What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapists (OT’s) work with people to help them achieve independence in the daily activities they need and want to do. OTs work with people of all ages and in hospital and community settings, with people with mental health or physical disabilities.
With children, Occupational Therapists support individuals to develop their independence in Play Skills such as gross and fine motor skills, Self-care skills such as eating and dressing, and Skills for School Life, such as following routines and coping with busy environments.
How does Occupational Therapy work at Drumbeat School?
The OT works alongside class teachers and support staff so that therapy activities can be incorporated into the children’s daily routines in school. The therapist works across all the key stages from reception class to our sixth form leavers at Brockley and Occupational Therapy input can look very different for each key stage.
In Early Years we might do lots of gross motor and sensory play.
In middle school years we have more of a focus on fine motor skills and independence around school.
In Sixth Form, looking to the future with more self-help including domestic activities.
Because many children and young people with autism have difficulties with sensory processing, the therapist works with children and the adults who support them to make sure children get the sensory input they need, advising on adapting activities and environments to suit each pupil’s sensory needs.
A completed referral form is required for a pupil to access targeted or specialist Occupational Therapy support. Following receipt of a referral from the class teacher the OT team will discuss the most appropriate action and inform the class team/carer. This could include.
- A class observation by the OT or OTA
- Discussion with the class teacher and or carer depending on the need identified.
- The pupil may be placed on an intervention waiting list such as Fun with food.
- If a class wide approach is deemed to be appropriate a universal offer may be recommended for the whole class.
- Further individual assessment by an OT or OTA with guidance form the OT.
- Trial of equipment
The Occupational Therapy team consists of
Kirsty Richards – 2 days per week
Kamaria Grant-Booker – Occupational Therapy Assistant 3 days per week
Nicola Fosker - Occupational Therapy assistant 3 days per week