Occupational Therapists can assist children to achieve their maximum potential by increasing their participation in a variety of daily activities. Areas Occupational Therapists can support include play, social skills and school work. Therapy and consultation can help children transfer newly acquired skills to participate more fully at home, school and in the community. Assessment and therapy are provided for a range of health populations including Autism, Developmental Delay, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and physical disability.
Therapists will work alongside teachers, in consultation with parents, and will provide therapy to develop areas of weakness that a child has been assessed as needing intervention with. The following areas can be covered:-
Cognitive and Perceptual Skills – therapy assists with improving memory, planning, time management, and organization skills, which are targeted with self-monitoring strategies. Visual Perceptual Skills are improved through puzzles, sequencing and matching.
Fine Motor – therapy helps improve fine motor skills such as tool use, in hand manipulation, finger coordination and sitting posture.
Sensory Integration – this assists children by teaching them to organise their body so that they can tolerate their environment without being overwhelmed or under stimulated. Therapy teaches children to cope better with distractions, textures, and multi-sensory environments.
Self-Regulation – children learn to regulate their own behaviours by using self-calming strategies. This controls anxious behaviours such as fidgeting or rocking. Goals include increased attention span and focus.
Play/Socialisation – therapeutic play is used to introduce concepts such as self-control, cooperative play, using body language, sharing, listening, paying attention, and following instructions.
Gross Motor – the therapists will work alongside our PE teacher to improve the gross motor skills in coordination, motor planning, body awareness and strength.
Self-Care Skills – children need to be able to participate fully in everyday situations. Therapy will support skills in dressing, eating, and hygiene areas of learning and development.
Music Therapy is a unique method of creative communication that is a non-verbal approach to helping children accomplish specific goals. It consists of a process in which a music therapist uses music and all of its facets—physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual—to help children improve their physical and mental health. Music has been found to be an effective tool for music therapists through extensive research. It is beneficial for any individual, both physically and mentally, through improved heart rate, reduced anxiety, stimulation of the brain, and improved learning.
Some children with special needs have difficulties with verbal communication. It can be hard for them to express emotional distress. Music Therapy offers opportunities for the development of communication, interaction, self-expression and creativity. It supports emotional and psychological needs and enables young people to express themselves in a supportive and safe environment.
Music Therapy is structured around the needs of the individual or group. The music may be largely improvised with the therapist using sensitively judged musical responses, giving each child a sense of being heard and responded to in a special way, allowing them to develop their own musical language through instrumental play, body movements, vocalisations or gestures.
A large selection of percussion instruments are available, plus a piano. The therapist supports, reflects and acknowledges the child’s contributions within the musical relationship.
Making connections through music can have positive impacts on:-
- sense of identity
- communications kills
- listening and concentration
- spontaneity and creativity
- emotional well-being
- cognition and behaviour
These are all priorities to ensure our children receive the best learning opportunities in our unique environment to meet their specific needs.
Physiotherapy helps children develop and maintain their mobility skills, joint range of movement, muscle strength and motor skills. From the child’s perspective, they enjoy physiotherapy sessions as they are based around playing games.
Therapists will work alongside teachers, in consultation with parents, and will provide therapy to develop areas of weakness that a child has been assessed as needing intervention with. The aim is to help improve access to the curriculum.
Your child may benefit from physiotherapy if:-
- They have a delay in achieving their motor milestones
- They demonstrate difficulties with balance and co-ordination that affect their academic achievement and activities for daily living
- There is a deterioration in their physical abilities
- They require physical rehabilitation as a result of a medical condition etc.