Pediatric Therapy

Our team provides Pediatric Occupational Therapy services to children and youth who require assessment and treatment of sensory processing skills, gross and fine motor coordination skills, social and play skills. The following services are available:

  1. Assessment
  2. Individual Therapy
  3. Parent Education and Behaviour Management Support
  4. Home and School Consultation and Programming
  5. Staff/Agency workshops and training

Our Team has experience working with children, parents and teachers.

New Therapy Solutions therapy team guides parents and teachers to foster a Growth Mindset taking charge of children's learning and motivation. We help children overcome their functional/socio-emotional performance challenges at school, home and community, including:

Services

Products Reviews

OT Teletherapy

​​​Telepractice in Occupational Therapy

Telehealth can be conducted in the following ways:

  • Live video
  • Telephone Conversation
  • Transmitting Home Exercise Programs electronically

The Primary Goal of Pediatric Occupational Therapy is to help your child interact with his or her environment and peers, achieving independence in areas such as playing, learning, and self-care.

What are the Benefits Of Occupational Therapy

There are a number of common goals targeted within Occupational Therapy:

  • Filtering out extra stimuli to focus on classroom lessons
  • Cognition: problem-solving, attention, processing speed, memory, and comprehension
  • Hand-eye coordination (writing on the blackboard, throwing, and catching a ball, etc.)
  • Fine-motor skills (handwriting, typing on a keyboard, opening a milk carton, etc.)
  • Gross-motor skills (large muscles used for running/jumping/kicking)
  • Grasping and manipulating tools such as pencils, scissors, rulers, fork, and knife
  • Using and maintaining appropriate hygiene
  • Interacting and engaging with peers in an age-appropriate manner
  • Time management and organizational skills
  • Managing inattention and impulses to ensure participation in school experiences

How Online Therapy Works

Personal, Live Connection

As with traditional in-person therapy, online occupational therapy enables children to visit with same therapist each week on a private secure online platform, in which the therapist will initiate the live video and/or call. Through online therapy sessions, The Occupational Therapist delivers learning experiences that are highly engaging and proven to drive success. Our Occupational Therapists create a unique and modern learning environment using online tools that are both exciting and different from a child's regular day-to-day activities. Today’s generation of children were born in the electronic era - technology is their comfort zone! With this in mind, it is no surprise that both children and therapists agree that the technology behind online therapy becomes invisible, allowing the development of personal connections. THIS is the magic of online therapy!

OT Telepractice Extra's

In addition to therapy sessions, each child will receive:

  • Customized reports detailing progress after each session
  • Online backpack activities to practice skills between sessions

These little extras result in greater, faster goal-oriented gains for the child and family with empowerment to thrive in life's daily activities.

Contact info@newtherapysolutions.com or Call (416) 902-3405 to learn more about booking your Occupational Therapy Remote Session.

SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY & TELE-THERAPY

SLP

How Speech Therapy Works

At the New Therapy Solutions, our speech-language pathologists

determine what kind of language problem a student has.They then ascertain what may be causing it and decide on the most suitable and effective treatment. The speech-language pathologists will aim to help build the necessary skills by working with the child in a private setting either at the child's school, at home, or at our Clinic; so they will be as comfortable as possible and be more receptive to the techniques of the speech language pathologist.

The Speech Language Pathologists will address:

  • Speech flow issues such as stuttering.
  • Resonance or voice problems concerning voice pitch, volume and quality.
  • Oral feeding problems resulting in difficulty with eating, swallowing and drooling.
  • Trouble understanding and expressing language as well as using language in socially appropriate ways.
Speech Language Pathologists use a wide range of strategies tailored for each child’s particular challenge. We realize that every child is different therefore no program is ever executed in the same way. Furthermore, our speech language pathologists hold a master’s degree in the field of speech-language pathology and are registered with the Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (OSLA). Speech therapy can help children learn to speak more clearly which can result in social, emotional and academic benefits. This helps to increase confidence and reduce frustration. For those with reading issues such as dyslexia, speech therapy can help them hear and distinguish specific sounds in words which leads to improved reading comprehension skills while simultaneously leading to an increased enjoyment of reading. Parents should know that speech therapy is especially beneficial when started early in life. It’s also important to establish a trusting relationship between your child and the speech language therapist. This is why so many parents choose the New Therapy Solutions! Our speech therapists have years of cumulative experience helping kids deal with a wide variety of speech issues. For more information on how we can help your child please


