Finding specialized therapy services for children can be difficult. Waiting lists for services can be long, and it can be difficult for parents to know which kind of professional services are right for their child. But a new clinic adjacent to the Montreal Children’s Hospital that opened in September offers a one-stop-shop alternative.
Clinique Entour Famille is a private allied health service clinic that offers a range of specialized therapy and services for children and families, including speech therapy, occupational therapy for people with sensory or cognitive problems, psychology services, and group therapy services.
Clinic Director and Founder Barbara Victor, a social worker, says she hopes to make it easier for families to access the support they need, so that children can reach their full potential.
“It became apparent that the services offered [in Quebec] are difficult to access and they are also difficult to coordinate for parents,” Victor says. “In other words, if a school tells a parent that their child needs a speech therapist, it may be difficult for a parent to ascertain who is the right speech therapist, how do I know I am going to get a quality speech therapist? And how do I know I have access to appointments when I need them?”
Many programs specialize in treating kids and teenagers
Clinique Entour Famille offers many other programs and services for kids and teenagers of all ages as well as their parents. For example, they have a parents group for mothers of newborns. This group, held online so the parents don’t need to find a babysitter, allows mothers to talk about new motherhood experiences, such as the isolation of being a new parent during COVID-19, or some of the anxieties they might be experiencing.
There is also an emotional regulation group session for 7- to 9-year-olds. Here, the kids learn how regulate their emotions so they can better adapt to new situations and respond to frustration , sadness or anxiety in more appropriate ways. They also have various programs for teenagers to help them with issues like nutrition, socialization or anxiety.
To help parents find the right program, the centre offers a free 45-minute online consultation service with one of the clinic’s professionals. Parent can ask questions about their child’s development, share parenting concerns, or talk about behavioural or school relations issues, and find out if the clinic offers a service that may help.
Victor says her clinic is unique because not only is it in close proximity to the Children’s Hospital, but because they have access to more than 100 medical pediatric specialists to help parents and children with almost any issue they may be facing.
“What we’re trying to do is ensure we see the whole child and the whole family and that we can respond by collaborating with all the people involved with that particular child and family,” Victor says.
Entour Famille offers bilingual services, many of which are offered after-school and on weekends to make scheduling easier for busy families. Services and programs are available either online via Zoom or in-person at the clinic, whichever is easier for the child or parent.
For more information, visit mailchi.mp/entourfamille.ca/welcome.