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 provides this much-needed compassionate care, and is 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 has enabled us to offer various individualized services and programs. With an emphasis on the use of non-drug methods, empathy, trust and compassion, which are at the forefront of our approach to caring for this population.
Little Bird feature’s a controlled multisensory (Snoezelen®) treatment room and has integrated Snoezelen® / Sensory items throughout the entire 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®.
Global experts and leaders in Snoezelen®, Flaghouse is known for enriching lives for all people, regardless of age or ability, with resources to be active, play, learn and enjoy life fully since 1954.
Snoezelen® Multi-Sensory Environments (MSE) incorporate a specialized selection of sensory equipment and materials that can help individuals adapt their responses to sensory stimulation and to advance education and therapy goals. The blends of sights, sounds, textures, and motion provide stimulation of the primary sensory systems and can be tailored to meet the needs of each unique individual or group.
Flaghouse is constantly creating new products, raising awareness, and advocating for the use of Snoezelen® spaces around the world.
What Flaghouse means to us at Little Bird?
Thanks to our partnership with Flaghouse, Little Bird will have the most current Snoezelen® products to integrate with our provision of health care in a community setting. As we are pioneering this approach, our partnership will allow for us to assess what works, what could be improved, and together, create new products that might assist in improved patient care.
It is our hope that through creating these Snoezelen® spaces at Little Bird that our patients with special needs will feel comfortable, and receive more routine, preventive care thereby reducing their risks of future cavities, oral disease and associated discomfort.
For all Snoezelen® products used at Little Bird that aid in the provision of health care, we will work with Flaghouse in the future to create a new category in their catalogue. Sharing and encouraging other health care providers to consider the addition of Snoezelen® into their own practices.