Telehealth can be conducted in the following ways:

  • Live video
  • Telephone Conversation
  • Transmitting Home Exercise Programs electronically

How Online Therapy Works

Personal, Live Connection

As with traditional in-person therapy, online Speech Therapy enables children to visit with same therapist each week on a private secure online platform, in which the Speech therapist will initiate the live video and/or call. Through online therapy sessions, The Speech Therapist delivers learning experiences that are highly engaging and proven to drive success. Our Speech Therapists create a unique and modern learning environment using online tools that are both exciting and different from a child's regular day-to-day activities. Today’s generation of children were born in the electronic era - technology is their comfort zone! With this in mind, it is no surprise that both children and therapists agree that the technology behind online therapy becomes invisible, allowing the development of personal connections. THIS is the magic of online therapy!

Contact info@newtherapysolutions.com or Call (416) 902-3405 to learn more about booking your Speech Therapy Remote Session.

PHYSIOTHERAPY

PHYSIOTHERAPY

Physiotherapy services are designed to promote strong gross motor and balance skills. Therapists, specialized in pediatric therapy, work with families to assist their children in sitting, crawling, walking, running and jumping, as needed. A Physiotherapist (Physio) helps children and adults with physical, developmental or neurological disabilities, musculoskeletal problems or cardiopulmonary diagnoses. Their main emphasis is on impairments of movement that leads to functional limitations. Physiotherapists who treat infants and toddlers are specialists trained to treat movement and functional dysfunctions. A primary role by the Physiotherapist includes enhancing the stimuli and cognitive skills normally provided to the child by play and exploration. This includes assisting the child into several positions and several movements. All with the goal of enhancing the child’s development skills, processing and overall learning. Physical therapy may play a critical part in the child’s achievement of functional independence and integration into the school system.

Physiotherapy can help with these things:

  • Movement, balance, and coordination
  • Motor skills, like running, jumping, catching, and throwing
  • Muscle tone, strength, and flexibility
  • Recreation and leisure activities, like modifying games or equipment
  • Using specialized equipment or technology

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) therapy

Collaborative Services

ABA/ABI

New Therapy Solutions collaborates to provide an interdisciplinary, evidence-based approach in providing Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) therapy. Our community partners provide interventions built on the research-based, practical approach of ABA/IBI principles to teach new skills, and use technology to change behaviour in a systematic and measurable way. ABA/IBI is effective for children with exceptionalities and targets various developmental domains including, but not limited to, social and academic skills, gross motor, communication, play, and adaptive skills. Targeting these various skills increases the child’s independence and improves their quality of life. New Therapy Solutions is made up of a multidisciplinary team of professionals who work together to support the goals you have set for your child’s developmental journey. Our collaborative community partners provide ABA/IBI therapy services which are delivered in a 1:1 environment by Instructor Therapists who work directly with your child, and are monitored by Senior Therapists who supervise and train Instructor Therapists. In addition to developing and monitoring programs, our Senior Therapists work with Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA’s) and Registered Psychologists who supervise all programs and ensure they are the best fit for each unique child. Please contact us for more information on ABA/IBI therapy, and to work on an individualized program for your child’s needs.

Child Psychotherapy

Child Psychotherapy

​Is your child going through a very difficult time due to an array of circumstances and changes? Our focus is on helping the child express his/her emotions and provide the child, parents, and teachers support when we needed most.

Psychotherapy

During therapy sessions, Fay Gershgorin OT Reg. (Ont.), Psychotherapist concentrates on a child's social-emotional development including the child’s experiences, expressions, and management of emotions and the ability to establish positive and rewarding relationships.

Fay works with the child's core features of emotional development including the ability to identify and understand his/her own feelings, to accurately comprehend emotional states in others, to manage strong emotions and their expression in a constructive manner, to regulate behavior, to develop empathy for others, and to establish and maintain relationships.

Play Therapy

Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses play to communicate with clinician to prevent or resolve psychosocial challenges. This is thought to help children towards better social integration, growth and development, emotional modulation, and trauma resolution.

Play therapy can also be used as a tool of diagnosis. The Occupational Therapist observes a client playing with toys (play-houses, pets, dolls, etc.) to determine the cause of the disturbed behavior. The objects and patterns of play, as well as the willingness to interact with the therapist, can be used to understand the underlying rationale for behavior both inside and outside of therapy session. Play therapy can introduce varying amounts of direction, during the therapy session.


