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Curriculum of Caring

CommunicateCARE: A Curriculum of Caring for People with Developmental Disabilities

CommunicateCARE: A Curriculum of Caring for People with Developmental Disabilities

Music Videos

Compassion: I Will Love

"Compassion" responds to need. SpotLight Drama, Momentum Choir and friends show compassion in this original music video: " I Will Love!" Let's do likewise...

Everyday People

For more from Momentum Choir visit their website.

We Are Here – CommunicateCARE

SpotLight drama and friends share how professionals can Communicate CARE in their first music video!


SpotLight Drama and friends remind professionals to think 'H.E.L.P.' when 'behaviour' is the 'presenting problem'. Check out this teaching music video!

HELP Flowchart

A flowchart meant to guide physicians and psychiatrists with a patient brought in with a behavioural concern developed by the Surrey Place Centre.

Thank you for Being a Friend

Momentum Choir ‎has a brief musical message to spur you on.


Experience Momentum's one of a kind, authentic, rendition of Leonard Cohen's ‎Hallelujah with interviews.

Bio-Psycho-Social Wrap Around

Bethesda's SpotLight Drama and friends have a new way to do about wrap around care. Into rap? Join in the 'Bio-Psycho-Social Wrap Around.' Unforgettable!

Phase 1: Voices of Experience

How do You Want to be Treated?

Don't miss this two minutes of potent wisdom for health professionals. The messages are clear and compelling!

Understanding Special Voices

"Understanding Special Voices" offers glimpses into the lives of five people who communicate uniquely. Those who know them intimately help us to understand their distinct personalities and ways of expressing themselves beyond words. Listen to and learn from the Special Voices of Aziz, Chris, Lizzie, Diana, and Barton. Enjoy your eight minutes with them and your future encounters with people who have special voices!

Megan and Her Family

Learn from Megan's family's journey and reflections on the impact of health professional interactions.

Megan's Mom

A powerful and motivating message for medical students! This video has been widely used in medical education.

Marc: the Importance of Passion and Compassion

Marc is an articulate advocate for people who live with disability-related challenges. He shares life lessons with professionals about compassion that helps others pursue their passions.

Phase 2: INTERVIEW with CARE

Caring for People with Developmental Disabilities Primer

Consider how Health Care Professionals can
Communicate CARE and HELP

Communicate C.A.R.E.

Dr Kerry Boyd, Associate Clinical Professor, McMaster University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, gives a succinct summary of approaches that “Communicate CARE.” Check out the “ INTERVIEW with CARE” companion guide for more on engaging and communicating with those who present with DD.

Communicate CARE when you INTERVIEW

Clinical encounters can provide a portal into understanding patient needs and person-centred care. Communication in interviewing is vital: communicating caring attitudes and actions in tandem. READ MORE

Dan in Urgent UNcare

(how not to approach Dan in urgent Care – Be sure to check out Dan in urgent CARE below!)

Smith-Magenis Syndrome

Parents and Researchers Interested in Smith-Magenis Sydrome (PRISMS) webiste:

Smith-Magenis Syndrome Health Watch Table

A reference table for considerations and recommendations related to Smith-Magenis Syndrome developed by the Surrey Place Centre.

Health Watch Table - Down Syndrome

A reference table for considerations and recommendations related to Down Syndrome developed by the Surrey Place Centre.

Health Watch Table: Williams Syndrome

A reference table for considerations and recommendations related to Williams Syndrome.

Wendy: Short ‎of Breath/ Long on Patience

With Effective NP and Rushed MD

Julia: Developmental Pediatric CARE

Interviewing and Examining with CARE: Dr Ronit Mesterman and team at McMaster Children's Hospital

Managing Mania...Continuing CARE

Dual Diagnosis: Mental Health Check in after Hospital Discharge

Keys to Success When Examining People With Developmental Disabilities

Family Physician, Liz Grier introduces adaptations for physical exams that promote success and reduce distress.

Phase 3: CARE in Practice

Compassion-centred care

Dr. Nick Kates, (professor and chair of the department of psychiatry & behavioural neurosciences, McMaster University)discusses compassionate person and family-centred care as transformative for patient experience and systems.

A transformative message!

Dr. Bill Sullivan: Developmental Disabilities Primary Care Initiative

Dr William Sullivan is a family physician and bio-ethicist who has lead the Primary Care Initiative for People with Developmental Disabilities (DD) in Ontario. Dr Sullivan provides an overview of the Primary Care Initiative guidelines, tools and web-based resources aimed at addressing the particular health issues of adults with DD. These valuable resources are used internationally and available at

Dr Yona Lunsky: Research that Informs Policy and Transforms Practices

Dr Yona Lunsky is ‎a Professor and Developmental Disabilities Lead with Deptartment of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. Dr Lunsky's clinical research and work is profoundly influential in improving health care for people with DD. We want to particularly highlight the Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (H-CARDD) and online resources aimed at positively impacting health and health care for people with DD. Go to and pass on the news about this work!

H.E.L.P. When Behaviours Communicate Distress

Psychiatrist, Dr. Elspeth Bradley, provides a summary of how to H.E.L.P. when faced with people engaging in behaviours that indicate distress. She has written about and taught this H.E.L.P. approach widely, and we are grateful that she shares her insights in this forum. She has also worked with SpotLight drama and friends in the development of the Curriculum of Caring music video, "H.E.L.P." Check it out in the music video section! Dr Bradley referred to the Journal on Developmental Disabilities article 'Mental Health and Autism: Promoting Autism FaVourable Environments (PAVE)' and HELP with Behaviours That Challenge. They can be found online in the Journal on Developmental Disabilities (2013).

