Phone: 416-224-5959
Fax: 416-224-2772

*New* – ISAND Clinician Updates

There are several recent and upcoming Clinician changes at ISAND that I’d like to update you about. I’d also like to inform you that you can read biographical information on all of our Clinicians by visiting the ISAND website – www.isand.ca, and looking at the Team page under the “about Us” tab. For information on clinicians that have more recently become ISAND Team Members you can also read our Spring/Summer 2021 newsletter which can also be found on our website under the “News and Events” tab, Newsletter page. 

Medical Team

Dr. Wendy Roberts, MD., FRCPC: Dr. Roberts is a developmental paediatrician, researcher, mentor and author specializing in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder. As one of the founders of ISAND, Dr. Roberts has provided medical expertise to a huge number of clients over the years. Some of you may know that Dr. Roberts is stepping back from active medical consultation and treatment this June.  Thankfully, Wendy will continue to provide mentoring and consultation to the Dr.’s who will be taking over her case load for an undetermined length of time.

Recruitment efforts are underway to find a developmental paediatrician(s) to join ISAND, and assume Dr. Robert’s paediatric case load. Dr. Dara Abells will be assuming medical responsibility for some of the older clients on Wendy’s case load with transition meetings having started. 

Dr. Dara Abells, MD. CCFP and Dr. Graham Gaylord, MD: Both are family physicians who have done additional study with young people who have ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The will provide services to ISAND clients on a part time basis. We’re happy to announce that both Dr. Abells and Dr. Gaylord will be extending their time commitment to ISAND very soon.

Dr. Dana Frisch, MD., FRCPC: Will be taking a leave starting in June 2021. A number of people from her caseload will transition to Dr. Abells or Dr. Gaylord, while others will be referred to their paediatrician/family doctor.

Speech and Language Services

Our newest clinician is Joanna Ticker, M.S.Ed., SLP. Reg. CASLPO. Joanna is an experienced and passionate clinician working with the pediatric population and their families to support diverse communication needs including: language, motor speech, social communication, fluency, and voice.

Although we added one new clinician, we recently lost the services of Maija Gulens, Jessica Loo-Yong-Kee, and

Ali Schwabe. ISAND is in the recruitment process to find new clinicians that will be added to our strong, experienced SLP team.

Behaviour Services

Our newest Behavioural Consultant is Sheila Condon M.A., BCBA, who joins ISAND with a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise. Sheila specializes in family centred programming, parent coaching, teaching skills in a natural environment, and functional behavioural assessments.

We are delighted to welcome back to ISAND after a short time away our Behavioural Consultant, Kelsey Ferguson M.ADS., BCBA, bringing with her a lengthy and varied background. As a longstanding team member at ISAND, Kelsey has worked with a large number of clients, providing behavioural help across a wide range of needs and age groups.

Occupational Therapy

Also returning to ISAND after a two year educational leave is, Jigna Bhatt BSc. O.T., MSc. Yoga, OTR, O.T. Reg (Ont.), bringing more than twenty years of Occupational Therapy experience. Jigna predominantly works with children and young people with autism spectrum disorder and complex neurodevelopmental disorder to maximize their development and independence. She has extensive experience working with sensory processing issues.

Message from Executive Director, Bob Butella

As Ontario enters a four week State of Emergency, and enacts a “Stay at Home” order, I’d like to confirm that ISAND will remain open for both virtual and in-person appointments and has put the following safety measures in place.

ISAND will continue to offer in-person assessment and treatment when it has been determined to be clinically necessary and when all parties agree to participate following all safety protocols (see Protocols on COVID-19 Tab of the website);

The determination of “Clinically Necessary” is made by the clinician when he or she has determined that teletherapy is ineffective. In this case, there are health (including mental health), safety (e.g. risk of aggression) and/or significant regression issues. There are also specific (e.g. psychological and medical) assessments that can’t be conducted remotely

In-person group sessions of no more than three participants can be considered where: it has been deemed clinically necessary; social distancing can be maintained; and PPE is worn; ISAND will continue to offer virtual assessment and treatment whenever possible.

Message from Executive Director, Bob Butella:

Updated COVID Screening Protocol and Guidelines for In-Person appointments

As you may be aware, Toronto Public Health and the local school boards updated their screening and safety guidelines on Friday in response to the ever growing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Toronto and across the province. ISAND will follow the same protocols as recommended by Toronto Public Health.

Starting Tuesday December 8, if a child has one new or worsening of the following nine symptoms, the in-person appointment will be cancelled and re-scheduled sometime after the early of: 1) ten (10) days of self-isolation; 2) receiving negative COVID results; or 3) have been given clearance by their health provider. Children who have an existing health condition, confirmed by a health provider, that gives them any of the nine identified symptoms, should NOT answer YES to the screening questions unless the symptoms are new, different, or worsening.

The nine symptoms are:

Fever >37.8 CCoughDifficulty Breathing
Loss of TasteHeadacheMuscle aches or Fatigue
Stuffy or Runny noseSore ThroatNausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea

The updated fillable screening form (Click here) can be found under the COVID-19 Tab above. Please complete the form within 48 hours of the booked appointment. The completed form can be brought with you or can be e-mailed to info@isand.ca if you need to cancel.

In addition:

  1. If  we become aware of an infected person being on site, including a member of the ISAND staff team, we need to contact public health.
  2. we will work with Toronto Public Health on follow up protocols, including informing persons who may be at risk due to contact about the potential exposure and steps to be taken.

Message from Executive Director, Bob Butella:

ISAND received confirmation today from Toronto Public Health that we can remain open as an Essential Workplace for limited in-person appointments, both in our centre and off-site. Virtual visits will continue to be an option available to many people. In-person appointments will resume if clinically recommended, and when virtual visits are not possible or in the best (clinical) interests of the individual.

Your therapist will connect with you to: discuss the reasons to continue with in-person therapy; verify ISAND COVID-19 protocols; and to confirm your agreement for you or your child to attend in-person appointments.

Stay safe and healthy!