COVID-19 Response and Resources

This page is designed to provide families with our response related to the COVID-19 pandemic and a list of resources and supports available. CTN will update this page on an ongoing basis.

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CTN Response to COVID-19

CTN supports public health measures to help keep our communities and citizens safe. Our commitment is to keep you updated on what’s happening to support the children, youth and families that we, along with our network partners, collectively serve.

Click here for our latest update- January 13th.
 

Latest Update

Ontario has declared a second provincial emergency  to address the COVID-19 crisis. The province has issued a stay-at-home order to reduce mobility and keep residents safe. The state of emergency is in effect on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. for 28 days.

CTN is well prepared as an agency to navigate this situation and is closely monitoring and following government and public health directives. We will continue to support clients during the provincial emergency through our virtual-first service delivery model. Services are provided virtually (phone or videoconferencing) if possible and in-person services are provided when necessary.

We encourage you to visit the Ministry of Education or your school board website for the most current information on how this announcement impacts elementary and secondary schools.

As we navigate the ongoing pandemic together, we encourage you to stay connected with your child’s service provider to address any needs or concerns. Our ACCESS intake team can be reached at 1-866-377-0286 for general inquiries and our SBRS intake team can be reached at 1-877-972-7277 for School Based Rehabilitation Services related inquiries.

Our Programs & Services

CTN provides a number of programs and services to support children and youth with disability and developmental needs and their families. Our network model allows us to deliver these programs and services through our partner organizations.

We continue to deliver most of our services virtually through phone or video appointments except when they need to be delivered in person based on the child’s need. Below is a listing for our programs and services and delivery method as of October 26, 2020. This list will be updated accordingly based on the Ministry of Health and public health directives. Please stay connected with your service provider to address any questions or concerns that need immediate attention.
 

Program or Service

Service Delivery

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Virtual + in person based on client need + curbside pickup of equipment

Audiology

Virtual + in person based on client need

Brief Resource Service

Virtual

Coordinated Service Planning (CSP)           

Virtual + curbside pickup/porch drop off (e.g. equipment, documents, etc.)

Diagnostic Assessment and Consultation Services (DACS)

(Autism Spectrum Diagnostic Hub – Central Region)

 Virtual + in person assessments based on client need

Family Mentor Program

Virtual

Feeding

Virtual + in person based on client need

Key Service and Support Coordination        

Virtual + curbside pickup/porch drop off (e.g. equipment, documents, etc.)

Medical Consultation Services

Virtual + in person based on client need

Occupational Therapy

Virtual + in person based on client need

Physiotherapy

Virtual + in person based on client need

Psychology Services

Virtual

Recreation Loan Program

Curbside pickup based on therapist recommendation. For more information, please visit our website

School Based Rehabilitation Services (SBRS)

Virtual + in person based on health and safety needs

Seating and Mobility

Virtual + in person based on client need

Spasticity Management

Virtual + in person based on client need

Service Navigation

Virtual

Events & Resources

We often hear connecting families with each other is one of the greatest resources we offer. For a list of current events organized by CTN, our partners and local organizations, please visit our events page.

Below are resources and supports for families specific to COVID-19.  

How to prepare for a video conference/virtual appointment

This may be a new way for you and your family to receive service and connect with agencies or providers. To prepare you and your child/youth for your upcoming appointment, please read the information below in detail.  If you don’t have access to technology, have questions or need assistance, your service provider will work with you to find a solution that works best for you and your family.
 

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    Before your appointment:
    Please set up your device (computer, phone or tablet)
    Use the instructions on your meeting invitation and download the free app(s) needed for your appointment. Installing and activating these apps may take some time, so have them ready in advance. Some examples of apps used by service providers are Zoom for Healthcare, Microsoft Teams and Blue Jeans.

    If using a phone or tablet, use headphones if possible
    Headphones reduce background noise and allow the service provider to hear you better. If your child/youth is not comfortable wearing headphones or you need one but don’t have one, please speak to your service provider for assistance.

    Make sure your device is charged
    Have a charging cord ready in case your battery runs low. If possible, plan your virtual appointment close to an electrical outlet in case you need to recharge your device during your session. Also, clear off any additional apps that may be running in the background as this can drain your battery.

    Check the strength of your Wi-Fi connection
    Walls and furniture will affect the strength of your Wi-Fi signal and a weak signal can result in a frozen screen, poor audio quality or even disconnection. Check your Wi-Fi strength by looking at your device while in the room you plan to use for your session. The Wi-Fi signal strength icon can be found on the top right hand side of most devices. This image shows Wi-Fi signal strength from strongest to weakest.

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    To increase the strength of your Wi-Fi signal in a room with poor signal strength, you could contact your internet service provider as some offer a free booster.

    Plan your location and position of your device
    Here are a few things to consider for the location of your virtual appointment.
    • What size room would work best?
    • Do you need a larger room for physical activities like jumping, rolling, dancing, etc.?
    • Do you need a smaller space that works for tabletop activities?
    • What distractions are there in the room, can they be covered or easily moved (e.g. TV, radio, toys, technology)?
    • Is there a window, is that helpful or distracting?
    • Does your child/youth get distracted by things moving outside, do you have curtains or blinds?
    • Does my child/youth feel comfortable in that space? If that answer is no, then you will likely need to consider another space or think of ways to make that space more comfortable for them.
    • What items will help your child/youth feel calm that can be included in that space (e.g. bean bag chair, sensory toys, etc.)?
    Place your device where the service provider can see your child/youth’s face, your face and any learning materials or toys that you will be working with. For the best view of your child, we recommend that you place your device at least 3 ft. away where you will be playing or working.

