For ease of access, questions have been grouped according to the following sections:
Do you work with people with special needs who are older than 19 years?Read More >><< See Less
Do you have a wait-list?Read More >><< See Less
How do we get started?Read More >><< See Less
To begin the processes simply call the free local area number closest to your home, as listed on our Contact Us page. These are centralized phone numbers that serve all of our regions of the Lower Mainland, Thompson/Okanagan, Island and Coastal communities. All lines dial into out phone system, so you can select the extension of the person you are looking for… or zero to reach us directly. This phone is answered 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday (excluding stat holidays). The information collected in that first call will be passed to the Regional Manager in the family’s region who will be directly responsible for overseeing the intervention program for each child and family in that region.
What are the costs of your program?Read More >><< See Less
Are your staff members Contractors or Employees?Read More >><< See Less
As per Workers Compensation Board, Revenue Canada, and Employment Standards Act of BC, our frontline Behavior Interveners, Child Care Workers, Tutors, and Program Assistants are employees of Pivot Point. Most of our Behaviour Consultants, Counsellors, Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Bio-feedback technicians are Professionals who work on a contractual basis to provide their services on behalf of Pivot Point (see more about this in our “Why Pivot Point” section).
What is your termination policy?Read More >><< See Less
Every family has its own unique set of circumstances and sometimes unforeseen factors arise that result in a family needing to leave our program: Some families move, some want to try other service providers, and sometimes families are dissatisfied with our services. Regardless of the reason, we will do our best to resolve any issues and work hard to repair our working relationship so that services may continue, or so that families can end services on good terms. In nearly every situation, it is best for the child and family to have Pivot Point conduct a brief discharge assessment and to draft a Discharge Report that summarizes the work accomplished and the specific progress made. This report is invaluable to other service providers and schools that may be supporting the child and family after their time with Pivot Point, and helps hold Pivot Point accountable to our mandate of producing observable change. A family may ask us to prepare their account for closure at any time, and once this discharge assessment and Discharge Report are complete (usually within 2 or 3 weeks or request), and their account is paid up to date, a family is free to terminate services anytime without penalty.
Pivot Point is a Fee-for-Service agency: What does this mean?Read More >><< See Less
Historically throughout Canada, most “Social Services” have been paid for through global contracts between the Government and large service agencies. In that system, the clients are placed on waitlists, and have relatively little control over what types of services they receive, and the manner in which those services are delivered. Public school, hospitals, and publicly funded medical clinics provide other examples of globally funded services; the client or patient has only marginal “say” in when and how they are served and by whom. In contrast, Pivot Point caters to the client who pays directly for their services. In keeping with trends throughout North America, many Social Services throughout British Columbia are changing from globally funded programs to fee-for-service programs, where the government gives the money directly to the client or patient and requires them to make their own decisions about where to spend this resource. The vast majority of clients at Pivot Point are children and youth who have a diagnosis of Autism, and as such, qualify for annual funding from the Provincial government… which they use to purchase services here. Because Pivot Point does not receive ANY other funding from the government, ALL of our staffing costs and business costs must be accounted for in our hourly unit costs. Despite this, Pivot Point is still very competitively priced, and in many situations is less expensive than many of our competitors.
Our commitment to families is to bill for only up to 100% of the actual work provided to or for their case. In addition to direct face-to-face time, this may include travel time for staff to get to and from a client’s home, phone calls and email, session prep time, meetings with other team members about the case, scoring assessments, and preparing reports. Put another way, “Fee-for-Service” at Pivot Point, means literally that clients only pay FEES for SERVICE: not statutory holidays, not days missed due to sick staff or clients, not for staff training or administrative time that is not directly related to a specific case.
Do you work in my home, or clinic, or in the community?Read More >><< See Less
Generally speaking we provide “home-based” services. For children below the age of six, as well as for our tutoring program, the work is often more structured and usually takes place in the family home. However, when a suitable location within the home is not available we search the local community for other locations (e.g., daycare or another community facility) where we can conduct our therapy sessions without interruption. With clients who are school age, the goals of our work often require heading out into the community setting. For example, many teens are working on “social skill development”, “life skills”, and “career prep” which are best achieved outside of the home in real life settings.
My child does not have a diagnosis yet: Do you conduct diagnostic assessments?Read More >><< See Less
No, we do not conduct diagnostic assessments. However, we are able to direct clients to a number of different private and public organizations which are able to do this work.
I just need some parenting advice: Do you provide this?Read More >><< See Less
Pivot Point has Behaviour Consultants and family counselors who are able to work with parents on many issues. Parenting ANY child can be very challenging, even more so if that child has behavioural or emotional struggles, or a more pronounced childhood disability such as autism, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Down’s Syndrome, etc. So whether it is “part of” the program, alongside intensive intervention services for a child, or it IS the program, i.e., supporting the parents towards improved coping and the development of effective parenting strategies, we can help… as much or as little as each family needs… .when they need it.
