Shannon Mills, Occupational Therapist

Helping families acheive better sleep for infants and children.


Approach to Sleep Consultation

When addressing sleep needs, my top priority is the physical and emotional health and well being of every child and family. As a regulated health care professional, I am committed to ensuring all recommendations are safe, healthy, appropriate and support the development of a secure attachment between parent and child. 

I take a holistic approach to addressing sleep. There are many underlying factors interacting to impact sleep, and it is essential that we take all these factors into account. There is never a one size fits all approach to addressing a child's sleep. Rather every child and every family presents with a unique set of circumstances, and recommendations must be customized to address these individual needs.

 I work together with families to ensure the development of a comprehensive plan, which suits the individual needs of the child and family. I am highly respectful of every family’s unique set of values and approach to parenting, and I support parents in their decisions when it comes to things such as co-sleeping and breastfeeding. I strive to help families meet their goals without compromising their values, and to help them find the balance that works best for their family.

Why choose an Occupational Therapist for sleep consultation?

The goal of a paediatric Occupational Therapist is to enable children to participate to the best of their ability in all activities of everyday life. Sleep is one of the most important activities for infants and young children as it impacts upon all other areas of their lives.

Occupational Therapists have university level training to assess the child (physically, emotionally, cognitively), the environment (family, home, daycare, etc.) and address difficulties with specific actives (e.g sleeping, playing, learning, feeding). By having a comprehensive understanding of the unique interaction of the child, the activity, and the environment, Occupational Therapists can provide recommendations which are effective, safe, healthy, and meet the individual needs of the child and family.

Occupational Therapists follow a client/family centred approach. This means that the client/family chooses the goals, and the Occupational Therapists works together with the family to help achieve these goals.

Occupational Therapists are regulated healthcare professionals. Sleep consultation by itself is not a regulated profession. 


What is a Regulated Healthcare Professional?

In Ontario, some health professions are regulated by health regulatory colleges. For example, the College of Pharmacists regulates all of the pharmacists in Ontario; the College of Midwives regulates midwives; and the college of Occupational Therapists of Ontario regulates Occupational Therapists. Individuals who are not part of a regulated profession are not held accountable for their services by a governing body, and may or may not have received adequate training.

These colleges protect the public’s right to safe, effective and ethical health care, and they do so under a law called the Regulated Health Professions Act.

To practice as a regulated health professional in Ontario, an individual must be a member of the regulatory college for his or her chosen profession, and hold a certificate of registration from the college. Regulated health providers are required by law to deliver competent, ethical and professional services, and are accountable to the public through their respective colleges. 

The College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario is the organization established by the provincial government to oversee the practice of occupational therapists in Ontario. The College is responsible for protecting the public interest by setting standards for practice and having programs in place to see that occupational therapists practice safely and effectively.

The College of Occupational Therapists supports registered occupational therapists to ensure that they are competent, ethical and accountable in enabling the health of Ontarians. 

Occupational Therapists are required to participate in ongoing education and quality assurance programs to ensure they are providing safe and effective recommendations. Occupational Therapists are subject to regular random audits of their practice to ensure they are meeting all guidelines set out by the college for service provision.

Sources: http://www.coto.org/about/defaul, http://www.healthforceontario.ca

My Blog

Sleep – There is No One Size Fits All Approach!

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