Faculty of Health Sciences

Child Health Symposium - 2014


Collectively Creating Connections and Collaborations:
Research and Best Practices in Child Health

The Child Health Symposium is a collaborative presentation of Western University's Faculty of Health Sciences and the Thames Valley Children's Centre. It provides an opportunity for researchers, clinicians and students from all disciplines to:

Event Details

Thursday, May 22, 2014
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Registration begins at 8 a.m.

Thames Valley Children's Centre
779 Baseline Road East - London, Ontario

Keynote address, clinical and research presentations, Café Scientifique

Dedicated to Dr. A. Mervyn Fox

Mervyn Fox

In 1975, a young British doctor immigrated to Canada to become the Medical Director of what was then called the London and District Crippled Children’s Treatment Centre—now Thames Valley Children’s Centre. It was the beginning of a mutually rewarding relationship that would span four decades and see paediatric rehabilitation develop from a ‘horse and buggy’ state to its current contemporary level.

Thousands of children would be seen by this man, who would evolve into an expert practitioner, a local medicalicon, and an internationally recognized figure. His successor, Dr. Pamela Frid, spontaneously acknowledged during the recruitment process, along with every other candidate, that she was a bit tentative about following such a physician ‘giant’.

We pay tribute to Dr. A. Mervyn Fox for many diverse and significant contributions he has made to the children of this community and, without exaggeration, the world. We thank him on behalf of a cohort of paediatric clinicians whom he has taught and mentored. We cherish him for helping to make Thames Valley Children’s Centre what it is today. We know his legacy, like his connection to us, will continue — and for that we are most appreciative.


Registration open Tuesday, April 1 and is available online through the Thames Valley Children's Centre.

About the Keynote Speaker

Peter Rosenbaum

Peter Rosenbaum, MD, FRCP(C)

Peter Rosenbaum is Professor of Paediatrics at McMaster University and has held a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair since 2001. In 1989 he co-founded CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research at McMaster.

Dr. Rosenbaum has held more than 80 peer-reviewed research grants and is a contributing author to almost 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He has also been a guest lecturer in 20 countries. He co-authored ‘Cerebral Palsy: From Diagnosis to Adult Life’ (2012), and co-edited the recently-released ‘Life Quality Outcomes of Children and Young Adults with Neurological and Developmental Conditions’ (2013) as well as a second edition of the ‘Gross Motor Function Measure’ book with CanChild colleagues (2013).

In the role of teacher and mentor Dr. Rosenbaum has been a supervisor or committee member with about 50 master’s and doctoral level students, including students at the Universities of Oxford, Utrecht, Witwatersrand, and Toronto in addition to McMaster.

Dr. Rosenbaum’s accomplishments have been recognized nationally and internationally. Notably, he received the Ross Award from the Canadian Pediatric Society in 2000; an Honorary Doctor of Science, Université Laval (2005); was the first Canadian President of AACPDM; and received the Academy’s Mentorship Award in 2007.

Call for Presentations

Potential presenters are invited to submit an electronic abstract of a description of their brief presentation (i.e., 5 minutes to present, and additional time for questions) by March 14, 2014. Presentations should reflect one (or more) of the purposes of the symposium (see above). Selected presenters will be notified in early April and provided with specific details for formatting the presentation. All presentation abstracts will be included in materials for the symposium, so please use clear language.

Target Audience

The target audience for the Child Health Symposium includes: researchers, clinicians (e.g., behaviour therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech language pathologists, recreational therapists, social workers, nurses, etc.), service leaders, and undergraduate and graduate students.

Instructions for Preparing Presentation Abstracts

Please prepare your abstract in the following format:

  • Complete the abstract form (fillable PDF) using Arial 11 Font, with 2 cm margins. Text should be single-spaced. Please do not exceed the 250 word limit.
  • List the names of all presenters. Italicize, as well as bold, the name of the person who will present. The affiliations of the presenters should also be noted.
  • The abstract should clearly describe the purpose of the presentation and should reflect one of the purposes of the Child Health Symposium. Reports of research studies may want to include the study purposes, objectives or hypothesis, method, results and conclusions of the study and acknowledgement of source(s) of funding. It is not necessary to use subheadings to define each section.
  • Please submit your abstract electronically to Kim Simpson ksimps24@uwo.ca
  • All presentation proposals submitted will be acknowledged upon receipt.

Sample Abstract

Title: Peer-mediated social skills for students with autism spectrum disorder: Promoting generalization through a school-wide approach (A program evaluation of the peers establishing effective relationships program [P.E.E.R. Pals Program])

Investigators: Michelle Servais, Charmaine Chadwick, & Carmen Hall
Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have difficulties with social situations and peer interactions. These students need to be taught social skills directly as they do not naturally pick these skills up from their environment. Peer mediated strategies have proven to be very effective in enhancing social skills in students with ASD. As part of service delivery to schools, the School Support Program–Autism Spectrum Disorder, Southwest Region created a Program to teach social skills to students with ASD: Peers Establishing Effective Relationships (PEER Pals Program). As part of the PEER Pals Program, social communication skills are taught in the classroom, student leaders run structured games at recess for trained peers to participate in, and diversity training is provided for the entire school. A total of 68 key informants (principals, teachers, educational assistants, and parents) participated in focus groups and 63 school staff returned mailed questionnaires on the perceived usefulness of the Program, their satisfaction with the Program, and the features that participants liked most and least about the Program. Study findings indicated program benefits for all students, including those with ASD, as well as teachers and other school staff.


Symposium attendees should park in Visitor Lot 7, LHSC. The rate is $4/hr ($12/daily max).

Conference Proceedings

  • 8:00 a.m. - Registration Opens
  • 9:00 a.m. - Official Start and Welcome
  • 9:35 a.m. - Keynote Speaker: Dr. Peter Rosenbaum
  • 10:25 a.m. - Networking Opportunity
  • 10:40 a.m. - Session 1: Presentation Clusters
  • 11:30 a.m. - Session 2: Presentation Clusters
  • 12:20 p.m. - Lunch and Networking Opportunity
  • 1:20 p.m. - Introduction to Afternoon Plan
  • 1:30 p.m. - Interactive and Collaborative Educational Sessions
  • 2:30 p.m. - Creating A Collaboration Directory, Final Thoughts

Additional Information

For more information about this event, contact:

Faculty of Health Sciences

Kim Simpson
Research Coordinator
519-661-2111 ext. 84736

Thames Valley Children's Centre

Carrie Connell
Education & Program Coordinator
519-685-8700 x53367