Gross Motor

Gross Motor Skills (e.g., jumping, climbing)

Gross Motor Skills: Gross motor refers to larger movements that are driven mostly by the larger muscles groups of the body.

Movements of the whole arm, the legs, the trunk, are all gross motor movements. Thus, gross motor skills are skills that develop through using the large muscles of the body in a coordinated and controlled way (i.e. running, jumping, climbing, sports, etc.). Occupational Therapy sessions can focus on: Bilateral coordination Motor planning Sensory discrimination Balance Strength Endurance Parents and families can also be provided with a variety of activity suggestions and recommendations to help enhance their child’s occupational therapy program in the home

Sensory Integration

Sensory Processing/Sensory Integration (SI)

Sensory processing (sometimes called “sensory integration” or SI) is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses.

Sensory processing (often referred to as “sensory integration” or SI) is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses in the environment and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. However, in some children and/or adults there is difficulty with how this information is encoded and this can interfere with their normal, everyday functioning. Some Examples of Sensory Processing Difficulties: Does your child:

Have problems eating or sleeping?

Become irritable when being dressed or is often uncomfortable in clothing?

Rarely play with toys?

Resist cuddling?

Have difficulty calming themselves?

Have a floppy or stiff body and/or motor delays?

Appear clumsy or have poor balance?

Have an extreme response to or fear of sudden, high-pitched or loud noises (i.e. flushing toilets, clanking silverware, etc.)?

Crave movement (i.e. fidgets, easily distracted, unable to sit still)?

Have an extreme fear of falling?

Have an extremely high tolerance for or an indifference to pain?

Seem fearful of crowds or avoid standing in close proximity to others?

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD): is a condition when sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses. Occupational therapist and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD, compared SPD to a neurological “traffic jam” that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving necessary information to interpret sensory information correctly. An individual with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through their senses. This creates challenges in performing countless everyday activities.

Treatment for SPD

At New Therapy Solutions, we make occupational therapy enjoyable and children generally like participating in occupational therapy sessions despite how hard they are working! The aim of therapy is to reinforce the body’s ability to responds to sensory messages so that it can generate a meaningful responses. Another goal of occupational therapy is to educate parents, caregivers, families, childcare workers and teachers to provide a context which is receptive to the child’s sensory processing style. Under the guidance of a therapist, the child actively takes in sensation through a playful context. It aims to provide a neural platform which promotes the development of more complex skills by freeing up the higher cortical levels which are currently being used to process sensory information. Therapy guides the child along the path to success—and they enjoy every step of the way! The specific goals of occupational therapy using a sensory integration framework are to improve the person’s social participation, self-esteem, self-regulation and sensory-motor abilities.

What are the Expected Outcomes of the Treatment?

There is no known cure for SPD however there is the capacity to evoke change. Some of the changes which parents, teachers, childcare workers and families can expect to improvements in the following areas:

  • Attention & focus
  • Self-regulation with responses being better matched to their environment
  • Fine motor skills
  • Oral motor control and improved eating habits
  • Increased engagement, interaction and development of play skills
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Becoming less or more responsive to sensation received
  • Postural Control
  • Praxis (motor planning), balance & coordination
  • “Evenness” or more regulated emotional & behavioural responses
  • Communication, articulation and social skills
  • Visual motor integration
  • Increased learning opportunities

Self Regulation

Self Regulation

Self-regulation is a critical competency that underlies the mindful, intentional, and thoughtful behaviors of younger and older children alike.

Self-regulation is a critical competency that underlies the mindful, intentional, and thoughtful behaviors of younger and older children alike. The term self-regulation refers to the individuals ability to control one’s impulses, both to stop doing something, if needed (even if one wants to continue doing it) and to start doing something, if needed (even if one doesn’t want to do it). Self-regulated children can delay gratification and suppress their impulses long enough to think ahead to the possible consequences of their actions or to consider alternative actions that would be more appropriate. Why is Self-Regulation important? There is growing evidence that many children begin school lacking self-regulation and this lack of self-regulation could have an impact on how well they do in school and later life. Kindergarten teachers rank self-regulation as the most important competency for school readiness. However, these teachers report that many of their students come to school with low levels of self-regulation. There is evidence that early self-regulation levels have a stronger association with school readiness than IQ or entry-level reading or math skills, and they are closely associated with later academic achievement. Researchers have also found links between self-regulation at an early age and a child’s functioning in school far beyond kindergarten and first grade. Self-regulation affects a children’s abilities to successfully function in school settings in two ways: first, social-emotional self-regulation makes it possible for children to conform to classroom rules and to benefit from learning in various social contexts, from one-on-one interactions to large groups; and second, cognitive self-regulation allows children to use and further develop the cognitive processes necessary for academic learning and problem solving. Occupational Therapy sessions would focus on:

