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Active Research Projects

The John McGivney Children's Centre actively supports research that ultimately enhances the lives of children and youth with special needs. In partnership with community agencies, children's treatment centres and/or research centres, families and staff of the John McGivney Children's Centre participate in research projects that have been approved by a Research Review Committee.  If you are interested in participating in a research project or would like to invite JMCC to participate in a research project, please contact

Current Studies

Enhancing Self-Management for Individuals with Severe Disabilities Through a Cloud-Connected Universal Interface: Tecla-e

Study Purpose: 

To pilot a device (Tecla-e) that will allow eople with limited mobility to perform a vareity of tasts (send and receive emails/text message, browse the web, read a book, make a phone call, change the room temperature) from a wheelchair. 


Children and youth with severe disibilities.

Principal Investigators: 

Dr. Tom Chen, Dr. Emily seto, and Dr. Jan Wilem Gorter

JMCC Team:

Dean Valihora (project lead) and the Augmentative Communication therapy team

Other participating Centres:

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and Komodo OpenLab

Time frame:

24 months




PROMPT Treatment Research Randomized Control Trial

Study Purpose:

The purpose of this grant is to carry out a high-level, well-controlled RCT design study on children with motor speech disorders.  This will allow us to evaluate whether the PROMPT approach yields significant treatment effects that can be generalized across individuals in this population. In recent years, motor based treatment approaches have been recommended and applied for the subgroup of children with speech sound disorders presenting with difficulty in planning and / or producing speech sounds (Hayden, Eigen, Walker, & Olsen, 2010; Morgan & Vogel, 2009; Strand, Stoeckel, & Baas, 2006).


The study will require 44 children in the age range 3 yrs to 10.0 yrs with moderate to profound speech sound disorders with motor speech difficulties (inclusive of planning and/or producing the speech sounds). Children will be recruited from the waiting list for speech therapy at The Speech & Stuttering Institute in Toronto, Holland Bloorview Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto and The John McGivney Children's Centre of Essex County, Windsor, Ontario. All of the children will have English as the primary language spoken by the primary caregiver(s). Participant selection will involve a broad screening of children using several inclusion and exclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria include prerequisite skills (social, play and attention skills) for direct speech intervention, the presence of moderate to severe delays in expressive language with age appropriate or near normal receptive language, along with specific indicators (or red flags) for motor speech involvement (Shriberg, Paul, Black, & van Santen, 2011). Exclusion criteria are intended to rule out participants who show signs of structural, global motor, feeding, dysarthria and Autism spectrum disorders. The study will have ethics approval from the Health Sciences Research Ethics Board at the University of Toronto.

Principle Investigators (PI):

Dr. Aravind Namasivayam (University of Toronto), co-investigator Ms. Deborah Hayden (The PROMPT Institute) and the  University of Toronto collaborator Dr. Pascal van Lieshout.

JMCC Team:

Michele Weerts S-LP and Stefanie Nawalany S-LP.

Other Participating Centres:

The Speech & Stuttering Institute in Toronto, Holland The ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development in Mississauga, Ontario

Time Frame: