Virtual Grand Rounds

March Virtual Grand Rounds: Identifying Genetic Etiologies Of Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder on Mar 5, 2019 8:00 PM EST

Presentation Description:

Identifying the cause of an intellectual disability and/or autism spectrum disorder can be useful in providing a name for a condition, which in turn may lead to finding support from others with the same condition in their family.  It may provide knowledge regarding associated medical concerns, current and future, as well as inheritance patterns and, in a minority of situations, information on treatment.  This presentation will provide an overview of the approach to genetic assessment and testing of children and adults with intellectual disability, developmental delay and/or autism spectrum disorder.  We will review some specific conditions as examples of this approach and address the improved diagnostic capacity that next generation sequencing tools provide.


Dr Forster-Gibson completed a post-doctoral clinical training program in Developmental Disabilities at Queen’s University in Kingston in 1997 and was the Program Director of the Developmental Disabilities Post-Graduate Year 3 Program, in the Department of Family Medicine at Queen’s from 2008-2010.  She has practiced as a GP, practicing in Clinical Genetics for 25 years, with affiliations with the Developmental Disabilities Consulting Program at Queen’s University and currently with Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, with a focus on genetic assessment of children and adults with developmental delay.  She contributed to the development of the Canadian Consensus Guidelines for Primary Care of Adults with Developmental Disabilities, led by Dr William Sullivan, and was lead author of a number of Primary Care Tools (Health Watch Tables), designed to give guidance to primary care providers in caring for persons who have specific genetic concerns associated with developmental delay.


ThAAA Members,

The Association was recently contacted about an opportunity to travel and work with a seating clinic in Kenya.  Here is the information:

Opportunity to go to Kenya with a well-run organization and assist building seating systems/ wheelchairs for children. Occupational Therapists will be on site and needed  as well. Spread the word.

2 Weeks yearly in April and August a team goes to a compound in Kenya.  Check out the websites.  Great memories you won’t ever forget when you see what joy your skills can bring to children who have never had a wheelchair.

The website is https://www.atcatalyst.org/

The information for those traveling is under https://www.atcatalyst.org/travel

A Message from SAOT: 

Dear THAAA Members,

The Society of Alberta Occupational Therapists (SAOT) acknowledges the important mandate of the Therapy Assistant Association of Alberta (THAAA) and the valuable contributions that therapy assistants offer to occupational therapists in Alberta.

As a member of THAAA, you have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to your profession. SAOT is aware that professional development opportunities for therapy assistants in Alberta are not always readily available. SAOT offers several professional development workshops each year, and some of these workshops would benefit therapy assistants working in a variety of practice settings. As such, SAOT’s Education Committee will now offer members of THAAA reduced registration fees on workshops that the Committee deems are appropriate and relevant for therapy assistants.

The following upcoming SAOT workshops may be of interest to THAAA members:

Chronic Pain Management

May 3, 2019


This is a dynamic, interactive workshop with an emphasis on making a complex, biopsychosocial experience and its treatment easier to explain to your colleagues and clients. It includes group learning and small group discussion and problem solving. Stories and metaphors will be used to illustrate concepts. You will apply the information provided in the workshop to case examples. Discussion of the participants’ various practice environments will add further opportunity to apply this learning to real world clients and settings.

THAAA Member Rate: $200

Register at www.saot.ca

Getting Kids “In-Sync” at Home and School

June 14, 2019


Some children resist participating in family and school activities or respond in unusual ways to ordinary sensations of touch and movement, sights and sounds. Because of a common disability called Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), they don’t behave as we expect – not because they won’t, but because they can’t.

SPD interferes with the neurological process of organizing information about ordinary sensations that we get from our body and environment to use in daily life.  A child, adolescent or adult with SPD may have difficulty using sensory messages from one or more of the eight sensory systems of touch, sight, sound, smell, taste, movement, body position, and internal organs. Fortunately, there are many simple and enjoyable ways that parents, teachers, therapists and others who care for out-of-sync individuals can recognize and cope with their sensory challenges.

THAAA Member Rate: $175

Register at www.saot.ca

Seating & Mobility – Adult & Geriatric Populations (link: https://www.saot.ca/event/seating-mobility-adult-and-geriatric-populations/ )

February 23/24, 2019


Chronic Pain Management (link: https://www.saot.ca/event/chronic-pain-management/ )

May 3, 2019


SAOT is offering reduced registration fees for THAAA members for these and other future workshops.

In addition, we invite THAAA members to bring forward other workshop topics of interest. You can email me at executivedirector@saot.ca

Thank you for supporting your professional organization through your THAAA membership. SAOT is committed to lending our support to THAAA as your organization continues to grow and evolve.


Robin Telasky, Executive Director


I want to welcome all ThAAA members to the 2019 year and my wishes for a productive and good year to all.  As the 2019 AGM is still pending for us in May, I will keep the message below active.  Please encourage TA’s to attend the conference and, also crucial, please send the Call for Speakers form (below) to those you feel would be good presenters or who have material pertinent to TA’s that they could share at the AGM.

Call for Speaker forms have gone out and I want to encourage all members to think of who could be a good speaker/presenter and make sure that they get a copy of the Call for Speaker application form (Call for speakers-2019).

And, as it says to below, save the date (!!!!) for May 3, 2019, and gather as many TA’s as you can to join us in Red Deer for our 12th Annual Education Day!!!

Also, as I am still the Association Registrar, I want to encourage all members to make use of the upcoming ED registration as it is also the perfect opportunity to renew your membership and, if you know of TA’s who have not yet become members, please let them know that they can now join the Association at half-price up to the ED.

And, lastly and most importantly, I am making every effort I can to increase membership value in the Association – PD opportunities, event notification, I hope to have webinars and resource pages on the website in 2019.  Please let us know what you are looking for from the Association and, if you have the desire to be part of the Executive Board and have a direct hand in determining the future and direction of the Association, please, let us know!!!

All my best,

Mathew Hill

Registrar -&- President – ThAAA


       Save the Date

May 3, 2019

ThAAA 12th Annual Education Day

Red Deer, Alberta

Theme: TA’s on the Move

The Call for Speakers is now open.  Look under the menu heading “FORMS” to download a .pdf or .doc “Call for Speakers” form.  Please send completed forms to promotions@thaaa.ca by January 31, 2019 for consideration.

The full Education Day Brochure will be available in March.

We are also accepting nominations for our 2019 Awards Banquet which will follow the Education Day on May 3, 2019.  Nomination forms can be found under the menu heading “AWARDS”.  Please send completed forms to promotions@thaaa.ca by February 28, 2019 for consideration.

(updated November 2018)


Our membership year runs May – April of each year.  Completed forms can be sent via email to registrar@thaaa.ca or mailed to the address on the form.  Payment can be made via PayPal on our website or by mailing a cheque along with your completed form.

Currently, the online form submission link is not working and under repair.  The printable version of the forms can be submitted via email or Canada Post, payment is still available through the PayPal button on the right side of our web page or by sending a cheque.

ThAAA does have Professional Grant money available which ThAAA members can apply for.  We offer 3 grants of up to $150 each per year. The Association must receive the application on or before the submission deadline dates, which are: January 31st, May 31st and September 30th. We are accepting grant applications now for the upcoming January 31st, deadline. For complete details please see the link below:



Make sure you check our website often for updates on Events, Employment Opportunities and other TA activities happening in the province. If you have an upcoming event, job vacancy or activity, we would be happy to post these for free as a benefit to our members. Email your information to therapyassistantaa@gmail.com.

Do you have something you’d like to share with other TA’s in the province, be it a presentation, article or therapy activity? We would be glad to help share your insights through email, webinars and on our website or Facebook page.

(posted Jan 2018)

Let’s bring all Alberta TA’s together in one spot and support each other!

Are you a ThAAA member?  Do you want to become an associate of the ThAAA?  Do you have experience with web design and/or WordPress?  Do you want to build or showcase your web design skills on a volunteer project?  If you answered “YES” to these questions please email therapyassistantaa@gmail.com for more info.

(posted Jan 2018)