Understanding and managing emotions

Processing and integrating the sensory system

Performing executive functioning tasks such as organizing, planning, being flexible, and/or transitioning

Early Infant Milestones

Early Infant Milestones

If you’re like most parents/caregivers we know, you’re probably wondering if your child’s development is on track, are we right? Well, New Therapy Solutions Occupational Therapist's are here to help.

We frequently receive emails from parents and caregivers who have questions about their baby’s development, particularly as it relates to the “big” milestones of tolerating tummy time and learning to roll, sit, and crawl. We figured it would probably be helpful to put together an all-in-one resource so everyone can benefit from the same information!

Gross Motor Skills

Gross Motor development involves the larger, stronger muscle groups of the body. In early childhood, it is the development of these muscles that enable a baby to hold his/her head up, sit, crawl and eventually walk, run and skip.

Between the ages 3 – 6 months, your child should:

  • Randomly move arms and legs
  • Put hands near eyes and touch mouth
  • Be able to lift his/her head up when on stomach
  • Be able to put weight on arms when on stomach
  • Move head from side to side while lying on back
  • Hold head steady when held in sitting position
  • Sit with little support at the waist
  • Turn him/herself from back to side and tries to roll over
  • Reach out for toys, using left or right hand and puts toys in mouth
  • When on stomach, is able to keep head up, putting weight on arms and turn head from side to side
  • Stand when held, bend knees and support weight with legs
  • Touch knees and feet with hands when lying on back

Between the ages of 6 – 9 months, your child should:

  • Start rolling back to front and visa versa
  • Be able to sit by her/himself
  • Be able to pivot and creep on stomach
  • Start standing stiff legged while holding onto furniture

Between the ages of 9 – 12 months, your child should:

  • Be able to crawl over and around objects
  • Start to cruise around furniture
  • Move from sitting to lying down
  • Pull to stand while holding onto furniture
  • Walk with 2 hands held

Red Flags for Gross Motor Development (0-12 months)

If you notice or are concerned about some of the following things about your baby, you may want to talk to your physician or another health professional.

  • Baby’s head is flat
  • Baby doesn’t turn his/her head to both sides
  • Baby feels stiff
  • Baby is not meeting developmental milestones
  • Baby uses one side of his/her body more than the other
  • Baby’s skills are regressing
  • Something appears wrong with baby’s legs and/or feet

Fine Motor Skills

“Fine motor” refers to the movements we make with the small muscles of the hands. Children start to use their hands right at birth to explore their own bodies and the world around them. Their fine motor skills develop as their whole body starts to move and become more stable. They also learn to do more things with their hands as their cognitive and social/emotional skills improve.

Below are some of the typical developmental milestones for fine motor skills. After each age group, you can find some “red flags” that might indicate a problem.

Between the ages of 0-4 months, your baby will:

  • Turn her head toward sounds and voices
  • Stare at bright objects and follow them with his eyes
  • Move her arms together and apart
  • Bring his hands to his mouth, and possibly suck on his own hands or fingers
  • By 4 months, lift his head and shoulders off the floor when laying on his tummy

Between the ages of 4-8 months, your baby will:

  • Grab onto objects within her reach
  • Roll over to explore and get to objects
  • Prop himself up on his arms when laying on his tummy
  • Sit independently for brief periods
  • Pass objects from one hand to the other hand

Red Flags for Fine Motor Development (0-8 months)

If you notice some of the following things about your baby by the time she is 6-8 months old, you may want to talk to your doctor, or to another health professional such as an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist.