Do you have any supports for the siblings of my child with extra needs?Read More >><< See Less
Yes, we have a sibling support group called Special Needs Information Groups For Families (SNIFF). This is an eight week program attended by the siblings AND at lease one parent, designed at helping families strengthen their commitment, cohesion, and overall functioning as a team. For more information go to www.siblingSUPPORTgroups.ca. Similarly, all other services at Pivot Point can also be devoted towards the needs of siblings and parents of children with special needs. For example, counselling, parent-teen mediation, family counselling, functional assessments of siblings, behavioural programming for siblings, and parent coaching regarding the sibling can all be delivered “on their own” or “in addition to” other services for children with special needs.
Autism Support Programs
Pivot Point provides “therapeutic” programs: What does this mean?Read More >><< See Less
It means that we are always working towards observable meaningful change. While many recreation or leisure based programs may be fun, they are often not intensive enough nor specifically tailored to the learning needs of each child. As such, many children do not learn essential skills that will forever improve their quality of social interaction, independent living, or ability to learn from other settings. In contrast, Pivot Point aspires to maintain an intensity of training with each child that will result in substantial life-long learning and growth. We believe that each child CAN learn and grow, regardless of the developmental and learning disabilities they face… and we believe it is our job to help each client to achieve this potential one “therapeutic shift” after another!
Best practice in the field of “autism therapy programs” recommends approximately 20 hours per week. While the Autism programs of BC may not provide enough funding for parents to purchase 20 hours of direct therapy, there are many ways that each child can receive this amount of therapy each week. For example, Pivot Point typically provides about 12 hours of direct therapy each week. By training and supporting parents in adding 1 hour a day, this can easily become 17 or 18 hours of ABA based, data driven therapeutic support. Furthermore, many children are ideal candidates for augmentative ABA therapy via TeachTown: An online digital ABA program proven to be equivalent to “human ABA”. Pivot Point provides this computer based program, at a discounted rate compared to purchasing it directly, so that our clients can increase their amount of intensive therapy time by a few hours each week.
Why is Pivot Point better than managing services for my own family?Read More >><< See Less
The management and service staff of Pivot Point (160 members +) have extensive experience and training in delivering and managing social services with children with special needs; particularly around the fee-for-service “autism industry” that has emerged in British Columbia since 2003. In contrast, most families are already busy enough with their children, work, and other responsibilities: Taking on the tasks of interviewing, hiring, training, and managing an “autism intervention team” may simply require too much time and learning, not to mention added stress.
Then there are all the issues of complying with the Workers Compensation Board, Canada Revenue Agency, Employment Standards Act of BC, and the Autism Programs of BC! These include, but are not at all limited to: maintaining WCB policies, identifying and maintaining safe work environments, processing injury claims, paying all employees twice each month, matching and remitting their EI and CPP, paying 4% vacation pay, tracking and remitting their income tax, submitting records or employment, ensuring that all invoicing is compliant, processing all other required paperwork for the AFPU such as justification forms, and on and on. Letting Pivot Point manage the team of service providers lets parents focus on the needs of their child and family… rather than on the parents becoming employers. And from our truly client centred management style (where parents are considered to be as much a part of the team as our staff members), parents will always feel they have the power and control to manage how all of their services are delivered; as long as they are therapeutic.
What is the role of parents and family members in the program?Read More >><< See Less
As mentioned, we consider the parents to be as much a part of the team as the Pivot Point Staff members. As such, from the intake meeting forward, parents are consulted regarding every aspect of our service deliver, from service or intervention types, to long and short term goals, to the location and timing or our services. Furthermore, we believe that each family member can become one of the most “therapeutic elements” in a child’s life; that means that we encourage and support active participation from siblings, parents, family members and family friends who may all play significant roles in maximizing learning and growth. In contrast, our experience mirrors research that suggests that the “medical model” (where the child is “dropped off” to be “fixed” by the professionals) is not nearly as effective as treatment models that include professionals and family members working together.
What payment methods to you accept?Read More >><< See Less
Most Pivot Point clients are children with ASD, and as such, they have access to the Invoice Payment methods available through the Autism Funding Programs of BC. Furthermore, many parents increase the annual resource available by contributing private funds. For both of these payment options, Pivot Point has pioneered one of the most advanced accountability management systems in the Province. It lets parents monitor every timesheet entry submitted by each staff member – although parents don’t have to, they are free to keep an eye on things anytime!
How is the paperwork handled?Read More >><< See Less
Timesheets, invoices, and other administrative tasks are managed by our administration team at our Head Office in South Surrey, BC. However, a Program Assistant is assigned to each client family to oversee all paperwork and to ensure that parents fully understand all of their rights and choices. Because we are a “family centred” agency, we easily accommodate many changes to the program throughout the year.
