Frequently Asked Questions
The following are frequently asked questions from health care professionals. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please contact us.
Where can I find sport and recreational resources for a child with special needs?
What is the difference between Physical Therapist and Physiotherapist?
Where can I find a PT in the community who can provide treatment for one of my patients?
Are there any OHIP Physiotherapy Clinics near my patient? (i.e. covered by provincial insurance)
How do I find an occupational therapist in the community for my patient?
Do you treat autism?
Do you have an OT sensory motor program?
What is a feeding study?
What is the difference between OT and PT?
Answer: There are many organizations that offer recreational and sport programs for children with special needs and it is best to look for programs in your community. Resources to search include:
- City run programs e.g. City of Toronto or Mississauga
- Local community centres
- Local charities e.g. YMCA or Variety Village
- Community children’s treatment centres e.g. Erinoak, Grandview (the Ontario Association of Children’s Rehabilitation Services has a listing of treatment centres by location)
- private organizations
A: Nothing, the terms are synonymous. At SickKids we use “physiotherapist”. Physical Therapist tends to be used more in the U.S.
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, whereas 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). Follow the same directions for another province, and 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 cover Physiotherapy 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 patient’s area as well as more information on how to qualify for OHIP physiotherapy: http://publicregister.collegept.org/PublicServices/Start.aspx.
A: Private Occupational Therapy services: In Ontario you can find a private Occupational Therapist who will accept pediatric clients by contacting the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists at 1-877-676-6768 or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also access more information at the following website: http://otontario.ca/osot/find-an-ot.
Occupational Therapy services at SickKids: If a child is seen by an Occupational Therapist at SickKids, then the Occupational Therapy sessions are covered by OHIP. Some of the necessary recommendations may not be covered by OHIP e.g. splint fabrication, scar management, compression garments, or feeding supplies, however you may be able to access extended health benefits for reimbursement. If your child does not have OHIP coverage, then there may be a charge for any medical care or rehabilitation care provided. Please talk to your health care provider about getting a referral to OT.
Occupational Therapy services at home: Occupational Therapists work with children and their families in their home. Children receive Occupational Therapy services at home through Community Care Access Centre (www.ccac-ont.ca), which is OHIP covered. A child can also receive in home OT services through some regional Infant and Child Development programs (http://www.oaicd.ca/) from 0 to 6 years, which is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services. Your health care provided can initiate a referral to CCAC or Infant and Child Development program.
Occupational Therapy services at Children’s Treatment Centres: Children receive Occupational Therapy and other rehabilitation services through Children’s Treatment Centres (www.oacrs.com) located throughout Ontario, which is funded by the Ministry of Child and Youth Services. Your health care provider can initiate a referral if necessary.
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.
A: Many health care professionals 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.