We have established a team of dedicated professionals who provide guest teaching/speaking, school and mental health consultations, private tutoring, respite support, Psychotherapy, and Speech/Language services.
Professional development workshops for educators and professionals who have a vested interest in learning about mental health or learning are available and tailored to your needs and topics of interest. Shawna is often a guest teacher for adult learners taking continuing education courses (e.g., Special Education Pt. 1/2, Reading Specialist, etc.), school parent information nights, teacher training sessions, and for various community groups. Shawna has spoken several times on WDCX live radio, and one of her fondest memories was speaking at Church on the Beach in Fort Erie during the summer of 2019, the topic of which was ‘overcoming shame’.
More recently, in the summer of 2020 Shawna created a series of 6 mental health videos to support children with their mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic-you can access these videos immediately for a suggested donation of $10 at https://theiropportunity.com/back-to-school-donation/
Brief mental health support to children and families is offered through brief ‘skill building’ sessions. Aspects of a cognitive behavioural approach are used, and homework tasks and practicing of new skills are assigned. Examples of topics covered may include understanding the biology of mental health, recognizing/understanding feelings, learning styles, temperament/personality and parenting style, triggers, health & listening to your body, coping strategies, personal boundaries, relationships, and self-care. When more in-depth personal or family intervention is required, we recommend our team therapist, Julia Rick, Registered Psychotherapist (see below) and the counselling professionals of Mills Gosse Psychology in Ajax, Ontario.
Tara Karlsson has been an educator for over 10 years, and is pleased to offer respite services for students with learning, intellectual and developmental needs. After graduating from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Fine arts in Drama and English, Tara studied Montessori education. Montessori-inspired activities have been used in all of the LLS classrooms Tara has worked in, which emphasize patience, following the child's leading and needs, and the importance of working on practical life and self regulation skills, all of which are very important when working with children with exceptional needs. In addition to an ECE Montessori Diploma, Tara has spent 10 years in private school education with children of all ages and backgrounds. Being drawn to children who need that extra bit of help or special care to succeed, Tara has continued her work in the public school system where she works as an Educational Assistant with many children diagnosed with ASD, FASD, ADD, anxiety/depression and various medical needs in Learning Life Skills classes; Tara has been trained to follow ABA programs and has experience working with elementary and secondary students. Tara has completed first aid training, has a current vulnerable sector check, and is certified in non violent crisis intervention. She is a certified yoga teacher and loves to incorporate movement and breathing techniques into her work children.
Tara offers respite care Monday through Friday from 2:45 until 6pm and on select weekends. Her hourly rate is $22. Half and full-day weekend rates are also available upon request.
Do you have a question about your child's school program, IEP, or course selection?
Are you in search of some recommendations to assist the teacher in better understanding your child?
Do you have a school or health report that doesn't make a lot of sense to you?
Do you have questions about funding that you or your child might be eligible to receive?
If you have questions about your child's learning, school program, past Assessments, and/or possible pathways or supports they could explore in the future, Shawna is happy to offer special education consultant services, to assist parents and school staff.
Narmilee Dhayanandhan is a highly experienced registered and certified Speech and Language Pathologist who holds a Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Western University. Her career spans over 17 years where she has served school-aged children and adolescents in a range of settings within the public and private sector. She has experience working within multidisciplinary teams, diagnostic-evaluation teams, a children's treatment centre, early intervention programs, the preschool speech and language program, a clinical research setting, the public and separate education system, and private practice. Narmilee is dedicated to, and passionate about serving children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families. Her practice also specializes in serving children with a wide variety of exceptional needs, including:
-Apraxia of Speech / Oral Motor Difficulties
-Receptive and Expressive Language Disorders
-Learning Disorders/Disabilities & ADHD
-Reading and Writing Difficulties
-Executive Function based challenges
-Articulation, Phonology, and Fluency Difficulties
-Social Communication / Social Thinking / Social Interactive Play Difficulties
-Selective Mutism / Reluctant Speakers
Narmilee fosters a philosophy of care that is grounded in developmentally based, relationship-driven, child and family-centred practices. She believes that parents, siblings, and those intimately involved with the child are an integral part of the therapy process and strives to educate, coach and integrate them every step of the way. Her practice provides comprehensive assessment and treatment services that are individualized to the strengths and needs of the child and family.
Narmilee models exceptional quality of care and has served on various national and regional quality assurance initiatives within her profession. Narmilee was involved with the Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative at York University when it was first founded. She collaborated with a team of health professionals who provided the DIR / Flooritme therapy to the children and families that took part in the efficacy study on this approach, and is a certified Expert DIR / Floortime practitioner. She is also certified in Hanen More Than Words , Hanen It Takes Two to Talk , Hanen Learning Language and Loving It , and is trained in P.R.O.M.P.T., Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol, S.C.E.R.T.S., a number of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) aids, Sensory Defensiveness, and treatment of Selective Mutism, Executive Function Challenges, and Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder.
In addition to the above, Narmilee provides workshops, education seminars, and speaking engagements across to a range of health professionals, medical doctors, teachers, school board personnel, and superintendents. She also provides services to children with multiple exceptionalities and coaching of their foster parents living in developing countries, through telepractice.
Narmilee is inspired by the children she services, and strives to support each parent on the journey towards reaching their child's highest potential.
When therapy is requested or thought to be helpful for an individual's well-being and personal growth, we often recommend Julia Rick, a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) who provides therapy services to children, adults, and families. Julia received her Master of Education (M.Ed) in Counselling Psychology from the University of Western Ontario and her Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) designation from the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as well as a Bachelor of Administrative Commercial Studies: Organizational and Human Resources.
Julia works as a School Board Counsellor for the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPR), providing support for students from kindergarten to Grade 12. In May 2016, she started working with Safe, Caring and Restorative Schools as the Counsellor for KPR's Long-Term Suspension and Expulsion Program. Additionally, Julia acts as the KPR Regional Lead for Violence Threat-Risk Assessments in Clarington, and is a regular presenter at KPR’s annual Parent Conference each October. Julia has worked extensively on helping to develop the KPR Suicide Protocol and is a certified trainer of SafeTALK suicide prevention with Living Works.
Julia specializes in the impacts of stress and trauma; helping people of all ages to better cope with and understand their symptoms. Historically, she has worked with the York Region Abuse Program (now Cedar Centre), the Durham Rape Crisis Centre, The Arson Prevention Program for Children (TAPP-C) and the Incredible Years Parenting Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
As an early employee with the Child and Parent Resource Institute in London, Ontario, Julia conducted research for the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Her research contributions have twice been presented to the Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at CHEO as well as at various conferences, both nationally and internationally.
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