Child physical medicine resources called inadequate

More therapy services are needed for special needs children, says a family from Hartsville, P.E.I.
Vaeda has cerebral palsy and needs more physical therapy, says her mother Lorrie Jollimore. (CBC)

More therapy services are needed for special needs children, says a family from Hartsville, P.E.I.

Jeff Matheson and Lorrie Jollimore's two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Vaeda has cerebral palsy. Matheson told CBC News they have been advocating for more resources in the Early Child Physical Medicine department for years, and they now feel the need to take the fight public.

Jeff Matheson has set up an online petition to try to get Health PEI to move more quickly at providing more physical therapy services for children. (CBC)

"The therapists that are on hand, they are really good at their job and they're doing the best that they can, but they are completely overbooked," said Matheson.

Matheson and Jollimore said Vaeda hasn't been able to get the help she needs.

"In daycare, she scoots around and all of the other kids are walking," said Jollimore.

"As a parent it's really hard to see that,"

Matheson spent the weekend creating a website called, the site of an online petition demanding more physical medicine services for children with special needs.

"We preformatted a message to the province and to Health PEI to make it easy so that people can put it in their name and email and send it through, and send a message of support," he said.

Health PEI CEO Dr. Richard Wedge said he is aware more services are needed, but that work to fix the problem is underway, with more pediatric physiotherapist hours and a new coordinator position.

"There is a pediatric physiotherapist available and we're going to increase that time another three days a week," he said.

"Once the coordinator's position is in place we'll know more about what exactly the needs are out there."

Matheson said he hopes his petition will speed up the process.


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