An Occupational Therapist (OT) is a health professional who facilitates people of all ages to be as independent as possible in their daily occupations. The ‘occupations’ of childhood include:

  • Self Care: eating, dressing, toileting, grooming, sleeping
  • Productivity: colouring, cutting, building blocks, participating at preschool
  • Leisure: playing, sports, social interaction, relaxing

OTs use purposeful activity and meaningful occupation as therapeutic tools, striving towards independence and function in daily life. OTs at the CVCDA work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their parents or caregivers, as well as other team members, using a family-centered approach.


When Do You Need An OT?

Children are often referred to occupational therapy when they have:

  • A medical diagnosis concerning the child’s development
  • Feeding/swallowing difficulties
  • Fine motor difficulties such as holding a crayon or handling small things
  • Muscles that seem too weak or too strong
  • Eye hand coordination that seems off
  • Trouble focusing or highly distractible
  • Sensory processing challenges such as:
    – Hyper-sensitivity to movement, touch, light, taste, or noise
    – Constant need for movement or crashing and banging
    – Difficulty getting along with friends
    – Issues with daily living skills: feeding, toileting, dressing, grooming, sleeping


CVCDA Children's Therapy CentreWho Can Refer?

If you have concerns or questions about your child’s development, you can refer your child yourself. Public Health Nurses, Family Physicians, Pediatricians, Daycare Providers and other service providers at the Child Development Association can also refer for you.


What Happens After The Referral?

  1. You will be seen by our Family Advocate to gather relevant information and gather consent for services
  2. You will be contacted to arrange an initial consultation
  3. During the initial consultation, while your child plays, you will have an opportunity to talk about your priorities, will be provided with information on your child’s development and receive suggestions on how you can help your child.
  4. Plans for further services will then be determined. This may include more formal assessments, direct intervention, consultation or monitoring.


What Happens After The Assessment?

The OT will work with your family and team members to:

  1. Identify priorities and a program suited to your child’s individual needs
  2. Provide therapy or consultation as needed
  3. Provide service in the environment best suited to your child’s specific needs (home, Children’s Therapy Centre, and/or childcare centre)

The goal of OT is to facilitate independence and function in daily activities.


How Can I Help My Child At Home?

  • Play with different textures- rice, beans, play dough, shaving cream, sand
  • Engage in movement activities- swings, pulling and pushing something heavy, roll/bounce on an exercise ball (with help), climb, jump
  • Do crafts- practice coloring, snipping with scissors, gluing
  • Encourage independence with dressing, eating and toileting
  • Introduce new foods by placing them in view but do not force them to eat.  Instead, encourage them to smell or touch the new food and maybe picking it up and placing on a ‘no thank you’ plate

Meet The Team

Carlin Christensen
Carlin Christensen

Occupational Therapist

Phone: 250-338-4288 ext 234
Email: carlin@cvcda.ca

Cara Covas
Cara Covas

Occupational Therapist

Phone: 250-338-4288 ext 234
Email: cara@cvcda.ca

Nikki Holekamp
Nikki Holekamp

Occupational Therapist

Phone: 250-338-4288 ext 231
Email: nikki@cvcda.ca


Jennifer Kennedy
Jennifer Kennedy

EIT Program Lead and Occupational Therapist

Phone: 250-338-4288 ext 234
Email: jen@cvcda.ca

Cheridy Whipp
Cheridy Whipp

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Phone:  250-338-4288 ext 263
Email:  cheridy@cvcda.ca



Connect with April Statz to get started with any of our CVCDA Services.

250-338-4288 ext 225



CV Children's Therapy Centre
255 Cliffe Avenue
Courtenay, BC

Comox Valley Children's Therapy Centre




Diverse Abilities

This is a term for everyone. Diverse abilities focuses on all of us being different but able.