Professionals and People You May Meet
Throughout your child's life you will come in contact with various professionals and people who can offer information, support and services. The list below will help you navigate who these people are and what they can offer your child and family.
Case Manager: Case Managers help you coordinate the services and professionals in your child’s life. Theyassist you in deciding what services your child needs access to. They can also help advocate foryour child if there are road blocks in getting the services your child needs.
Child and Youth Worker/Child and Youth Counselor: CYW/CYCs may work with schools, community programs, group homes, residential centers, and juvenile justice programs. CYW/CYCs have unique training focused on children’s and youths’ behaviour, emotions, mental health, development, environment, and most importantly, therapeutic relationships.
Developmental Pediatrician: A Developmental Pediatrician specializes in childhood illnesses and disorders. A typicalcaseload would include children ranging from infancy to eighteen years of age with a variety ofgeneral health issues and developmental challenges. A Developmental Pediatrician can make adiagnosis or refer a child for further evaluation. Referrals to a Developmental Pediatrician can bemade via a family physician.
Educational Assistant (EA): The EA helps supports children with special needs within the school setting. This person works under the supervision of the classroom teacher. Depending on which school board your child attends, an EA may also be known as a TA (teaching assistant).
Early Childhood Educator (ECE): An Early Childhood Educator works in child-care centers, preschools and schools. An ECE is trained in child development with a focus on preschool years and creates programs to help young children develop age-appropriate skills. An ECE will often liaise with other professionals such as Resource Consultants, Speech-Language Pathologists, Behaviourists, and Occupational Therapists in developing treatment programs.
Early Childhood Resource Consultant (ECRC): This person supports children, parents, and child-care staff when children attend licensed childcare programs. The Resource Consultant works with children up to the age of six who have more than one area of developmental difficulty.
Inclusion Facilitator: This is an additional staff person in a licensed child-care program. This person works in the program on a part-time basis for a short term when one or more children up to the age of six have very high needs for assistance. The Inclusion Facilitator is an “extra pair of hands” with the whole group of children.
Infant & Child Development Consultant (ICDC): Infant and Child Development Consultants specialize in education, prevention, early identification, and early intervention for children. The children are between the ages of birth to five and have a developmental delay or are at risk for delay.
Occupational Therapist (O.T.): Occupational Therapists employed in paediatric settings focus on optimizing children’s function in the areas of play, self-help, and preschool skills. Referrals to an Occupational Therapist are sometimes made via a family physician, although in some situations a parent can make a self referral on behalf of their child. Some Occupational Therapists are trained in the area of sensory integration, so they can help evaluate potential sensory difficulties that a child with FASD might experience.
Psychiatrist: A Psychiatrist is a doctor who has been trained to diagnose and manage/treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists can initiate referrals to other health care professionals such as Occupational Therapists or Speech-Language Pathologists. They may also suggest genetic testing, where appropriate, to eliminate other possible diagnoses. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications to treat illnesses on an individual basis.
Psychologist: A Psychologist is a specialist in the field of Psychology who has a Ph.D. in Psychology. They explore such concepts as perception, cognition, attention, emotion, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behaviour, and interpersonal relationships. The vast majority of psychologists are involved in clinical, counseling, and school positions. They will provide assessment, diagnosis, and treatment services.
Psychological Associate: A Psychological Associate is trained in Psychology, usually at the master’s level. Psychological Associates may work with a Psychologist in order to provide assessment, diagnosis, and treatment services. Some Psychological Associates are certified by the College of Psychologists of Ontario to practice autonomously.
Psychometrist: A Psychometrist can support the diagnostic process and may administer standardizedassessments under the supervision of a Psychologist.
Physiotherapist (PT): A physiotherapist is a movement specialist who works with children at home, at school, and within the community to promote physical movement, assist recovery from surgery, and help manage/treat musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. Areas commonly assessed by Physiotherapists include muscle tone, postural reactions, balance, motor planning, and coordination. Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists often work closely together and may collaboratively design treatment plans.
Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP): A Speech-Language Pathologist specializes in the assessment and treatment of communication disorders in both the adult and pediatric populations. An SLP provides a variety of services including individual and group treatment, caregiver workshops and consultation. Areas that SLP’s may address include expressive and receptive language, attention, transitions, speech-sound production, play skills, and social skills.
Social Worker: Social workers can often provide initial counselling following a diagnosis of FASD. Their role can often extend to providing couple and grief counselling and parenting support. They can connect families with other community resources and can facilitate financial requests for additional supports, such as disability payments or respite services.
Special Services at Home Worker (SSAH): SSAH workers provide support for children and adults with developmental disabilities who live at home with their families. This person works on specific goals with the individual. Goals may be supported by an ECE, Speech-Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, or Physiotherapist. Financial support is available from the government to fund SSAH hours. Eligibility for potential funding can be discussed with your child’s worker, registered Social Worker, or Case Manager.
Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT): The SERT is the person who modifies and/or adapts the school curriculum so that the needs of identified children are met. Children who have been identified as “exceptional learners/students” have access to extra help from SERTs. Most school boards now have user-friendly web sites which provide information regarding services for special needs students including the specific process of identification.
Reprinted with permission from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Resource Guide, Guelph Wellington Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Action Group, 2011.