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Kids Brain Health Network - KBHN*

$50.8 million for 2009-24
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Kids Brain Health Network

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia

Chief Scientific Officer
James Reynolds James Reynolds

Nicky Lewis Nicky Lewis

Board Chair
Geoff Pradella Geoff Pradella

Improving outcomes for children and families impacted by neurodevelopmental disabilities

The opportunity

In Canada today, 10-17% of all children live with a neurodevelopmental disability. Over the course of their lives, more than 90% of these children will experience limitations that impact their quality of life. Known globally for its excellence in neuroscience and brain-related research, Canada created a national network that embraces the vision that all children living with neurodevelopmental disabilities enjoy quality of life, inclusion in all aspects of society and reach their full potential.

How KBHN is seizing the opportunity

Kids Brain Health Network (KBHN) researchers collaborate with community, industry, government and non-profit partners to develop and implement innovative solutions and services with the potential to improve the lives of children living with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families. This collaborative effort is providing health care professionals, policy makers, caregivers and families with tools and information to promote earlier identification, better treatment, and optimal outcomes for children today and in the future.

Among the results

  • The Infant and Early Mental Health Hub (IEMH) includes access to training, tools and resources specific to infant and early mental health. The Learning Management System now has over 12,000 users. The Hub’s training materials have also evolved into the ‘Nurturing the Seed’ project, with Indigenous communities across Canada.
  • KBHN supported the development of a suite of e-health programs for children with a neurodevelopmental disability. Better Nights Better Days is an online program designed for parents who have children with sleeping problems. ASSIST is an eLearning program that assists classroom teachers in providing evidence-based interventions to students in grades 1 to 12, for which over 330 mainstream classroom teachers enrolled.
  • Dino Island is a cognitive intervention game aimed at improving attention and executive function in children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. The pilot of this project engaged more than 2,000 children. Since the pilot, the project expanded its implementation across Canada and internationally.
  • Social ABCs is an intervention program that targets 18-30 month-olds with language delays or early signs of autism. In 2021-22, 6 new community partner sites were added across Ontario and a total of 50 coaches were trained to deliver this program, reaching more than 500 families to date.
  • The Fetal Alcohol Resource Program (FARP) is a community partnership focused on supporting individuals & families affected by FASD by facilitating access to regional services and offering training for professionals. Over 850 participants received trainings in 2021-22 and the program expanded to include new partnerships with regional and provincial organizations.
  • The Genomic Assessment Tool is a screening tool for children, ages 1 week to 4 years old, at risk of FASD. The availability of a rapid, high-throughput genetic assessment will facilitate early access to the care and education programs helping mitigate severity of outcomes in children with FASD. The project is also being piloted in partnership with families and Elders in Indigenous communities using culturally-informed protocols.
  • The Kids Action Coaching (KAC) Program is designed to promote access to, and inclusion in, community-based physical activity programs. The next phase of the project will include expansion of these programs to schools and Indigenous communities.
  • In 2021-22, KBHN added 9 new research projects to its portfolio with the goal of broadening public access to its tools: 5 projects funded under the Strategic Investment Fund (SIF), in partnership with Brain Canada, and 4 new Implementation Projects.

Connect with KBHN

* (formerly known as NeuroDevNet)


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