding equipment (e.g. cup, bottle, sippy cup, nipples, spoon) that your child is comfortable using.
- Make sure that your child is thirsty and ready to drink! You can delay a mealtime until the study. Please bring food and drink for your child to have following the study.
- Avoid dressing your child in clothing with metal on their neck, shoulders or torso e.g. no metal buttons, snaps, buckles, earrings, etc.
- The radiology suite can be dark and different, especially for a toddler or young child. We will try to keep things fun as much as possible. If you have any ‘fail safe’ strategies (e.g. cell phone, toy, blanket) that helps your child stay calm, then please feel free to bring that along just in case.
- If your child is not feeling well, has a fever or cold during the week of the study, then please contact your Occupational Therapist. You may have to reschedule the feeding study appointment.
Getting to the study:
- Please arrive at least 15 minutes in advance of the appointment
- The appointment is in GI/GU Diagnostic Imaging on the second floor.
- Directions: Take the Atrium or Shopper’s Drug Mart elevators to the second floor, then follow signs to “Diagnostic Imaging” and/or “GI/GU.”
- If you are running late, please contact your Occupational Therapist. You may have to reschedule your appointment.
During the study:
- One parent or guardian is allowed to join and participate in the feeding study. A radiology technician will ask the parent to wear a lead vest.
- Your child will sit in a supportive seat, which is positioned on a black chair in the radiology suite.
- The Radiologist will control the video x-ray machine to the side of your child in the chair, which will allow us to see the inside of your child’s throat.
- We will offer your child different drinks or foods during the feeding study.
- The foods and drinks offered have a small amount of barium, which helps the radiologist and Occupational Therapist see the liquid being swallowed.
After the study:
- The parent and your child will leave the radiology suite and the room will be prepared for the next patient.
- Please stay in the waiting room.
- Your OT will review the results with you following the study and provide recommendations.
- Your OT will write a report which will be sent to the referring physician and other health care providers who are part of your child’s care.
- Your OT may also communicate with other community agencies or make additional referrals with parental consent
A: SickKids' About Kids Health site is a great resource for this type of question. Visit www.aboutkidshealth.ca.
A: SafeKids Canada is a great resource for this type of question. Visit www.safekidscanada.ca/parents.
A: About Kids Health is a website with a wealth of information for you, your family and your child regarding nutrition, education, how the body works and resource centres. The information here has been provided by experts and will answer many of your questions.