Children's rehabilitation services
Learn about the services and supports available at your local children’s treatment centre.
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Children’s Treatment Centres and Surrey Place in Toronto deliver a range of rehabilitation services (occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and speech and language pathology) to support children’s development so they can participate more fully at school, at home and in their communities.
Children’s rehabilitation services support children with special needs to participate fully at home, school and in the community.
Children and youth with special needs may require rehabilitation services if they experience challenges or delays in their development in areas such as:
- motor skills
Children’s Treatment Centres and Surrey Place in Toronto have established SmartStart Hubs, a new function that provides families with information about their child’s development, entry to assessment and programs.
Children's Treatment Centres provide services to more than 180,000 children and youth with special needs every year.
We are making it easier for your family to find trusted information and services to support your child’s development needs, without a doctor’s referral.
If you believe that your child isn’t meeting their developmental milestones and would like to discuss your child’s development, support needs, and strengths, you can contact your local Children’s Treatment Centre, or Surrey Place in Toronto to access SmartStart Hubs services. You will:
- Have one access point so that your family is supported without having to re-tell your story to each new provider
- Connect with local professionals in early intervention and child development so that your child can receive assessments and services, including speech and language occupational and physical therapy
- Have access to family-based supports, including respite services and parent coaching
A Children’s Treatment Centre can help you understand what development services your child should receive and how to access them. You can still contact service providers directly if you already know what your child’s support needs are and where to go to access a service.
Read the SmartStart Hubs guidelines for more information.
Contact your local Children’s Treatment Centre to connect with the SmartStart Hub in your community.
Physiotherapy (PT) helps through physical rehabilitation, injury prevention and health and fitness. Physiotherapy services may include assessment, diagnosis, and treatment to restore, maintain, and make the most of a child’s mobility, function, and well-being.
Occupational therapy (OT) helps to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment function in the areas of self-care, productivity and leisure. Occupational therapy services may include:
- assessment of function and adaptive behavior
- treatment and prevention of disorders that affect function or adaptive behaviour
Speech and language therapy
Speech and language therapy helps to develop maintain, rehabilitate or augment oral motor or communication function. Speech and language therapy services may include:
- assessment of speech and language functions
- prevention and treatment of speech and language dysfunction or disorders
- providing and/or helping families get prescribed specialized equipment, supplies or goods
Apply for preschool speech and language services
Young children with speech and language difficulties and disorders may also be eligible for preschool speech and language services from the time they are born until they start school. These services will help your child develop communication and early literacy skills, so they are ready to start school.
Learn more about preschool speech and language services.
Children and youth up to 19 years, or up to age 21 if they are in school, can access rehabilitation services, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech-language therapy, if they have:
- physical disabilities
- developmental disabilities
- communication difficulties and disorders
You do not need a formal referral to access services. However, education or health professionals may refer you for services. Children’s Treatment Centres also provide these services in schools to students enrolled in Ontario public schools. Students attending publicly funded elementary or secondary school may access these services until they finish school.
Find children’s rehabilitation and SmartStart Hubs services
Use this table to find a Children’s Treatment Centre in your area. For more information about services and locations, contact Empowered Kids Ontario (EKO).
You can also contact your local regional office for more information.