Child Health Symposium

The 'P Words': Play, Physical Activity, Participation, People and Possibilities

Child Health SymposiumThe 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 families, service leaders, researchers, educators and students from all disciplines to:

  • Share their knowledge, ideas and best practices for service delivery
  • Present current research interests, questions and findings
  • Learn more about the child health research happening in our community
  • Network and build relationships and collaborations with others (e.g., youth, families, students, service providers, educations, researchers) in our community in the area of child health

Event Details

Thursday, May 17, 2018
8:45 am to 3:45 pm
Check-in begins at 8:00 am

Thames Valley Children's Centre
779 Base Line Road East
London, Ontario

Keynote address, clinical and research presentations, panel of athletes

Fees: The Child Health Symposium is FREE. Limited spaces are available. Please register by May 10. A catered lunch is provided.

Call for Abstracts

Call for Abstracts Due by March 26, 2018 (see below for submission form)

Potential presenters are invited to submit an abstract of a description of their brief presentation via the electronic form posted below. Proposals should reflect one (or more) of the purposes of the symposium.

Brief Oral Presentations: Length of presentations should be 15 minutes (short presentations allow symposium attendees to be exposed to a variety of research studies and best practices).

Poster Presentations: Poster size is 1.2 m (4’) high by 1.2 m (4’) wide (or smaller). Poster presenters must be present during the scheduled poster presentation time. Poster presenters will have an opportunity to introduce their poster topic during the Poster Teaser session prior to lunch.

Please use clear, person-first language. All presentations abstracts will be included in materials for the symposium. Presentation and poster handouts will be made available for attendees to download.

Target Audience

The target audience for the Child Health Symposium includes: youth, families, researchers, educators, 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 Submission

Using the online form located in the tab below, please prepare your submission in the following format:

  • Text should be single-spaced
  • Complete the Contact Information for the Contact Person
    • This will be the only person contacted about the proposal, and will be responsible for communicating with other presenters and co-authors involved in the proposal)
  • List the names of all the presenting author(s) and other contributing authors and full name of each author’s affiliation/organization
    • Include broad organization name only, specific department/program name is not needed
    • Use an asterisk (*) to indicate presenting authors
    • Note that presenters will be listed first in the program
    • For example: Jane Doe*, Western University; John Smith*, Thames Valley Children’s Centre; Alison Betty, London Health Science Centre
  • Choose the type of presentation format (oral or poster)
    • Also indicate whether an alternative format would be acceptable
  • Use up to five keywords that best describe your presentation (be specific)
    • For example: intervention and clinical practice, brain injury, measure development, youth, quality of life, play and participation, program evaluation
  • Use a descriptive title
    • Titles will be used in the registration process for session selection
  • Please do not exceed the 250-word limit for your abstract
    • The abstract should clearly describe the purpose of the presentation and should reflect at least one of the purposes or the theme of the Child Health Symposium
    • Reports of research studies (completed or underway) may want to include details of the population studied; study purposes, objectives or hypothesis, method, results and conclusions of the study, implications for practice, and acknowledgement of source(s) of funding
    • It is not necessary to use subheadings to define each section
  • Submissions from students, researchers and clinicians are encouraged and might focus on clinical observations, questions, case reports, or best practices in service delivery
  • Ensure submitted information is spelled correctly
    • Presentation title, abstract, authors’ names, and affiliations will appear in materials for the symposium
  • All proposals submitted will be acknowledged upon receipt

Proposal Selection Committee

The CHS Selection Committee will review all proposals submitted by the due date (March 26, 2018) by looking at the submission title and 250-word abstract. Preference will be given to those submissions that are clearly communicated and address one of the purposes of the CHS. Proposals will be selected to ensure a varied program. Note that some submitters may be offered an alternative presentation format (dependent on the total number of submissions received). The Selection Committee’s decisions will be final and there will be no appeal process. Selected presenters will be notified in early April and provided with specific details for formatting the presentations and posters.

Abstract Proposal Submission Form


Registration will open on April 6, 2018. A link will be posted here at that time.

About the Keynote Speaker

Jan Willem Gorter

Making it Happen: Putting the P-Words in Policy and Practice

Jan Willem Gorter, MD, PhD, FRCP(C)

Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University

Jan Willem Gorter, MD, PhD, FRCP(C) Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Director and a scientist at the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research at McMaster University. He also holds the Scotiabank Chair in Child Health Research.

He has training in pediatric and adult rehabilitation medicine (physiatry) with a special clinical and research interest in transitional services and life course health development. His research focuses on the themes of family, function (daily activities and participation) with a special interest in fitness / active lifestyle and in transitions from adolescence to adulthood (future).

In his work, he has found the World Health Organizations’ International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) extremely powerful in teaching professionals and families. He recognized the possibility to formulate ideas about the ICF and childhood disability with ‘F-words’. He co-authored the article entitled ‘The ‘F-words’ in childhood disability: I swear this is how we should think!’ which has been downloaded over 12000 times since its publication in 2011.

Professor Willem leads a research program that advances the knowledge of health development of people with disabilities, and that enhances research capacity through mentoring and training. His research is frequently published in peer-reviewed publications in leading journals.

Learn more:


The parking lots for Thames Valley Children's Centre visitors is owned by London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and operated by Impark, and may be subject to changes in operation at any time.

General parking is available in any of the visitor parking lots. Visitor Parking Lot P7 is the closest lot to the TVCC main entrance.

Map of parking for TVCC, current rates, and information: 

Conference Proceedings

  • 8:00 a.m. – Registration Opens/Networking
  • 8:45 a.m. – Official Start and Welcome
  • 9:15 a.m. – Panel Presentations
  • 10:10 a.m. – Break and Networking Opportunity
  • 10:30 a.m. – Session 1: Presentation Clusters
  • 11:30 a.m. – Poster Teaser Session
  • Noon – Lunch, Networking Opportunity and Poster Session
  • 12:45 p.m. – Poster Crawl Session, Activities, Demonstrations
  • 1:45 p.m. – Session 2: Presentation Clusters
  • 2:45 p.m. – Keynote Speaker
  • 3:40 p.m. – Last Session, Final Thoughts for the Day, Door Prize

Additional Information

For more information about this event, contact:

Faculty of Health Sciences

Nicole Chabot
Research Coordinator
519-661-2111 ext. 84736

Thames Valley Children's Centre

Carrie Connell (event inquiries)
Education and Program Coordinator 
519-685-8700 x53367