If your child requires specialized therapy, you may have had to travel outside of Simcoe County to receive treatment. However, with a new children-centred facility slated to open in Collingwood at the end of April, your days of commuting may be over.
Oscar’s Place Rehabilitation and Wellness Centre for Children is set to open April 25 in Collingwood. The multidisciplinary rehabilitation centre for children will include services such as physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, massage therapy, mental health services provided by a child and youth care practitioner, concussion testing and a kinesiologist.
“There’s a huge demand,” said Lana Roman, physiotherapist and owner of Oscar’s Place, adding that as multiple services will be provided under one roof, the different therapies can work in tandem with each other.
The Collingwood mom was inspired to open the centre after struggling to find services for her son north of Vaughan. Roman’s three-year-old son Oscar was diagnosed with a genetic neurological disorder at four months old that requires speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy.
“We had been commuting from here to Vaughan. At first, I wanted to do whatever it took, but it didn’t make sense. We’d be in the car for four hours to go to a 30-minute appointment,” said Roman. “When you’re a parent of a child with special needs, it can be very isolating because you think you’re the only one. I realized I’m not the only one.”
“If parents are unable to commute, those parents aren’t accessing care at all,” she said.
As part of the model she’s created, Roman chose the space at 275 First St. this past summer. She says the location’s proximity to Harbourview Park was a major selling feature for her.
“I also noticed in my experiences with my son that when I brought my daughter to appointments too, as a mom, I felt like I was putting one kid in the corner while the other is getting all this attention. I want our place to be a place where families and siblings also feel welcome even if they’re not accessing therapies,” she said.
“It’s a lovely place where families can go for a walk after their appointments and some restaurants are there. All the stars aligned.”
She notes that she’s open to exploring bringing other specialized therapies for children to her centre in the future based on the demand from the South Georgian Bay and Simcoe County communities.
“It will depend on the needs of the children who walk through our doors,” she said, noting she’d like to explore the option of bringing in aqua-therapies or intensive programs.
“I feel really excited, and we’re busy,” said Roman.
Oscar’s Place is located at 275 First St. Unit 8 and 9. For more information, visit their website here.