HELP Flowchart

A flowchart meant to guide physicians and psychiatrists with a patient brought in with a behavioural concern developed by the Surrey Place Centre.

Dr Bruce McCreary: Part of the solution

Dr Bruce McCreary, Queens University Professor Emeritus of PsychIatry, is an experienced physician, educator and authour who delivers a compelling message to learners. He ‎brings us all face to face with challenges and rewards of providing medical care to the often neglected population of people with developmental disabilities. Consider this:' Are you part of the solution?'

Sarah and Alison Bruni: Advice for Physicians

Sarah and Alison have first hand experience with Healthcare, offering advice to medical students and professionals. They share ways to make everyone more comfortable.


Meet Grace...Meet Needs

Grace was born in 1988, and was diagnosed with autism at the age of five.

Grace’s early years proved to be a mix of fascinating and challenging experiences for her and her family. They have explored many avenues through the healthcare system, some more successful than others. Read More.

Developmental Pediatric Pearls with Dr. Peter Rosenbaum

Dr. Peter Rosenbaum reveals developmental pediatric pearls of wisdom as he interacts with 3-year-old Sophia and her mother. Dr. Rosenbaum is a professor of paediatrics at McMaster University and co-founder of CanChild Center for Childhood Disability Research (CanChild: Development in the Rewarding Healthcare Experience). For more pearls, explore the  CanChild Center for Childhood Disability Research website and the famous F Words of Childhood Disability. Young Sophia and her mom share wisdom through their earlier Curriculum of Caring video (Sophia: gifts of wisdom for parents and professionals.)

CanChild: Development and the Rewarding Health Care Experience

CanChild Centre for Child Disability Research: Dr Peter Rosenbaum (co-founder) , Dr Jan Willem Gorter (director) and Matt Freeman (researcher) ‎share their perspectives on development and health care.

Sophia: Gifts of Wisdom for Parents and Professionals

A mother and research coordinator for CanChild Center for Childhood Disability Research speaks to Health Care providers about team work that works well!

Developmental Pediatric Perspectives: McMaster Children's Hospital Conversion

Drs Kerry Boyd, Teresa Carter, Karen Harman, Olaf Kraus de Camargo, Bill Mahoney, and Ronit Mesterman share the intrigue and rewards of working with families.

Compassion for the Journey: Rewarding Engagement with Families

Dr Sandra Fisman is a Professor and the Chair of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Western University, London, Ontario. Dr Fisman reflects on the journeys of families and the need for compassion. She engages us to consider our journeys as caring professionals.

Northern Ontario School of Medicine Holistic Health Care: A Curriculum of Collaboration

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine covers vast geographic and educational terrain. Virtual Academic Rounds connect students and preceptors across Northern clinical settings. A Curriculum of Collaboration with the Northern Network of Specialized Care encourages holistic healthcare that meets needs. Learn about it here...more NOSM videos are coming.

Dr. Mike Bedard, primary care physician on Manitoulin Island, faculty Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Rural general practice involves teamwork and community. Experience the pure positive energy of getting to know people with special needs on a very human level...and the medical part flows‎.

Anne Sprack, Nurse and Clinical Team Lead for Developmental Clinical Services North

Expose yourself to experiences and experts. "What do the people we serve need? Get it from the experts...the people living the experience."

Dawne Wyers and Bevy the Great

Doing great - Help beyond hospital

Dr. Shelley Watson, PhD, faculty department of psychology, Laurentian University

Invested in research that points to investment in understanding individual and family needs. "Get to know the person...It's worth it working through difficult times."

Dr. Kenneth Boss, psychiatrist, North Bay Regional Health Centre

Psychiatric care goes beyond medication..."Sometimes less is more."

Dr. Rayudu Koka, psychiatrist in Sudbury, faculty Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Work together to understand what's going on with them and advocate for them. Get a good history and look for physical problems. "Amazing people...A joy to treat."

Dr Peter Szatmari: Autism Spectrum Experience

Dr Peter Szatmari is a renowned child and youth psychiatrist with extensive experience with people who live with what is now referred to as the autism spectrum. Dr Szatmari shares insights from his experiences, highlighting lessons learned from people on the autism spectrum and the importance of collaborative relationships.

Keys to Success When Examining People With Developmental Disabilities

Liz Grier is a Family Physician and Queen's University Faculty Member. Dr Grier describes and demonstrates approaches for successful examination from her office in Kingston, Ontario (with special thanks to the patient and family educators).

Kareem Elbard: A Self-Advocate's Vision

Inside Out not Outside In

Kareem, in his video and article, shifts our perspective from outside-in appraisals to inside-out appreciation.

New Vision Advocates: Picture Yourself in Need

The New Vision Advocates (Community Living London) present a visioning exercise into the experience of being a patient ‎without words to express needs. Enter into this scenerio and reflect on how you would want to be treated. Thank you New Vision Advocates!

Dr. Anne Bassett: What's Important About Genetics

In this video, Dr. Anne Bassett shares her experiences and expertise, discussing the importance of genetics in practice and in people's lives.

Dr. Bassett is a psychiatrist and professor (University of Toronto, Department of Psychiatry) with a wealth of wisdom. She has led many clinical, educational and research initiatives.

She is the Director of the internationally renowned Dalglish Family 22q Clinic at the Toronto General Hospital, holds the Dalglish Chair in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome at the University of Toronto and University Health Network, and is the Director of the Clinical Genetics Research Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

In this video, Dr. Anne Bassett shares her experiences and expertise, discussing the importance of genetics in practice and in people's lives.

To learn more about 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, care across the lifespan for patients and families, and access more from Dr. Bassett and colleagues, please visit