  • She still keeps one or both hands clenched in a fist
  • His arms seem very stiff
  • She is not able to prop herself up when laying on his tummy
  • She is not able to pick up objects within her reach
  • He is not able to sit by himself for short periods
  • He is not able to roll over to get objects

Between the ages of 8-12 months, your baby will:

  • Reach, grab, and put objects in her mouth
  • Pinch small objects (e.g. cheerios) with thumb and pointer finger
  • Move objects from one hand to the other
  • Drop and pick up toys
  • Bang two objects together
  • Let go of objects on purpose
  • Put things into containers (with large openings) and take them out again
  • Bite and chew toys
  • Hold a spoon (but not yet feed herself)
  • Hold his own bottle
  • Hold out an arm or leg to help with dressing
  • Wave hello or goodbye

Red Flags for Fine Motor Development (12 months)

If you notice some of the following things about your child by the time he is 12 months old, you may want to talk to your doctor, or to another health professional such as an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist.

  • He is not able to grasp toys and let them go again
  • She does not bring toys to her mouth or bang them together
  • He is not able to bring his hands together at the middle of his body (e.g. clapping)
  • She is not able to feed herself finger foods, using her thumb and pointer finger to pick up food
  • His movements seem shaky or stiff
  • He is not able to move around on the floor to get the toys he wants
  • She is not able to put objects into a large container
  • His hands are kept in a fisted position
  • She is not able to hold her bottle by herself


Eating & Drinking (sucking, drinking, eating solid foods)

Below are some of the typical milestones to expect as your child grows, followed by some red flags that might indicate a problem.

Newborn

By 1 month of age, your child will:

  • Take 2-4 ounces (60-120ml) of liquid per feed, 6-8 or more feedings per day
  • May lose some liquid from corners of mouth
  • Be able to do at least 2 sucks in a row before pausing to breathe
  • Have a rooting reflex where he will turn towards the breast or bottle when the side of his mouth is stroked
  • Have a suck and swallow reflex where she will open her mouth wide enough to latch onto the breast or bottle
  • Bring her hands to her mouth by 2 months

Infant

By 3-4 months of age, your child will:

  • Take 4-7 ounces (120-280ml) of fluid per feed, 4-6 feedings per day
  • Be able to do about 20 sucks before stopping to breathe
  • Sucking, swallowing, and breathing are well-coordinated

By 5-6 months, your child will:

  • Take 9-10 ounces (270-300ml) of food and/or liquid per feed
  • Start to pat the bottle or breast with her hands during feeding
  • Start to eat small amounts of thin, pureed foods such as infant cereal or pureed fruit from a spoon
  • Start to suck on or bite on a baby cookie
  • Use some up and down chewing movements

By 7-8 months, your child will:

  • Start to eat thicker pureed foods at 7 months
  • Eat ground or junior baby foods, or mashed table foods by 8 months
  • Try to drink from a cup held for him, but may lose a lot of liquid, may take large mouthfuls of liquid and cough/choke
  • Move his tongue up and down, and to the side when chewing food
  • Mouth and munch on the spoon, toys, and baby biscuits
  • Hold his own bottle

Between 9-12 months, your child will:

  • Take longer sequences of sucks with cup drinking, but may still have trouble coordinating drinking and breathing
  • Move her jaw and tongue a lot when chewing and moving food around in her mouth
  • Start to feed himself finger foods
  • Start to hold a spoon during meals, but may not feed herself with it yet
  • Bite and chew foods by himself

Red Flags for Eating and Drinking Problems

If your child is showing some of the following signs, it may be helpful to talk to your doctor or another health professional, such as a speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, dietician or public health nurse.

  • Arching or stiffening of the body during feeding
  • Coughing or choking during feeding
  • Being very irritable/fussy during or after feeding
  • Taking a really long time to feed (more than 30-45 minutes)
  • Frequent spitting up
  • Getting sick often with pneumonia or chest infections
  • Gurgly, hoarse, or breathy voice
  • Less than normal weight gain or growth
  • Lots of leakage of food or liquid from the mouth
  • Coughing, gagging or throwing up during or after meals
  • Stuffing mouth with food
  • Holding food inside pockets in mouth for long periods
  • Difficulty accepting new textures of food, avoidance behaviours to specific foods and textures (gagging, vomiting, blocking the spoon with hands or closed lips, crying, pushing food away, etc.)
  • Abnormal bowel movements that last longer than a few days (diarrhea, constipation, loose stool)
  • Skin reactions to foods (dry patches, hives, rashes) Note: If your child seems to be having a severe allergic reaction to a food (difficulty breathing, turning red, developing hives or rash on the face/chest), you should seek medical help immediately.


