Creating Opportunities Today; Maximizing Independence Tomorrow

Youth to Adolescent

Questions and answers for Health Care and Social Services

Who could be involved from my health care team during this transition?

Family members, OCTC team members, and/or other community partners and/or your community physicians, as needed.

What information does the secondary school need from OCTC and when does the school need it?

With your consent, the OCTC therapy team will provide up-to-date reports to the receiving school and to the special education department of the school board. Ideally, these reports should be sent by March of the school entry year.

What OCTC services may my child/teen be eligible to receive while s/he attends secondary school?

If children/teens meet the eligibility criteria, they can receive/continue to receive the following services: Medical Clinics (including Transition-Clinic for adolescents with a physical disability, Registered Nurses and Physiatry), Assistive Technology (Clinic for Augmentative Communication, Seating and Mobility and Technical Services), Recreation Therapy, Dietitian, Psychology, Respite and for adolescents with a physical disability: Social Work Services (Social Worker, Family Resource Worker) and School Liaison Teacher.

If my child/teen cannot keep up with the writing demands at school, where can we get help?

The Occupational Therapist (OT) who works at your child/teen’s school can assess the need for a computer or other strategies to support writing. A referral to the Clinic for Augmentative Communication at OCTC may be required if your child/teen has a physical disability or if a standard computer does not meet his/her needs, and s/he requires a computer with specialized adaptations for writing at home. You can also have a discussion with the school staff to see if a referral to an OT at the Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) would be appropriate.

Who can assess the need for a manual or power wheelchair and make recommendations?

If you have visited your child/teen’s secondary school and are concerned about the distance your child/teen will need to travel between classes, a referral can be made - one year in advance of the transition - to the Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) Occupational Therapy or Physiotherapy services or to the OCTC Seating and Mobility service

I have concerns/questions about the Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) School Health Support Services (SSHS). How will my child/teen’s therapy be arranged when my child/teen transitions to high school?

You can contact your child/teen’s CCAC case manager at 613-936-1171. Here are examples of questions you might want to ask to help with this transition:

  • What happens to OT, PT and SLP Services once my child/teen transfers from elementary to high school?
  • My child/teen was discharged from School Health Support Services (SHSS) a few years ago but needs new assessments. What do I do?
  • When is a good time to make referrals? Before leaving current school? In the summer? After starting a new school?
  • What assessments are recommended? And why?
  • When should a request be made so that the new school is accessible and ready my child/teen at the begging of school?
  • What equipment will my child/teen be able to take to school?

What are the recreation programs available my child/teen?

OCTC Recreation Therapy runs a variety of recreation programs for eligible clients. Recreation Therapy can also provide you with information about community programs that may be appropriate for your child. Many programs are also offered through the City of Cornwall, Special Needs Coordinator of your district:

How can I link my child/teen to volunteering opportunities?

Look within your community and have conversations with family and friends about possible volunteer opportunities.

You may also contact SD&G Developmental Services (613) 937-3072:

Other options may be:

How will my child/teen create/maintain a social network?

There are many social networks available. Options include your child’s friends, your friends, student clubs and your community centre.

Other social networking possibility

What respite options are available in SD&G?

OCTC does not run respite programs in SD&G. For further information on respite options in your area, please contact the following:

How can I obtain an application for an Accessible Parking Permit?

For further information and to obtain an application, please visit the following website:

You can download and print the Application for Accessible Parking Permit; You can also pick up an application at any Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office or request an application by mail from:

Service Ontario
License Renewals Unit 
P.O. Box 9800 
Kingston, ON 
K7L 5N8 

If I can’t use my vehicle to I transport my teen in a wheelchair, how can we get to appointments or community activities?

In your community:

The City of Cornwall, Transit Services: Handi-transit:

Private taxi companies and accessible taxis are also available. Here are some options:

In the Ottawa community:

  • Blueline taxi

Where can I obtain information on accessibility in the Cornwall and SD&G area?

