Occupational Therapy is a person centered therapeutic approach that aims to facilitate engagement in occupations and daily life activities that a person wants or needs to do. This is done through supporting and enabling enhanced function and performance in meaningful occupations that subsequently affect health, well-being and life satisfaction. Occupational Therapists unique approach includes their understanding of the complex relationship between the children’s skills, the environment and the actual task. SOURCE: The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2002
The role of the Occupational Therapy department at Burlington House School is to identify how physical, sensory, psychological or learning difficulties affect a child’s functional skills, and to help remediate these effects, adapt the task or environment or develop compensatory approaches. Every opportunity is sought to develop innovative and interesting ways of improving the child’s skills during their time with us.
Through working on underlying difficulties, specific skills development, coping strategies and remediation, the Occupational Therapists strive to ensure the needs of the child are met within the school setting. Through client centeredness, and working closely with the team around the child, the child will achieve an extensive experience in maximising their occupational performance in activities of daily living.
All pupils starting at Burlington House School complete a baseline assessment where motor skills and functional skills are looked at. The level of provision is determined by initial assessment outcomes, the child’s education, health and care plan (EHCP) recommendations and any previously highlighted Occupational Therapy needs. Both standardised and informal assessments are used to gain information on each pupil to contribute to their Curriculum Map, and provide a treatment plan where the need for therapeutic intervention is indicated.
Packages of direct 1:1 weekly sessions, monitoring and Targeted Occupational therapy groups are offered depending on level of need. A lot of time is spent on implementing universal school wide support/adaptation and also timetabled Targeted Occupational Therapy groups for all pupils from Years 3-8.
Occupational therapy at Burlington House School targets the following skill development areas:
- Gross motor skills and coordination
- Motor planning and bilateral integration and sequencing
- Fine motor skills and manual dexterity (e.g.: handwriting, tying laces, tool use)
- Visual perceptual difficulties
- Visual motor integration
- Attention and concentration
- Following instructions / Sequencing
- Reduced confidence and self esteem
- Sensory Processing issues (including interoception)
The Occupational Therapist(s) are available in school five days a week and attend parents’ evenings for pupils who have an allocated therapist. The Occupational Therapists will review and evaluate the effectiveness of all levels of Occupational Therapy interventions on a termly basis. Termly reports and targets are provided for pupils with an allocated therapist, whilst targeted groups will also get a termly target and report.
For interventions to be effective, collaborative working is essential and parents/caregivers will, at times, need to carry over intervention at home, as therapists will not be able to help pupils overcome their participation challenges in isolation.
All pupils benefit from universal programmes such as the Zones of Regulation, games club, movement breaks and sensory toolkits along with skills and strategies that cascaded throughout the school environment.
If you have any further questions about how our therapy service runs please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we can share our Therapy core offer.