To help each child achieve as much independence as possible within their activities of daily living.
What does an Occupational Therapist do in a school setting?
Occupational Therapy is a health care profession that enables people to achieve health, well-being and life satisfaction through participation in occupation’ (College of Occupational Therapists, 2004). ‘The aims are to promote, develop, restore and maintain abilities needed to cope with daily activities and to prevent dysfunction’ (World Federation of Occupational Therapists).
Occupational therapists assess children holistically. They look at both the child and their environment and identify what is impacting on the child’s ability to engage effectively with their environment. They use a combination of standardised assessments as well as clinical observations to establish a child’s skill level and decide a course of treatment, including strategies for the classroom.
What does our team provide?
• Individual OT assessments
• Classroom observations
• Consultation with parents, carers and staff
• One to one, group sessions and class based programmes
• Individualised school programmes to facilitate your child’s development, which can also be used at home
• Recommendations and/or Provision of specialist equipment such as seating and adapted cutlery
• Monitoring upper limb splints and arm gaiters
• Seating system may be provided to help your child access the curriculum
• Teacher / staff training on sensory integration and other important areas of OT relating to a child’s classroom functioning
• Provision of sensory, fine motor and handwriting groups
What are the benefits?
OT input can help to develop:
• learning skills – perception, problem solving and planning, making sense of the world around them
• attention and listening skills
• movement skills – both large and small body movements
• self-care skills – eating and drinking, personal care and domestic skills
• play – the child’s use of toys and play through their development
• hand functions – manipulation, fine motor and writing skills
• sensory - sound, sight, smell, taste, touch and movement
How is a pupil referred?
Some students have Occupational Therapy Provision listed in the Education, Health & Care Plan (EHC plan). Parents, teachers, and health care professionals can make a referral by contacting the school’s Occupational Therapist. The therapist will observe, prioritise and if appropriate assess the pupil. Recommendations for further input will then be made.