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Welcome

The SPARK Lab, Supporting Physical Activity-based rehabilitation Research for Kids,conducts clinically-integrated, leading-edge research and knowledge translation activities related to gross motor skill evaluation.  They also evaluate innovative interventions focusing on the enhancement of physical activity, functional mobility and related participation. Read more about the SPARK Lab Mission.

The SPARK Lab is part of the Bloorview Research Institute at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr. Virginia Wright leads the SPARK Lab, bringing together a team of professionals with expertise. 

If you are interested in learning more about our research projects or to become involved in a study, visit our Research page.


What's new

May 2021

Chuanlin Zhou joins the Spark Lab as a Research Student.

Marlie Clark and Maria Falcon Obregon join the SPARK Lab as new MScOT research students (University of Toronto). Their research will focus on the analysis of the clinicians’ qualitative interviews in our international implementation project with the PUFI-2.

Sofia Mirzazada and Kristen Torchia join the SPARK Lab as new MScOT research students (University of Toronto). Their research will focus on the perspectives about use of motor learning approaches by pediatric clinicians who work with children and youth with acquired brain injury.

Ilana Naiman presented `The Relationship between body language, enjoyment and performance during motor skills tasks in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)” at the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) (Virtual Meeting).  

April 2021

Lisa Artero and Ashley Ogilvie presented “Lost in time”: Updating the content and clinical accessibility of the Prosthetic Upper Limb Functional Index (the PUFI)`` at the 2021 online Association for Children’s Prosthetics and Orthotics Centres Annual Conference (Virtual Meeting).

March 2021

Samantha Alfaro joined the Spark Lab as a Research Clerk.

February 2021

Megan Towns successfully defended her PhD in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto. Thesis title: Measuring Balance Confidence in Youth with Cerebral Palsy: Measure Development, Sensibility, Content Validity, and Initial Psychometric Evaluation.

January 2021

Kelly Hennessey presented “Do children and youth with a neuromotor disability feel represented by the Canadian Physical Literacy Consensus definition? “at the Sport for Life Canada Annual Conference (Virtual Meeting).

December 2020

Jennifer Ryan presented  "A protocol for evaluating the feasibility of transcranial direct current stimulation as an adjunct to inpatient physiotherapy for children and youth with moderate to severe acquired brain injury” at  the Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery Annual Scientific Conference (Virtual Meeting).

October 2020

Virginia Wright led the first Zoom-based Challenge course for a group of 30 physiotherapists in Brazil. This marked the successful launch of web-based courses for our Lab’s Challenge and Quality FM measures as an alternative to in-person courses.

July 2020

Viktoriya Dyubanova and Jessica Wilk join the SPARK Lab as new MScOT research students (University of Toronto). Their research will focus on the qualitative analysis of interviews conducted with children and parents for the PUFI-2 study.

August 2020

Kelly Hennessey defended her MSc in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto. Thesis title: Development of the Challenge-Coach as a Contribution Towards Understanding Physical Literacy in Children with Neuromotor Disabilities. She was accepted to the Occupational Therapy MSc Program at the University of Toronto (Fall 2021).

September 2020

Marina Petrevska joins the SPARK and PEARL Lab as a new PhD student in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto. Thesis area: Evaluating the efficacy of Bootle Blast for the lower extremity in children with cerebral palsy.

Alyssa Lamanna and Gregory MacPhee join the SPARK Lab as new undergraduate students completing their Bachelor of Kinesiology (BKin) research-based placement through the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education.