As part of their Pediatric Recruitment and Retention Strategy, Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) has sponsored the following webinars to support pediatric therapists throughout the province:

It’s the Little Things that Count: Introduction to Dynamic Core for Kids and Application to Baby Treatment

Shelley Mannell, PT

Clinical Applications

  1. Observe alignment with reference to the rib cage and pelvis and explain the implications for intra-abdominal pressure and central stability.
  2. Discuss alignment, its impact on breath mechanics and autonomic nervous system regulation.
  3. Demonstrate the rib cage as a key point of control to facilitate a movement sequence in alignment that supports anticipatory postural control.
  4. Illustrate how movement and breathing should be coordinated during treatment for babies to maximize anticipatory postural control.


Treating babies requires an intimate knowledge of the components of postural control as the foundation for the development of all motor skills. The current literature regarding postural control in children with Cerebral Palsy (CP), Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will be reviewed. The anatomy and function of the inner core unit, its partnership with outer core muscles and its central role in the development of anticipatory postural control will be discussed using the Dynamic Core for Kids approach to treatment of central stability for children with sensory and motor deficits. The dynamic systems nature of postural control will be highlighted. The participant will be able to make connections between the musculoskeletal, sensory and motor control systems as they combine to develop complex skills, and how the interdependence of the systems impacts function in babies.

Developmental Screening
at 4 – 6 Months

Vickie Meade, PT, DSc, MPH

Pediatric therapists have the knowledge and skills to participate actively in earlier identification of those infants at risk for developmental disabilities, identify children for early intervention services and develop preventive services for young infants.  A combination of surveillance with detection will be presented to address barriers to infant screening recommendations and illustrate a two-step, parent focused, screening process. Implementation of this two-step model offers a system of therapist-initiated early identification to create a new vision for the future roles in preventive care for practicing clinicians.

Sensory Processing Intervention: A Primer

Kimberly Barthel, OTR

Clinical Applications

  1. Understand the basics of sensory processing intervention theory
  2. Develop preliminary observations of sensory processing challenges and their impact upon behaviour and daily living function
  3. Appreciate sensory assessments and their clinical application
  4. Develop references for the location and use of sensory assessment tools

Treating children with developmental disabilities requires an understanding of how the brain processes sensory information and the impact of sensory processing disorder upon behaviour, regulation, learning and day-to-day functioning. The emphasis of the webinar will be upon sensory processing, clinical reasoning and problem-solving skills. Current literature regarding sensory processing disorders, and the types of assessment tools available and where to find them, will be reviewed.

Developmental Coordination Disorder: Consultation, Assessment, and Treatment

Jill Zwicker, PhD, OT(C)

In this session, Dr. Zwicker will present the latest evidence on the importance of identifying children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). She will review how the occupational therapist, physical therapist, and speech-language pathologist may identify children who are at risk of DCD. Current assessment guidelines will be discussed and how therapists can help to facilitate a diagnosis. Evidence-based treatments for both preschool- and school-age children will be highlighted.

Know the signs: Red Flags for Pediatric Feeding Disorders in Early Intervention

Riley Rosebush, M.Sc. RSLP

Pediatric feeding disorders occur when a child has difficulty taking in and digesting food and drink. They can compromise physical health, social and emotional development, and disrupt family well-being. Many children seen by physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists are also at risk of feeding disorders due to differences in physical, sensory, social, and learning development. This one-hour webinar will discuss what every pediatric therapist should know in order to screen for potential feeding difficulties in order to help families make the most of early intervention and preventative services.

Navigating the BC Autism Service and Supports System – Autism Information Services British Columbia: We’re Here to Help

Karen Bopp, PhD, RSLP – Director, Autism Information Services British Columbia

This session will provide an overview of the Autism Service and Support system in British Columbia. The speaker will introduce a new provincial program – Autism Information Services BC (AIS BC). AIS BC is a provincial information and resource centre for autism and related disorders that provides information and resources on current best practices in treatment and related services in BC. AIS BC is there to provide supports to families, service providers, and community professionals across the province. The program also manages the Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP) and provides outreach workshops to rural and remote communities. Dr. Bopp will also provide a brief overview of best practice program planning components for toddlers and preschoolers; school-age children; and teenagers.

Cultural Safety – What This Means Working with Indigenous People

Diana Elliott, Aboriginal Infant Development Program Provincial Advisor

This presentation will include some historical background information from the Indigenous cultural lens and explore what cultural safety means in the context of providing therapies and working with Indigenous People.  We will also discuss how to put cultural safety into practice and what cultural “un-safety” can do to harm relationships with clients. Information on Jordan’s Principle and The Truth and Reconciliation will be explored and how therapies might implement some of the calls to action.

For more resources also see: Indigenous Resources

Breaking Through the Barriers of Shame and Guilt: Engaging Isolated Families

Donna Balkwill, BSW, RSW; Deena Hall, BSW, RSW

In the presentation we will talk about our experiences working with hard to engage and isolated families. We identify reasons behind lack of engagement (shame, fear of vulnerability and trauma) and discuss how we as therapists break through these barriers in our day to day front line work (through acknowledging barriers, identifying values, identifying strengths and working towards goals that are meaningful for the family).

Supporting People with Disabilities across their Lifespan: Practical Steps to Partner with Families

Vickie Meade, PT, DSc, MPH

Therapists begin a partnership on the first visit with a new family, whatever the age. This partnership is honed through asking the right questions, listening for ‘I can do this’, sharing information and creating strategies together. Four families’ stories will illustrate the delights and benefits of long term partnerships. Anticipatory guidance for each age range will illustrate practical strategies.

Motivational Interviewing: Collaborative Conversations with Families

Cristine Urquhart, MSW, RSW; Nina Giuliani, MOT

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the key components of Motivational Interviewing
  2. Expand understanding of how therapist communication style influences motivation for change
  3. Share beginning skills and strategies
  4. Highlight 3 key reasons to integrate MI into paediatric practice
  5. Explore options for further learning to help maintain and deepen skills

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an evidenced based communication style that can be used by paediatric therapists to engage and guide parents and caregivers towards self-determined changes that impact outcomes.  This collaborative interviewing approach promotes client autonomy and reduces discord by helping families identify the health-related changes they’d like to make, and increases their readiness to act on these goals.

This one-hour webinar will provide an overview of Motivational Interviewing, highlighting what it is, how it works and the value of this approach to engage and guide change with families within paediatric therapeutic practice.