We offer an “assessment and advice” service to most of the young people referred to our service, working closely with the young person, their family and teachers to address the activities that are most important and which present the greatest challenge to a young person in their everyday life. Our involvement usually starts with a telephone consultation with the parent/carer. At the end of the consultation the therapist and parent/carer will agree the next step which could be one or more of the following:
What do we offer?
A therapist may also speak to the young person’s teacher prior to any of these appointments. At the end of an assessment, the occupational therapist will prepare a report which is sent to parents/carers, the young person’s GP and other professionals as agreed with parents/carers.
Children with physical disabilities
Some young people with physical disabilities (including cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy) have on-going occupational therapy needs and are monitored by an occupational therapist on a 6-12 monthly basis (or more frequently if required). Many will have been referred to us by the Specialist Assessment Service
We work closely with colleagues in the Specialist Inclusion Support Service physical impairment team to support young people with physical disabilities in mainstream schools, recommending adaptations and adjustments to ensure young people are able to safely access their school environments.
As part of our role, we might also recommend specialist seating for school and/or home to make it easier for the young person to write/draw, listen, interact with friends and eat/drink. Note that we do not have funding to provide specialist seating, but will provide a letter to schools/social services explaining the cost and benefits of the chair for the individual. Once equipment has been provided, the occupational therapist will ensure this is set up for the young person and will provide training/support to ensure it is used safely.
In some cases, parents/carers will be invited to attend a workshop if the therapist believes this is the most appropriate way to meet the young person’s needs. Workshops currently offered for parents and professionals include BEAM motor skills training for schools, sensory circuits training for schools and sensory needs for parents/carers of children with autism – a course based on that developed by the National Autistic Society. Parents/carers are usually referred to this workshop by the Specialist Assessment Service at the time of diagnosis.
Please contact us for further information about these workshops.