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Partnering for Change                                                             Partnering for Change Logo                            

What is DCD? Why do these children need a new service delivery model? 


Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) affects about 5% of all children – that’s nearly 400,000 children across Canada. It is a motor disability that impacts on a child’s ability to complete everyday self-care and academic tasks such as doing up a zipper, buttoning a shirt, cutting a piece of paper, or using a pencil for schoolwork. DCD is chronic meaning it cannot be ‘cured’ or ‘fixed’. 

The difficulties of children with DCD often worsen when they enter school and encounter new self-care and academic challenges. In Ontario, children with DCD, if they are recognized, are referred to School Health Support Services for occupational therapy.  In each region of Ontario, hundreds of children are now on school health waitlists, many for over 24 months. Without appropriate support, children with DCD, their teachers, and their families struggle and become frustrated. Secondary academic, mental health and physical health issues develop making their needs more complex and difficult to cope with over the long term. 


What is Partnering for Change?

Partnering for Change is a new way for occupational therapists to provide school-based services to children with DCD. Working collaboratively with educators and families, therapists provide support to whole schools and help create classroom environments that encourage successful participation and academic achievement of children with DCD.

The goals of the Partnering for Change service delivery model are to:

  1. Facilitate earlier identification of students with DCD
  2. Build capacity of educators and parents to understand and manage DCD
  3. Improve successful participation in school and at home 
  4. Facilitate self and family management to prevent secondary consequences

A recent CanChild study showed that educators, families and therapists all improved their knowledge about children with DCD and preferred P4C over current models of service delivery. Click here to read a summary of that study and here to read about the P4C demonstration study .

Overview of Partnering for Change Service

Description of Occupational Therapists Role in Partnering for Change

Diagram of the Partnering for Change Model


What is the new Partnering for Change study?

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care recently funded a 2-year study to be led by CanChild and Cathy Hecimovich, CEO of the Central West Community Care Access Centre, to evaluate Partnering for Change across 3 regions in Ontario. Working collaboratively with colleagues at Central West, Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant, and Toronto Central Community Care Access Centres (CCACs), the team will evaluate Partnering for Change (P4C) in more than 40 schools over the next 2 school years. 

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and the research team would like to know if P4C:

  • Builds capacity in school boards and schools, especially among educators, resource teachers, and psychologists to manage children with DCD
  • Changes individual outcomes in behaviour and participation for children with DCD
  • Leads to increased satisfaction and sense of competence of parents regarding their ability to self-manage children at home and in the community
  • Leads to earlier and improved identification of children who have motor delays


Research Team


For more information contact: 

Leah Dix, Project Coordinator 

Cindy DeCola, Project Coordinator


Articles

Campbell, W., Missiuna, C., Rivard, L., & Pollock, N. (2012). "Support for everyone":  Experiences of occupational therapists delivering a new model of school-based service. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy79(1), 51-59.

Missiuna, C., Pollock, N., Campbell, W., Bennett, S., Hecimovich, C., Gaines, R., DeCola, C., Cairney, J., Russell, D., & Molinaro, E. (2012). Use of the Medical Research Council Framework to develop a complex intervention in pediatric occupational therapy:  Assessing feasibility. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33(5), 1443-1452.

Missiuna, C., Pollock, N., Levac, D., Campbell, W., Sahagian Whalen, S., Bennett, S., Hecimovich, C., Gaines, R., Cairney, J., & Russell, D. (2012). Partnering for Change: An innovative school-based occupational therapy service delivery model for children with developmental coordination disorder. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 79(1), 41-50.


What was the Partnering for Change demonstration study?

In this project, researchers from CanChild partnered with decision-makers from the Mississauga-Halton Local Health Integration Network and with Community Rehab, providers of services for children with DCD. Using a participatory action approach to research, the team worked together with all stakeholders to plan and evaluate the feasibility of an intervention in which occupational therapists translated knowledge to help families and teachers better support children with DCD. Concrete, evidence-based suggestions were provided to teachers about how to adjust the environment and modify activities to increase children's participation and academic functioning.

A recent CanChild study showed that educators, families and therapists all improved their knowledge about children with DCD and preferred P4C over current models of service delivery. Click here to read a summary of that study.


Demonstration Project Research Team

  • Cheryl Missiuna, PhD., OTReg(Ont) 
  • Cathy Hecimovich, MEd. (Principal Decision-Maker) 
  • Nancy Pollock, MSc, OTReg(Ont) 
  • Dianne Russell, PhD. 
  • Sheila Bennett, EdD 
  • John Cairney, PhD. 
  • Robin Gaines, PhD., CCC-SLP 
  • Barbara Ruttan 
  • Peter Rosenbaum, MD
  • Cindy DeCola, (Project Coordinator)


Funders

Pilot Phase: 2008-09
Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF)/Ontario Rehabilitation Research Advisory Network (ORRAN)

Demonstration Project: 2008-10
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Knowledge Translation Project: 2001-12
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)


Reports

Stakeholder Alliance Symposium #1 Summary Report - July 2, 2008

Stakeholder Alliance Symposium #2 Summary Report - March 4, 2009

Stakeholder Alliance Symposium #3 Summary Report - March 4, 2010

Stakeholder Alliance Symposium #3 - Executive Summary - March 4, 2010


Stakeholder Newsletters

September 2012

December 2011

October 2010

November 2009

January 2009


Articles

Campbell, W., Missiuna, C., Rivard, L., & Pollock, N. (2012). "Support for everyone": Experiences of occupational therapists delivering a new model of school-based service. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 79(1), 51-59.

Missiuna, C., Pollock, N., Campbell, W., Bennett, S., Hecimovich, C., Gaines, R., DeCola, C., Cairney, J., Russell, D., & Molinaro, E. (2012). Use of the Medical Research Council Framework to develop a complex intervention in pediatric occupational therapy: Assessing feasibility. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33(5), 1443-1452.

Missiuna, C., Pollock, N., Levac, D., Campbell, W., Sahagian Whalen, S., Bennett, S., Hecimovich, C., Gaines, R., Cairney, J., & Russell, D. (2012). Partnering for Change: An innovative school-based occupational therapy service delivery model for children with developmental coordination disorder. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 79(1), 41-50.