Giant Steps is a therapy centre that builds the skills and abilities of children with autism through specialized, evidence-based therapies and life skills programming

Our Programs

Giant Steps’ programs & the COVID-19 pandemic

A strong belief in the critical importance of in-person learning for children with special needs, a commitment to the health and safety of our children and staff, and careful adherence to provincial and local health regulations guide our policies and programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Giant Steps requires all our staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to provide documentation of vaccination.

Children who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination are required to be fully vaccinated and to provide documentation of vaccination prior to admission to the program.

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At Giant Steps, we are continually fine tuning our delivery of best practices with respect for the unique communication, sensory and behavioural strengths and challenges experienced by each child.

We deliver 3 core therapy programs – speech, behaviour and occupational therapies, and addressing each child’s needs in all areas of growth and development, including play, social and daily living skills.

Each child’s therapy goals are implemented and evaluated based on daily data collection and analysis, and each child’s program plan undergoes frequent clinical reviews. Children receive 1 hour/week of direct therapy in each discipline. Our therapists are registered with their professional organizations and have extensive experience working in the field of autism. 

Giant Steps’ therapy assistants are dedicated and experienced team members who are passionate about working with children with autism. Integral to our kids’ success, they work with our kids in a 2:1 child to staff ratio, collecting data and implementing and evaluating strategies to meet each child’s therapy, and play, social and life skills goals.

Families are important partners in the development of their children’s therapy plans, the prioritization of goals and evaluation of progress. Our team also works closely with families and with teachers and other professionals as needed to provide consistent support and reinforcement of therapeutic strategies in all settings.

Our Programs

Our Approach

We approach our therapies and programming through the lens of the Essential For Living (EFL) framework, so that we may achieve our thematic functional outcomes that are meaningful and socially significant for each child.

Essential for Living (EFL) is a communication, behaviour, and functional skills curriculum, assessment, and skills-tracking tool for children and youth with complex needs. EFL targets skills and behaviours within 7 domains/areas that are essential for effective daily living, and which result in a greater degree of independent functioning and improved quality of life.

There are 8 essential skills which have been identified as ‘must have’ skills and these are the central focus of this curriculum. EFL is based on an extensive body of knowledge 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.

Our Daily Program Schedule

Giant Steps provides a later start program to enable children to attend their schools in the morning and Giant Steps in the afternoon and after school hours. 

Each child receives weekly 1:1 therapy sessions in each discipline (ABA, OT, Speech & Language) that are scheduled into the following program framework: