Friday , 24 March 2023
Home Health Mac Kids will share in pilot project for kids with complex needs

Mac Kids will share in pilot project for kids with complex needs

McMaster Children’s Hospital will; be one of three Ontario facilities to share in a $97 Million pilot project to improve care for kids with special needs. Special needs can include, communication disorders, physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and chronic and/or long-term medical conditions. They can include specific diagnoses such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

Beginning in April 2023, the Integrated Pathway for Children and Youth with Extensive Needs pilot program will be offered at McMaster Children’s Hospital, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

Families participating in the program will connect to a team of professionals, including physicians, social workers and behavioural consultants who work together to provide tailored support based on the individual needs of the child or youth and their families. Services can include adjusting medications, personalized behaviour support plans, mental health assessments and treatment, social work such as counselling for parents and caregivers, and specialized interventions to support children and youth to build skills such as communication and self-regulation.

Bruce Squires, President of Mac Kids welcomed the initiative. “”Far too often, young people with extensive needs get lost in between existing programs and services. Today, we are creating a new model which puts these children, youth and their families at the centre; with expert medical, developmental and social services wrapped around them. This unique collaboration between hospitals and our two ministry partners targets this significant need; McMaster Children’s Hospital is excited to move forward providing children and youth with this important care, allowing families to focus solely on their child’s wellbeing.”

When children in Ontario begin school, almost 30 per cent have at least one developmental vulnerability that could affect their lifelong health, learning and behaviour.

Families with questions about their child’s development and support needs can contact their local Children’s Treatment Centre or Surrey Place in Toronto.

Families with children who have multiple or complex special needs can receive coordinated service planning and connect with a dedicated service planning coordinator at their local coordinating agency.

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