Social & Emotional Development (noticing & playing with others)

This area of development involves learning to interact with other people and to understand and control your own emotions. Babies start to develop relationships with the people around them right from birth, but the process of learning to communicate, share, and interact with others takes many years to develop. Developing the ability to control your emotions and behavior is also a long process. Children continue to develop their social-emotional skills well into their teenage years, or even young adulthood.

Below are some of the typical developmental milestones for social-emotional skills. After each age group, you can find some “red flags” that might indicate a concern.

Between the ages of 0-3 months, your baby will:

  • See clearly within 13 inches from her face
  • Be comforted by a familiar adult
  • Respond positively to touch
  • Quiet when picked up
  • Listen to voices
  • Smile and show pleasure in response to social stimulation

Between the ages of 3-6 months, your baby will:

  • Give warm smiles and laughs
  • Recognize faces
  • Cry when upset and seek comfort
  • Show excitement by waving arms and legs
  • Notice a difference between two people based on the way they look, sound, or feel
  • Smile at herself in the mirror
  • Enjoy looking at other babies
  • Pay attention to her own name
  • Laugh aloud

Between the ages of 6-9 months, your baby will:

  • Express several different clear emotions
  • Play games like Peek-a-boo
  • Show displeasure at the loss of a toy
  • Respond to you when you talk to her or make gestures
  • Start to understand your different emotions (for example, your baby might frown when you speak in an angry tone of voice)
  • Show more comfort around familiar people, and anxiety around strangers
  • Possibly comfort herself by sucking thumb, or holding a special toy or blanket

Red Flags for Social-Emotional Development (9 months)

If you notice some of the following things by the time your baby is 8-9 months old, you may want to talk to your doctor, or to another health professional such as a speech-language pathologist, an occupational therapist, or a psychologist.

  • Your child is not responding to sounds
  • Your child is not smiling or responding to you the way you expect
  • Your child avoids close contact or cuddling
  • Your child is inconsolable at night
  • Your child can’t seem to self-soothe or calm herself
  • Your child has no interest in games like peek-a-boo

Between the ages of 9-12 months, your baby will:

  • Show happiness to see her parents’ face, her toys, or a mirror
  • Know strangers from his family, and cry when his parent goes away
  • Give affection and love
  • Pay attention to simple commands such as "no" and "give it to me"
  • Respond by turning to look when you call her name
  • Imitate some of your actions (e.g. waving, pretending to talk on the phone)
  • Have fear with new situations
  • Understand the word “no”, but will not always obey

Red Flags for Social-Emotional Development (12 months)

If you notice some of the following things by the time your baby is 12 months old, you may want to talk to your doctor or to another health professional such as a mental health clinician, a speech-language pathologist, an occupational therapist, or a psychologist.

  • He is not showing interest in other children his age
  • She does not respond to you the way you expect her to
  • He has extreme difficulty waiting for something he wants
  • She is very rigid about her routine, food items, clothing, etc
  • He has limited or fleeting eye contact with others
  • She does not imitate any of your actions
  • She does not respond when you call her name
  • He does not follow your point when you try to show something, or bring attention to something
  • She doesn’t take turns in a simple turn-taking game like chase or peek-a-boo


Understanding & Thinking (figuring things out, sight & touch)

Right from birth, children are aware of their surroundings and want to explore them. As your child plays and interacts with the people and objects around him, he learns about his body, his home and the world around him.

Below are some of the typical developmental milestones for “cognitive skills” (thinking and understanding). After each age group, you can find some “red flags” that might indicate a concern.


Between the ages of 0-4 months, your baby will:

  • See clearly within 13 inches from her face
  • Focus on and follow moving objects, including human faces
  • Begin to anticipate events (e.g. sucking at the sight of a nipple)
  • Demand a lot of attention from you
  • Enjoy interactive play
  • Enjoy doing the same thing again and again

Between the ages of 4-8 months, your baby will:

  • Recognize faces
  • Notice a difference between two people based on the way they look, sound, or feel
  • Imitate the facial expressions of others
  • Respond to familiar sounds
  • Enjoy looking at other babies
  • Enjoy pop-up toys that surprise her
  • Enjoy playing peek-a-boo

Red Flags for Cognitive Development (0-8 months)

If you notice some of the following things by the time your baby is 6-8 months old, you may want to talk to your doctor, or to another health professional such as a speech-language pathologist, an occupational therapist, or a psychologist.

