Child and Family, Youth
Mental Health Program/Developmental Program
The Child and Family Centre (CFC) offers a range of psychological services to meet the needs of our youth, families and the community. Our Clinicians can access psychological services internally when specialized assessment or treatment is indicated. However, the community [including schools] can access our Developmental program via Children’s Community Network [see below] when a child is suspected of having an Intellectual Disability [previously referred to as a Global Developmental Disability]. The CFC Developmental program can also be accessed by families, day cares or foster homes when a child who is diagnosed with an Intellectual Disability is presenting with a significant behavioural or mental health need. Psychological services are considered a specialty service and are provided by registered professionals who are members of the College of Psychologists of Ontario.
What is an Intellectual Disability [ID]?
Intellectual Disability [previously referred to in Canada as Global Developmental Disability] is characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning [as measured by an IQ test] and in adaptive behavior [everyday social and practical skills]. It’s almost always diagnosed prior to the age of 18. There are many known causes of ID; Children can be born with an Intellectual Disability [like in a case of Down Syndrome, for example] or develop it later on in life [through an unfortunate accident or medical condition, etc.].
People with this disability have trouble learning, conceptualizing, reasoning, problem-solving, taking care of themselves, socializing and making safe choices. Children with an Intellectual Disability often reach their developmental milestones later in life and have speech-language, fine and gross motor needs, as well as medical needs. These children are also more likely to have behavioural or mental health needs as they have difficulty understanding situations and compromised coping skills.
Schools have special programs for these children as they have much difficulty learning [they are unable to learn at the same rate as other children of similar ages]. As a result, they require help, support and supervision [often even as adults] at home, school and in the community. The amount of support needed is dependent on the level of their disability [mild, moderate, severe] and on the strengths and needs of each child. Supports and a person-centered approach are very important when treating children with Intellectual Disabilities so that they may reach their highest potential and goals. Providing individualized supports can improve personal functioning and well-being, as well as promoting self-determination and societal inclusion