Children and youth with special needs may require services to improve their functioning in one or more areas, such as communication skills or mobility. The services also increase their ability to participate fully at home, school and in the community.
A range of rehabilitation and treatment services are available for children and youth with special needs, including:
- occupational therapy
- speech and language therapy.
These services are offered to children and youth up to 19 years old with physical and/or developmental disabilities and/or communication disorders.
Young children with speech and language disorders may also be eligible for preschool speech and language services. These services will support them to develop communication and early literacy skills so they are ready to start school. Learn more about preschool speech and language services.
How to access services
There are 21 children's treatment centres across Ontario that provide rehabilitation services to more than 74,000 children and youth with moderate or severe disabilities and other special needs every year.
A child may be referred to a children's treatment centre by:
- parents, or
- an educational or health professional, or
- a physician.
The Ontario Association of Children’s Rehabilitation Services (known as OACRS) website also has information on services and locations of children’s treatment centres.
You can also contact your local regional office for more information.