Centre for Persons with Special Needs
Dr. Michael Sigal and late mentor, Dr. Norman Levine created a hospital-based dental clinic in Toronto, dedicated to caring for persons with special needs. Having devoted their careers to this population, they have left a legacy that will live on for years to come. Following in her father’s footsteps, Dr. Alison Sigal has always shared their passion and love for persons with special needs, involved in countless organizations.
Her health care journey however, began in 2006, when she conducted a unique research study and became aware of the lack of access to oral health care issues that faced persons with special needs, and the impact this was having on their lives. From that moment, Dr. Sigal envisioned how this could be improved.
In 2008, she founded a Federal Non-Profit Organization called Oral Health, Total Health (www.ohth.ca), dedicated to advocating, educating and improving access to oral health care for persons with special needs. Leading chapters across the country at all English-speaking faculties of dentistry and public dental hygiene colleges, the awareness today, is greater than ever before. Still however, there remains a lack of community access to care. This inspired Dr. Sigal to create Little Bird, a community clinic in Milton, Ontario, that would pioneer and provide this much-needed compassionate care, as well as be utilized for research, training, and education.
Our philosophy of care at Little Bird is to provide oral health care for persons with special needs of all ages, with a focus on prevention. Having a community clinic will enable us to offer various individualized services and programs. With an emphasis on the use of non-drug methods, empathy, trust and compassion are at the forefront of our approach to caring for this population.
Little Bird will feature a controlled multisensory (Snoezelen®) treatment room that can be personalized to each individual, with integrated Snoezelen® items throughout the practice. Please click HERE to read more about the unique Services offered at LB.
Past experiences, research and collaboration with community services, families and persons with special needs shaped the design and attention to detail of the clinic. To mention a few features, at LB we offer a private entrance separate from the public waiting room, pre/post appointment rebounding therapy, and a Snoezelen® space that welcomes groups for familiarization programs. Please click HERE to read more about the design of the office.
In addition, we have formed invaluable partnerships with Flaghouse, global experts and leaders in Snoezelen®, as well as Awake Labs – creators of the Reveal. The Reveal is a physiologic wearable (bracelet) that aims to lend a voice to those who may be unable to express themselves, through its real time measurement of signs/symptoms of anxiety. This will further our ability to provide empathetic and compassionate care for our patients. Please click HERE to read more about our partnerships.