Children’s Occupational Therapy Team offers a service to children with identified co-ordination and/or fine motor difficulties that are clearly impacting upon function at home or school and cannot be attributed to their level of learning. Also for children with a physical disability within mainstream school where the physical disability is affecting function, and children in a special school where their functional abilities are below that of their level of learning.
Children’s Occupational Therapists in Walsall aim to maximise a child or young person’s abilities and independence. We offer advice and support to children and young people up to the age of 19 who have a co-ordination, visual perceptual or sensory processing difficulty or a physical disability that impacts upon their daily life skills but where their skills are below that of their overall developmental level. These might include difficulties doing all the usual things that you would expect to. These may include using both hands together to play with toys, doing written work at school, dressing and self-care activities, or co-ordinating your movements to be able to carry out leisure activities or school work.
If your child meets our service criteria your child will be offered an assessment either at home, school or clinic. You are encouraged to attend this appointment where you can ask questions and the therapist will explain the findings. Following the assessment you can expect to receive a report detailing the outcome in writing and any recommendations that have been made. If further support from the service is appropriate a care plan will be written in conjunction with, their parents and/or school which will aim to address those needs that everyone feels are a priority.
On-going support may be in the form of 1-1 sessions in school, clinic or at home for a set period of time, in a group held in a clinic or local Children’s Centre or through advice only.
Occupational Therapists must have a professional qualification in occupational therapy to be able to practice and staff in Walsall are all highly experienced.
We asked the Special Needs Co-ordinators (SENCO’s) in all of the schools in Walsall if they were happy with the service that we provided and generally they were except they wanted to be able to refer directly to us. We felt that this would speed up the referral process and would give us the information that we required about your child and their needs. Therefore we developed a short training programme for them and delivered it to all SENCO’s who applied to attend, Health Visitors, School Nurses and some Educational Psychologists. Those who have received training can now refer directly to the service. If you feel your child would benefit from an assessment you can speak to one of these professionals who know your child to discuss it.
Referrals to the service can also be made by any of the following:
- GP or other doctor involved with the child
- Team Around the Child professionals via TAC panel
- Local physiotherapy, speech and language therapy service or children’s podiatry service
- Local Social Care Occupational Therapists
- Out of area Occupational Therapy Services where the child is moving in to the Walsall area.
Children who have difficulties in any of the following areas where their difficulty is not as a result of a global developmental delay or where their skills in one of the areas are below that of their overall developmental level are eligible to access the service:
- Co-ordination difficulties where your child’s skills are below that of their level of learning and are affecting function in daily life skills or access to the school curriculum.
- Planning and organisational difficulties
- Handwriting difficulties, particularly in regard to how they write and position the words on the paper and their posture, but not as a result of a developmental delay where their writing is delayed along with other skills such as reading and language.
- Self care difficulties not as a result of a developmental delay such as dressing skills or using cutlery.
Children with a physical disability or difficulty such as one of those listed below in mainstream schools who have difficulty in accessing the school environment or curriculum are also eligible:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Juvenile Arthritis
- Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle bones)
- Developmental Co-ordination Disorder including Dyspraxia
Occupational therapists will also give advice to schools with regard to equipment, such as specialist seating or equipment for writing their school work and also access to school environment such as science and technology labs