  • Your child is not tracking objects with his eyes
  • Your child is not responding to sounds
  • Your child is not repeating actions to have pleasurable results
  • Your child avoids close contact or cuddling
  • Your child is inconsolable at night
  • Your child can’t seem to self-soothe or calm herself
  • Your child has no interest in games like peek-a-boo

Between the ages of 8-12 months, your baby will:

  • Show happiness to see her parents’ face, her toys, or a mirror
  • Know strangers from his family, and cry when his parent goes away
  • Give affection and love
  • Pay attention to simple commands such as ‘no’ and ‘give it to me.’
  • Have fear with new situations
  • Understand that an object is still there when she can’t see it (e.g. hidden under a blanket)
  • Imitate gestures and actions
  • Enjoy looking at picture books

Red Flags for Cognitive Development (12 months)

If you notice some of the following things by the time your baby is 12 months old, you may want to talk to your doctor, or to another health professional such as a speech-language pathologist, an occupational therapist, or a psychologist.

  • She doesn’t search for hidden or removed objects
  • He tries to solve problems by just repeating actions, instead of using trial and error
  • She is not anticipating the effects of her actions (e.g. knocking down blocks)
  • He is not showing interest in other children his age
  • She is not using toys for their intended purpose
  • He has extreme difficulty waiting for something he wants
  • She is very rigid about her routine, food items, clothing, etc.
  • He has limited or fleeting eye contact with others

If you have concerns about your child at any age, please feel free to Contact Us to speak to a professional. You can also make a referral to New Therapy Solutions anytime.


Play Skills

Learning Through Play

The act of playing is an important tool that influences a child’s life. The primary goals of childhood are to grow, learn, and play. It is often through play that children learn to make sense of the world around them. It is a child’s "job" or "occupation" to play to develop physical coordination, emotional maturity, social skills to interact with other children, and self-confidence to try new experiences and explore new environments.

Occupational therapists have expertise in evaluating children’s neurological, muscular, and emotional development; and determining the effects of infant and childhood illness on growth and development.

What Can an Occupational Therapy Practitioner do?

• Help adapt toys or modify the environment to provide optimal sensory input without overwhelming the child.

• Recommend toys and play activities that provide the "just right" challenge for the child, so he or she learns while having fun. The occupational therapy practitioner can also recommend ways to build on the child's strengths and abilities.

• Offer play opportunities that encourage turn taking and problem solving. Consider family routines and priorities when recommending play strategies. Observe, identify, and develop play strategies that promote a healthy lifestyle and relationships.

• Suggest toys that will help the child develop particular skills, while having fun. Recommend ways for family members to be more involved in the child's play. Suggest toys and play activities for children of all abilities and ages. Collaborate with educators and caregivers to enhance playtime at home, during recess at school, and during community outings.

• Help determine what toys will be safe, developmentally appropriate, and fun for a particular child, based on an evaluation and in consideration of the child's and family's needs and goals.

What Can Parents and Families Do?

• Encourage sensory rich play by using balls, sand and water toys, slides, swings, finger paints, and magnets. During sensory play, children use their senses to incorporate smell, touch, sound, vision, and movement.

• Encourage manipulative play, such as using play dough, LEGOs, and board games. Toys such as puzzles, pegboards, beads, and lacing cards help improve the child's eye-hand coordination and dexterity.

• Promote imaginative or pretend play with things like dolls and stuffed animals, toy furniture, puppets, and telephones. Pretend play encourages creativity and role playing and provides an opportunity to rehearse social skills.

• Choose toys that are appropriate to the child’s age and/or maturity level. They do not have to be expensive or complicated to be beneficial. Common objects, such as pots and pans, empty boxes, spools of thread, shoelaces, and wooden spoons are readily accessible and encourage children to use their imagination.

• Remember when choosing a toy to consider whether a child must be supervised while playing with it. Toys should not have small parts that break easily or can be swallowed.

Recommended Toys and Activities for Children and Teens

Infants: Rattles, mobiles, playmats, mirrors, crib toys, infant swings, teething toys, busy boxes, squeeze toys

Toddlers and Preschoolers: Blocks, stacking rings, pegboards, shape sorters, push and pull toys, balls, books, sand and water toys, large beads, movement games, toy cars and trucks, train sets, musical toys

School-Aged Children: Building sets, books, bicycles, roller skates, ice skates, board games, checkers, beginning sports

Middle Schoolers and Adolescents: Athletics, books, hobbies, crafts, electronics


Need more information?

