Giant Steps provides personalized, evidence-based therapies & life skill programs to kids with autism

Full and half day programs of speech, behaviour and occupational therapies combined with a life skills curriculum are available for children 3 to 10 years of age.

Individual therapy sessions are also available for speech, behaviour and/or occupational therapies for children 18 months to 14 years of age.

Giant Steps is a multi-disciplinary centre where experienced, registered therapists work together to deliver evidence-based, personalized programming to children with autism. Programs include speech therapy, ABA services, occupational therapy and a comprehensive life skills curriculum. 

Program plans reflect the unique communication, sensory and behavioural strengths and challenges experienced by each child. Therapy goals are implemented and evaluated based on data collection and analysis, and each child’s plan undergoes frequent clinical reviews. 

Families are valued partners in the planning, implementation and evaluation of their children’s therapy plans and in generalizing learning to other settings and environments.

Full or half day program

Giant Steps offers Monday to Friday full-time or part-time programming as follows:

Full time — 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Part time AM — 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Part time PM — 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Each child receives weekly 1:1 therapy sessions in each discipline (ABA, OT, Speech & Language).
The daily schedule will also include:

Individual therapy services

Giant Steps offers Monday to Friday full-time or part-time programming as follows:

Full time — 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Part time AM — 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Part time PM — 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Each child receives weekly 1:1 therapy sessions in each discipline (ABA, OT, Speech & Language).
The daily schedule will also include:

  • BEHAVIOUR THERAPY (ABA SERVICES)

    Giant Steps’ behaviour therapist is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA). Using principles of applied behavioural analysis and data collection and analysis, our therapist conducts assessments and develops individualized behavioural strategies and modifications to curriculum and programming that are implemented by our team.

    Our behaviour therapist educates and trains our staff in positive behavioural intervention strategies and techniques.

  • SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPY

    Giant Steps’ team includes a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) and a Communications Disorders Assistant (CDA). Our speech team assesses each child’s abilities and methods of communicating, and formulates an individualized communication plan. These plans are implemented by our team and often combine visual strategies, such as the use of sign language and picture symbols, with those that focus on verbal expression and articulation.

    For non-verbal children and those needing more assistance with functional communication, strategies that include iPads and SMART Boards, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and augmentative communication devices are developed and expanded.

  • OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

    Using a wide variety of treatment modes and sensory integration strategies, our registered Occupational Therapists work with each child, addressing their individual needs in a wide array of developmental areas. Goals and therapeutic strategies are implemented to improve gross and fine motor skills, motor planning abilities, visual perception skills and independence with self-care.

    Children with autism may have sensitivities to auditory, visual and oral input and/or touch and have difficulty integrating information from all 5 senses. Our Occupational Therapists evaluate each child’s sensory needs and implement strategies to address these needs including “sensory diets” which include individualized proprioceptive, vestibular and oral input.

  • ESSENTIAL FOR LIVING (EFL) CURRICULUM
     

    Giant Steps’ approaches our therapies and programming through the lens of the Essential For Living (EFL) framework with the goal of achieving functional outcomes that are meaningful for each child.

    Essential for Living is a communication, behaviour, and functional skills curriculum and an assessment and skills-tracking tool for children and youth with complex needs. EFL is based on an extensive body of knowledge gained over the last 50 years by a vast number of researchers from the fields of applied behaviour analysis, child psychology, disability studies, education, precision teaching/direct instruction, psychology, special education, and speech-language pathology.

    A central focus of the EFL curriculum are 8 essential skills which have been identified as ‘must have’ skills.

    EFL targets skills and behaviours that are essential for effective daily living, and result in more independent functioning and improved quality of life. Through this framework, we teach kids functional communication and behaviour skills, play/social skills, and activities of daily living such as toileting, eating and dressing. 

  • PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

    The importance of physical activity and outdoor play is reflected in our daily programming. Physical well being, movement, exercise and outdoor activity increases the ability for children with autism to be more energetic, healthy and attentive. Their brains become more activated and ready to learn.

    At Giant Steps, we have direct access to a gym, an outdoor playground and parkland with designated walking trails. Our kids’ physical activities include daily outdoor walks, gross motor activities in the gym and planned exercise breaks which strengthen muscle mass and increase gross motor mobility.

  • SPECIALIZED RESOURCES

    At Giant Steps, our kids benefit from a wide array of resources. Visual schedules and task analyses, a wide array of specialized therapeutic assessment tools and the Essential for Living Curriculum are in use throughout our programs.

    Technology plays a critical role at Giant Steps and includes iPads, laptops, SMART Boards and a variety of augmentative communication devices, all in concert with a wide array of software and specialized programs. 

    Specialized equipment that helps address our kids’ physical and sensory needs includes scooter boards, roller racers, climbing apparatus, a squeeze machine, weighted blankets, balls and vests, items and tools that provide proprioceptive and vestibular input and various gaming and sports equipment.

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