Services and Early Interventions
The needs of a child can vary from mild to severe to gifted and in a variety of areas: speech, fine motor, sensory, regulation, gross motor, behaviour, medical, cognitive and much more. Early Intervention is a collaborative process aimed at helping children grow and develop along with their families and extended support systems (i.e. day homes/daycare, teachers, extended family). This Early Intervention is funded by Alberta Education to provide support for 3-6 year olds in these formative years.
The Role of BCESA
To provide a team of specialists that meet the individual needs of each child funded by Alberta Education.
To coordinate and oversee the screening/assessment process.
To administer the funds for Program Unit Funding (PUF) and Mild/Moderate (MM) programs.
To develop an Individualized Program Plan (IPP) for each child.
To provide assurance to Alberta Education of the quality of the program and financial accountability.
To transition funded children into a supportive school setting.
Screening/Assessment & Funding Process
SCREENING & ASSESSMENT
Parents of children ages 3-6 complete a consent form allowing their child to be screening by a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and an Occupational Therapist (OT).
After the child is screened and if concerns are identified as mild/moderate or sever, parents will be notified by a therapist.
Parents will complete a Funding Application form and provide a copy of the birth certificate for children who are eligible to receive Program Unit Funding (PUF) or Mild/Moderate (MM) funding.
ALBERTA ED APPROVAL
BCES will apply for Alberta Education funding for each individual child. Once Alberta Education gives funding approval, specialists and the education team, will begin programming.
Mild/Moderate (MM) Funding
This level of funding provides services for children with mild to moderate delays in one area such as speech or motor development. This funding is available for a maximum of two years, one of which must be the child’s kindergarten year.
Program Unit Funding (PUF)
Program Unit Funding is available to children who have been identified with severe delays and require support within their learning environment. PUF is available for a maximum of three years. The child must be registered in and be attending a preschool, daycare or community program that offers a minimum of 400 hours for the school year.
Speech/Language Therapy focuses on communication problems and speech disorders. Delays in speech and language can have a negative impact on school learning. If a delay exists, the longer the problem persists, the harder it is to treat. Early Intervention is key to correcting most speech/language delays in these formative years.
Behaviour Therapy focuses on reducing challenging behaviours and teaching new skills. It has many applications, including reducing aggressive behaviour, improving language skills, enhancing social behaviours, reducing self-injurious behaviours and toileting. Behaviour Therapy focuses on observable behaviours rather than attitudes or beliefs; results are measurable and designed to be maintained over time.
Occupational Therapy helps kids improve their performance in daily occupations such as fine motor skills, self-help skills (e.g. eating, dressing and toileting), problem solving, attention, and sensory processing skills, using play-based activities and strategies.