Occupational therapy

In the Conductive Education Department occupational therapists (OTs) work as an integral part of the class team and see students individually, in small groups, within Task Series and the classroom setting.

This could be to provide input in any of the following areas:

  • Wheelchair mobility.
  • Seating and 24 hour posture.
  • Personal care.
  • Fine motor and hand skills.
  • Access to the curriculum via the use of specialist technologies.
  • The remediation of any visual perceptual difficulties.CBP_4879

As students mature the therapist will implement strategies and carry out assessments for specialist equipment to promote and develop skills relating to:

  • Household management
  • Community skills
  • Study and Work related skills

Occupational therapists use standardised assessments to record achievement and to set meaningful targets that are incorporated into the child’s Individual Education Plan. These targets are worked on in all environments, at school, at home and if the student has a residential placement, within the residential facility, supervised by care staff and monitored by the therapist. As such our therapists regularly carry out home visits to build and maintain strong links and to ensure that the student, their family and the therapist are all working closely together to facilitate the child’s maximum progress throughout the school year.

Students with speech, language and communication disorders often present with other challenges such as difficulties with motor coordination (Developmental Coordination Disorder – DCD), organisational and perceptual problems. Sometimes students present with Sensory Processing Difficulties which can lead to problems with keeping themselves at the right level of alertness throughout the day. They may be overactive, particularly sensitive to certain sensory inputs (for example dislike being touched) or conversely they may be under-active and seem unaware of the sensory world around them.

CBP_4867We have specialist occupational therapists who are trained in sensory integration techniques provided by the nationally recognised organisation, Sensory Integration Network UK and Ireland. The therapist will carry out assessments and offer appropriate programmes to help the child to cope with the demands of the school and offer appropriate programmes to help them to cope with the demands of the school day. The therapist will advise the class team on the sensory diet the child needs in terms of everyday classroom input. Sensory experiences may be planned into lessons to enable the everyday classroom input. The environment may need to be changed to accommodate the needs of the student. For example the therapist may advise a low arousal classroom where distractions are kept to a minimum in order to help the student focus on learning.