Occupational therapy practitioners promote play for all children, with or without disabilities. Play challenges could indicate a need for further assessment. If you would like to consult an occupational therapist, feel free to contact New Therapy Solutions anytime.

Handwriting Without Tears

Pre-K Readiness & Writing

The award-winning Get Set for School® Pre-K curriculum uses lively music and playful activities to help young children build a solid foundation for school success. This upbeat workshop introduces a readiness curriculum full of developmentally appropriate activities that teach children about letters, body awareness, numbers, sequencing, and sharing in a fun, engaging, and informal manner.

Pre-K Readiness & Writing Objectives

The Occupational Therapist using Hand Writing Without Tears Pre-K Readiness & Writing Program Objectives:

  • Plan instruction based on the child's developmental stages for writing readiness
  • Model activities that develop important social-emotional skills, including body awareness, taking turns, and sharing
  • Practice using Wood Piece Play to teach size, shape, and position concepts for pre-writing and sensory motor skills
  • Identify how music and hands-on play can boost capital and lowercase letter recognition
  • Demonstrate step-by-step approach to effectively teach coloring skills
  • Use Hands-On Letter Play to build beginning habits for letter and number formations
  • Use My First School Book to help children progress from tracing their letters and numbers to writing their names

Get Set for School: The importance of a hands-on multisensory readiness curriculum to prepare children for school success

Pre-K Readiness: Social skills and the developmental stages of writing, hand skills, and crayon grip

Drawing: Mat Man®, shapes, music, and demonstration

Alphabet Knowledge: Hands-on materials, My First School Book, capital and lowercase letter recognition

Colors and Coloring: Crayon skills, developmental progression from scribbling to coloring and drawing

Pre-Writing: Wood Piece Play for capitals, multisensory activities for capitals

Writing: Developmental teaching order, trace capitals, write names, number skills, and formation

Fine Motor

Fine Motor Skills (e.g., handwriting, fastening clothing)

Fine Motor Skills: Fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the hands that enable such functions as handwriting, grasping small objects, and fastening clothing.

Handwriting– In Occupational Therapy we can help with: Developing mature grasp patterns when using writing utensils Improving the basic fundamental skills required for higher-level printing (i.e. gaining adequate hand strength, shoulder stability, in-hand manipulation, fine motor skills and visual motor skills Improving letter formation (capital and lowercase) Improving legibility (size, line placement, spacing, speed) Providing recommendations to home and school to increase child’s independence and success in the classroom environment

Funding Resources

How to Pay for Therapy Services

There are many ways to cover the cost of private therapy services offered by New Therapy Sultions, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and RMT services are covered by most extended health benefits.

How to Pay for Therapy Services

Each new client will go through the intake process with our clinical director, to discuss funding options and referrals to government funded programs. New Therapy Solutions works in collaboration with various funding partners to help your family access therapy without waiting lists. We are knowledgeable and can assist with extended health benefits, completing funding applications and providing letters of support or quotes for government funded programs.

Clinical Director: e-mail: fay@newtherapysolutions.com Phone: (416) 902-3405

Private Insurance: Private therapy is covered under most private insurance and extended benefits plans. Private insurance for therapy operates in the same manner as dental or drug benefits. Please contact your insurance provider to determine coverage specific to your plan.

Private Funding Options: Funding applications are linked on our website for your convenience. If you require assistance please contact our care coordinator for a letter of support and quote at no cost.

Ceridian Cares supports individuals or families in need of financial assistance in the form of grants for “Quality of Life” and “Basic Essentials.” For more information please visit the Ceridian Cares website or to apply, please complete the application form.

Jennifer Asheligh Children's Charity:

Children 21 years of age or under who have a permanent disability or serious illness can receive funding through Jennifer Ashleigh to help alleviate some of the cost of therapy. For more information please visit the Jennifer Ashleigh website or to apply, please complete the Application Form.

Labatt Better Together: makes a positive impact on Canadian communities by providing basic essentials and other support services to improve the quality of life of individuals and families in need.” Labatt’s HEALTH grant provides medical devices, therapies, support services and assistive devices, including: prosthetics, eyewear, medical equipment, special therapies, respite services, Braille materials, and physiotherapy. There are also grants for necessities, elderly support and youth development. For more information please visit the Labatt – Better Together website or to apply, please complete the application form.

Other Government Funding Options Include:

Assistive Devices Program

Child Disability Benefit

Ontario Autism Program

Ontario Child Benefit

Special Services at Home