In your community:

The City of Cornwall provides information on accessibility options:

In the Ottawa community:

The City of Ottawa provides information on accessibility options (i.e. restaurants, museums, community accessibility etc…)

Questions and answers for Education Services

Contact the OCTC School Liaison Teachers if your child has a physical disability, and/or contact the school principal at your child's current school to help you with this transition.

When should my child/teen make the transition from Elementary to Secondary School?

Your child could change schools as young as age 11. Secondary School is either grades 7-12 or grades 9-12.

Some environmental considerations and the health of a student may be factors in determining the time of a transition. For example, the length of travel time to the secondary school may be too long for a younger child.

When should I start thinking about my child/teen’s transition from elementary school to secondary school?

You should start one year or even 18 months ahead of time if assessments are necessary.

Who should I involve in this transition?

You can involve the Resource teacher at school, the OCTC School Liaison Teacher and the OCTC Social Work Services for children with physical disability, and/or the SD&G Developmental Services Case Management, if eligible for services.

Can I visit the new school ahead of time – in the previous school year?

Your current school principal can help facilitate this visit. S/he will help you plan the transition.

Will my child/teen’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) be implemented at the new school?

You will need to set up a meeting with the school support team as soon as possible. The OCTC Social Worker or School Liaison Teacher and/or a case manager from a community partner can help you with this if you would like support. Bring a copy of your child/teen’s current IEP and begin discussions with your child/teen’s new school in order to address the needs of your child/teen.

Do behavioural strategies continue in the new school?

Most school boards have behavioural consultants who can work with your child/teen. Be sure to have a meeting with the behavioral consultant and the child/teen’s teacher to make sure that the strategies are being followed through at school and at home.

What assessments are recommended?

A psycho-educational assessment may be recommended. It may be required if you are considering a different placement. It might also be recommended if there is a change, for example, in your child/teen’s achievement rate, or in the learning strengths and weaknesses. Individual school boards do not always accept the assessments from other school boards.

How should I organize my child/teen’s transportation to the new school?

The school principal will assist you in determining the best method of transportation to school for your child/teen.

Here are some areas to explore further with your child/teen’s new school:

  • Safety: I would like the school to have a safety/evacuation plan in place for my child/teen. How can I make sure this will be done?
  • Participation: Will my child/teen be able to participate in the physical education program, regular school events, and school trips in his/her new school?
  • Physical education: I would like my child/teen to be an active participant in the physical education program. How can I ensure that s/he will not be left on the sidelines?

How early should we start the process of researching post-secondary options?

Upon your teen’s entry to high school, you and your teen should look into programs and post-secondary programs and institutions, in order to find out what the admission requirements are and to ensure that you are planning accordingly (i.e. taking the right courses, having the right documentation to submit, etc.). You or your teen can seek assistance from guidance counselors or you can contact the post-secondary institutions directly.

Is there a tool that could also be useful to me during this transition?

This IT kit - from the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab documents - Developing Skills for Growing Up - may be useful to you and your teen for this transition; here is the web document:OCTC IT Kit (PDF)

Transition from Adolescent to Adult

In preparation for the next transition, you can get ready by looking ahead. Here are some examples of areas you may want to research, learn about for support and information.

  • Disability awareness, ability to explain diagnosis to medical professionals
  • Goal setting, problem solving, self-advocacy
  • Wills estate planning, educational funds, Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)
  • Sexuality information
  • The role of social media and technology
  • Post secondary education, bursaries and loans
  • Career planning
  • Driving and community transportation
  • Leisure, recreation and sports – community programs
  • Safety and independence (When can I leave my child alone?)
  • Bullying/ teasing/ verbal slights
  • Respite
  • OCTC Transition Clinic for clients with physical disabilities
  • Developmental Services Ontario, Eastern Region (DSO-ER)
  • Caregiving/attendance care
  • Van and home modifications