Meet our new executive director!
It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Dr. Marlene Desjardins as Executive Director of the Montreal Fluency Centre (MFC), effective immediately. Dr. Desjardins received her PhD in School & Child-Clinical Psychology in 2006 from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. She is a School Psychologist working at the MFC for the past 10 years. During this time, she gained the respect and trust of children, parents and colleagues, which has prepared her so well for her new role at the Centre. Before joining the Centre, Dr. Desjardins worked as a psychologist at the Kanehsatake Education Centre, Lansdowne Tutoring Centre and the Learning Associates of Montreal. She has administered psycho-educational services to elementary, secondary and post-secondary students with learning disabilities in some of the most remote communities of Quebec. She is also Clinical Director of the Taylor Adolescent Program of the Montreal Fluency Centre, increasing the program from two to four days a week, and initiating new satellite programs in the community at large. She most recently played a pivotal role in the development of a grade 5-6 program, initiated in 2015, that is based on the TAP model. Dr. Desjardins has been the community representative on the Research Ethics Board II and III at McGill University since 2007.
MFC Strategic Plan
Did you know that in the past 20 years, the MFC has provided treatment subsidies totalling more than $750,000 to families who would not otherwise have access to assessment or treatment for their children? Over the years, an additional $2,500,000 was raised to develop and provide uniquely specialised services for children with speech, language and psycho-educational needs in the community. In 2016, the MFC developed a 3-year strategic plan to further increase the Centre’s presence in the province, by joining with local agencies to provide expanded services to children in local neighborhoods as well as extended telepractice options to remote and underserved communities. This will include expanded continuing education opportunities for both professionals and parents.
What can you expect for 2017-2018?
Programs offered by the MFC that you may not know about
This summer the MFC had another successful program consisting of a two-week intensive group focused on reading comprehension, and an additional two weeks focused on writing strategies. Twenty-six children, aged 10-14, participated in this program, run jointly by a speech-language pathologist and school psychologist, to ensure that participants benefited from their combined expertise and areas of specialty. The goal of the program was to help children acquire and practice implementing strategies to help improve their reading comprehension skills and their essay writing skills. Moreover, parent mentoring and coaching with the same strategies after each session was a crucial component of the program, in order to ensure the child’s continued use of these effective strategies within the following academic year.
In 2016, we launched the Success and Independent Learning (SAIL) coaching program for children who need more help to develop independent learning. At SAIL, learning coaches help children face ongoing academic challenges with a ‘Tool Kit’ of researched-based learning strategies tailored to each child’s specific needs.
The Taylor Adolescent Program (TAP) continues to grow with TAP2, offering groups for children in grades 5 to 7, as well as the traditional high school model for grades 7+. This program helps students acquire, through strategic goal oriented tutoring, the necessary skills and strategies for effective reading comprehension and writing skills. The program is meant to help prepare students for the transition into high school, as the strategic tutoring helps children develop strategies to be able to do their own work more effectively and independently over time.
It is not too early for us to begin to think about next summer and our plans for 2018 include:
The MFC is initiating its new continuing education seminars with a workshop on September 15. The topic, Diagnosis and Treatment of Atypical patterns of stuttering in children, is being presented by Vivian Sisskin from the University of Maryland. For the first time, this seminar will be simultaneously streamed to professionals living outside the Montreal area.
If there is a topic that you would like to hear more about please let us know for the planning of future seminars.
You will hear more about these activities in future newsletters but if you would like more information now regarding this or any other of our projects please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and check out our Facebook page (Montreal Fluency Centre).