Are your Behaviour Consultants on the Registry of Autism Service Providers?Read More >><< See Less
As required, all of our early intervention Behavior Consultants are listed on the on the Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP), as either “A” or “B” level consultants. Our Program Supervisor & Board Certified Behaviour Analysts oversee their work and professional development following the standards of the Behaviour Analytic Certification Board – an international organization that sets training and practice standards for Behaviour Consultants in over 50 countries around the world. So not only do we have great consultants, we work hard to train and develop great consultants too!
What do your Behaviour Consultants do?Read More >><< See Less
Our Behavior Consultants perform many case related clinical tasks that REQUIRE their specific training in ABA and their skill in working with children with ASD. These include primarily conducting assessments, creating written behavior support plans, evaluating data and the quality of intervention provided by the Behavior Interveners and Child Care Workers they supervise, and creating written Progress Reports. The difference between Behavior Consultants at Pivot Point and those from other agencies or hired privately is that our BC’s do not need to do many of the case management and family support tasks that do not require their level of training. Instead, the BC’s and senior management support our Program Assistants in providing these management services to each case, as this is far more cost effective than paying a BC to do non-clinical work. As with all Pivot Point services, Behaviour Consultation services may be hired hourly as either a stand-alone service or as part of a larger program of services.
For more information, please view our “Behaviour Consulting” section under the “Our Services” tab.
Will you work with my privately hired staff?Read More >><< See Less
How are Pivot Point Behaviour Interveners trained and supervised?Read More >><< See Less
Most of the Behaviour Interveners and Child Care Workers at Pivot Point come to us with university training in ABA, early childhood education, and/or Child and Youth Care degrees… in addition to most having related experience working with children with ASD. Once through our screening process (which filters on Education, Experience, and Personality… and of course, Criminal Records and references), all new hires are provided an orientation to ABA and intensive behaviour intervention at Pivot Point; they attend multiple “shadowing shifts” (where they watch our current staff members work with existing clients in real life settings); they attend family based “Case Review Meetings” (every 4 to 6 weeks for Early Intervention cases) where there is child-specific training and role playing; they attend monthly staff meetings to remain abreast of best practices in ASD services; and their raises are based on their efforts to improve their clinical competency by accessing supports both inside and outside of Pivot Point that can help make them great at what they do.
General staff management is performed by our local Regional Managers who work hard to ensure that each staff member is meeting the expectations of the agency and our clients served. Clinical supervision is provided by our Program Supervisors who read and approve EVERY treatment plan (ISP) and Progress Report, as well as provide direct mentorship to individual staff members in their work. This application of highly experienced Program Supervisors is another example of how Pivot Point provides VERY competent supervision to its staff, and ensures HIGH quality ABA programming for all clients, while doing so at a cost-efficient manner.
What do Speech Therapists do?Read More >><< See Less
The role of the Speech-Language pathologists (SLP’s) is to identify, assess, evaluate, treat, manage, educate and help to prevent language, speech, voice, fluency, cognitive, and other related communication disorders, as well as swallowing problems. At Pivot Point, our SLP’s may work alone or as part of a team to help our clients of all ages to communicate effectively, and to eat and swallow safely. Typically, SLP’s at Pivot Point are independent contractors who provide assessments and consultation on behalf of the agency; this “assessment, report, and ongoing support” usually requires between 8 to 12 hours per year of SLP time – assuming the BI’s and CCW’s are implementing basic treatment recommendations. When a client’s speech or language deficits require more complicated therapeutic intervention, some of our SLP’s are available for ongoing treatment with individual clients. But this is often not required if there is good quality team work. As with all Pivot Point services, SLP services may be hired hourly as either a stand-alone service or as part of a larger program of services.
For more info about SLP’s, their training, and codes of practice, please viist www.bcaslpa.ca
Do your Speech Therapists work in my home or in a clinic?Read More >><< See Less
While some of our SLP’s work in client homes to meet children and conduct assessments, others work primarily from their own speech therapy clinics. Either way, the writing of the Speech Therapy Assessment Report will be done from their own office, and a copy of the written report will be provided to parents and Pivot Point staff. There are advantages to each approach, such as the convenience of home-based assessments vs. the cost-savings from not paying for added travel time when clinic based. Parents are asked to check with the Regional Manager in their area about the SLP’s and OT’s that work with Pivot Point.
Do you have Speech Therapists in my area?Read More >><< See Less
In most cases, yes. Sometimes our SLP may need to travel a bit in order to get to some locations, but we make every effort to find professionals who are experienced and living locally in each family’s community.
What do Occupational Therapists do?Read More >><< See Less
For more into go to www.bcsot.org
Do your Occupational Therapists work in my home or in a clinic?Read More >><< See Less
Do you have Occupational Therapists in my area?Read More >><< See Less
In most cases, yes. It may be a case of the OT needing to travel a bit in order to come to your home but we make every effort to find professionals who are closest.