February 11, 2021

Welcome to the February edition of CanChild Today! This issue features Tiered Service Delivery in School and Family/Youth Engagement in research. Check out all of the great resources, research opportunities and events!

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Free Resources about Tiered Services!
We are pleased to announce the release of a free interactive online Course, Knowledge Implementation Toolkit (KIT) and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about tiered service delivery in schools—the Facilitating Integrated Delivery of Rehabilitation Services through Training (FIRST) Course, FIRST KIT and FAQs.

Tiered services are gaining momentum in education, resulting in new ways of working for speech-language pathologists (SLPs), occupational therapists (OTs), and physiotherapists (PTs). A research team led by Drs. Wenonah Campbell and Cheryl Missiuna developed these evidence-based resources to help SLPs, OTs, and PTs to learn more about tiered services.
The FIRST course consists of interactive case studies, videos, and learning activities to introduce universal, targeted, and individualized services and strategies that support the inclusion and participation of all children.

Upon completion of the course, therapists earn a certificate for professional development!

The FIRST KIT contains selected evidence-based materials for use “in the moment”, resources, infographics, videos, models, and practical strategies to support collaborative school-based services.

The FIRST FAQs include a series of questions and responses to commonly asked questions about tiered services.
BrothErs and Sisters involvement in health care TranSition for youth wIth Brain-based disabilitieS (BEST SIBS) Study

Are you a sibling of a brother or sister with a disability? You have a voice too! 

We are looking for siblings who are: 
  • 14 to 40 years old 
  • have a sibling who is 14-21 years old with a child-onset neurodisability (for example, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, epilepsy, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or spina bifida)
  • living in Ontario  

Siblings participants will be asked to talk with us in an interview (by Zoom or telephone) and share photographs that describe their sibling relationship. We are offering a $20 e-gift card as a thank-you for participating in this study. 
If you are interested in participating or need more information, please contact NGUYEL7@mcmaster.ca.
Youth Engagement in Research!
Are you interested in partnering with researchers throughout research processes? If so, we
would love to hear from YOU on how we can adapt the Family Engagement in Research course to support you in developing knowledge, confidence, and skills to form equal and impactful partnerships with researchers.

We are looking for youth and young adults (age 12-25) with brain-based disabilities to
participate in a study by joining us in a focus group.

Participants will also receive a $20 gift card.

If you would like to sign up or have questions, please contact Samantha Yimeng Dong:
Upcoming Webinar!
Join the the Family Engagement in Research team for an informal conversation about bringing together researchers and families in childhood disability research. We will be exploring challenges and opportunities with Family- Researcher Partnerships. Come prepared to chat!

Wednesday | February 17 at 7:00 PM EST | Join via Zoom
Recent Publications by CanChild Members!
Health professional–educator collaboration in the delivery of school‐based tiered support services: A qualitative case study
This participatory action research study explored how an inter-professional team worked with educators to develop and implement tiered services in two school communities. Data collected in this qualitative case study included weekly logs and 16 interviews conducted with team members, parents, educators, and administrators. Findings showed that the team provided a variety of services to individual students, groups, whole classes, and the school community. Collaboration and communication were needed to define roles and expectations, and to plan and share student information. Benefits included timely service, capacity building, and student goal achievement. Barriers were related to service fragmentation, time, and workload and suggest the need for clearer direction about expectations and improved coordination within the systems that offer services. Authors: Phoenix M, Dix L, DeCola C, Eisen I, Campbell W. Child: Health, Care and Development. 2021 Jan 11. doi: 10.1111/cch.12849.
Participation during a Pandemic: Forging New Pathways
This commentary shares lessons learned from a study aimed to improve participation of transition-age youth living with a physical disability conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pathways and Resources for Participation and Engagement (PREP) intervention was used to facilitate meaningful social participation according to changing public health guidelines, suggesting that participation during a pandemic is challenging yet viable. Common strategies included: creating 1 on 1 opportunities for engagement, matching same-age peers with similar interests, structuring informal activities, being flexible, having an alternative plan, and ongoing consultation with the disability community. These challenging times encourage us to rethink how we package and deliver therapy interventions to promote participation and, consequently, health. Authors: Anaby D, Ryan M, Palisano RJ, Levin MF, Gorter JW, Avery L, Cormier I, Teplicky R, Coulter J, Hanes J. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2021 Jan 28:1-4. doi: 10.1080/01942638.2021.
Teacher-Reported Prevalence of FASD in Kindergarten in Canada: Association with Child Development and Problems at Home
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) involves physical, mental, and behavioural deficits in infants due to alcohol exposure before birth. FASD may be underestimated as it can be difficult to diagnose in early childhood. Using the data from Early Development Instrument (a teacher-completed checklist), this study found that the prevalence of FASD ranged from 0.01 to 0.31%. Data also showed that children with FASD were having problems at home that interfered with their ability to function in the classroom, compared to children with other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Results of this study can inform strategies and policies for early identification and intervention of FASD. Authors: Pei J, Reid-Westoby C, Siddiqua A, Elshamy Y, Rorem D, Bennett T, Birken C, Coplan R, Duku E, Ferro MA, Forer B, Georgiades S, Gorter JW, Guhn M, Maguire J, Manson H, Santos R, Brownell M, Janus M. J Autism Dev Disord. 2021 Feb;51(2):433-443. doi: 10.1007/s10803-020-04545-w.
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