    This allows your service provider to:
    • See and hear your child/youth’s reaction or answers to questions/comments.
    • See if your child is showing any signs of anxiety or frustration.
    • See if their instructions are clearly understood.
    • Follow your child/youth’s lead if they begin to show interest in another toy/material.
    • Develop a personal relationship and rapport with you and your child/youth.
    If you are planning to use a table and chair to sit at during the session:
    • Make sure your child/youth can easily reach the top of the table to independently reach the items or activities that you are working with.
    • Consider using a booster and foot stool if necessary. Often when children/youth have supportive seating it allows them to feel more comfortable and assists in keeping their focus on the task at hand.
    • Consider having your child/youth facing towards a wall to limit distractions if you are unable to close the door to the room you have chosen for your session.
    If you don’t think working at a table is best, consider using a small room with a closed door. You and your child/youth can sit and work together on the floor. Do what works best!

    Don’t be afraid to talk to your service provider if you have any concerns about your ability to participate in activities. Let your service provider know if you have any physical limitations or concerns that may affect your ability to participate in the session

    Toys and learning materials
    The session may include a variety of activities, games and toys to help your child/youth develop their skills and work towards their goals. You may be asked to bring out a few of your child/youth’s favourite things. If you do not have access to the materials, please speak to your service provider in advance as you are NOT expected to buy additional items for these sessions.

    These items may include:
    • A favourite book
    • Puzzles, building toys, Lego
    • Small pretend toys (e.g. baby, stuffed animal, cars)
    • Writing tools (e.g. paper, markers, crayons, pencils)
    These materials will be specific to each individual based on their age and the skills being worked on. Feel free to reach out to your team should you have any questions about what to prepare. If your child/youth has any particular item that they find very hard to move from, it may be best to not have it in sight during the session.
     
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    During the appointment
    At the beginning
    • If you cannot hear or see your service provider well, please let them know right away so you can work together to solve the issue.
    • If something is happening in the room that is affecting participation like a sibling is home, an odd sound or smell, or any other type of distraction, please let your service provider know.
    • It is not expected that your child/youth will have all the answers or have all the skills needed to complete every task. This is ok, because this is why you are working on them. Please do not answer for your child or give them hints for the expected response, unless requested by the service provider.
    • The service provider will describe what they are doing or what you will need to do. They will wait and see how your child/youth responds and if it doesn’t go as planned, you will work together to problem solve it. While the main objective is help your child/youth reach their goals, we want to ensure that this is fun for everyone too!

    Work on predetermined strategies
    If you are unsure of what skill to work on consider using the F words for Child Development to guide you.

    These strategies should be meaningful to your child/youth and your family.
    • Think about what skills would be most helpful in your child/youth’s day to day life.
    • What skills or goals would have the most positive impact on your family?
    Ask questions
    • Do you understand the goal or skill you are working on and why?
    • Do you understand what is expected of you?
    • Do you understand what is expected of your child/youth?
    • If you have questions or concerns that you do not feel are appropriate for your child/youth to hear, please contact your service provider to arrange a time where the two of you can connect privately.
    Plan next steps
    • Think about what is working well in the session and why.
    • Consider how to build on the things that are going well.
    • Think about any challenges that you or your child/youth may be facing during the session.
    • Brainstorm ideas of how to overcome challenges and better support your child/youth for future sessions.
    Your service provider will provide suggestions and coach you through the strategies to help your child/youth develop their skills and reach their goals. Consistent use of these strategies at home during daily routines and activities is an important part of the process.
     

What to expect if you have an in-person appointment at our site

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    Day before your appointment:
    CTN will contact you to be sure everyone is well and to complete a COVID-19 screening
     
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    When you come to your appointment:
    • Only one parent/caregiver can be with the child for the visit. If another parent/caregiver would like to be there as well, please contact your service provider before your appointment to assist you or answer any questions you may have.
    • When you arrive for your appointment, please stay in your vehicle. Your service provider will contact you to complete another COVID-19 screening and give you directions about coming into the CTN site.
    • If you’re arriving by transit/walking, please let us know ahead of time so we can plan and greet you when you arrive.
    • Bring only the items you need into the CTN site.
    • Service providers will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, gloves, face shields, etc., to ensure everyone’s safety. Please view this social story to help your child understand the purpose of wearing PPE.
    • Based on public health recommendations and municipal requirements we highly recommend that you and your child wear a face mask. This does not include children under 2 years old, those who have difficulty breathing, those who cannot put on/remove a mask without help from someone else, those with a medical condition (e.g. asthma, eczema, etc.) that makes it uncomfortable or difficult and those who have accommodations according to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 or the Human Rights Code. Service providers will provide medical grade face masks at all CTN sites for in-person appointments. 
    • Hand sanitizer will be available. Please sanitize your hands when you enter the building, anytime you use the washroom and when you leave the building.
    • To provide the safest environment possible, we ask that you avoid using public washrooms in our site if possible. However, they are available if needed. We also recommend that you use the disinfectant wipes provided to clean surfaces before and after use.   
    • If your child or a family member becomes unwell, please let us know and we will reschedule your appointment to a later date.
    We will make every effort to make your visit as comfortable as possible and appreciate your cooperation.
     


Have questions? Call us.

We encourage you stay connected with your child’s service provider if there are concerns that require immediate attention. Our ACCESS and School Based Rehabilitation Services (SBRS) teams are available to answer questions and provide assistance. They can be reached at:
  • ACCESS team at 1-866-377-0286 for general inquiries.
  • SBRS team at 1-877-972-7277 for SBRS related inquiries.

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