Occupational Therapy (OT)

WHAT IS OT?

Occupational therapy helps people take part in daily life to improve their health and wellbeing. For children and young people this might include helping them with eating, washing, using the toilet, doing their schoolwork or playing. An OT is a trained professional who works to promote, maintain, and develop the skills needed by students to be functional in a school setting and beyond.   Children with autism often present with motor, perceptual or sensory challenges. They may be oversensitive to touch, noise or  sound.  Their attention and behavior can be affected by these physical or sensory challenges. Occupational therapists use a holistic approach in planning programs. They take into account the physical, social, emotional, sensory and cognitive abilities and needs of students. The OT will provide therapy interventions and strategies to help children overcome difficulties.


HOW THE OT CAN HELP?
 

  • Assessing needs of children to identify difficulties impacting on the child’s function
  • Support children to develop life skills and become more independent in self-care routines e.g. toilet training, dressing and brushing teeth
  • Create programs to help with school skills e.g. writing, using scissors, sitting position, attention
  • Support with sensory integration e.g. sensitivity to noise, lights, smell or texture
  • Assessing gross motor skills - strength, body tone , movement, coordination
  • Training staff to implement programs
  • Provide strategies as part of daily routine 


WHO RECEIVES OT SUPPORT?

  • Referrals are made to NHS when we have concerns about a child with regard to sensory integration or  motor skills
  • We buy in OT service from our own budget to ensure all children in the Centre have access to OT support if needed.
  • OT strategies are used in each class, as part of the timetable, to support the development of fine motor skills required for holding objects, handwriting or cutting with scissors and gross motor skills e.g. walking, climbing, or riding a bike.

 

AUTISM RESEARCH

As well as research into the causes of autism many organisations are providing high-quality research into autism treatments, therapies and approaches .thereby helping to improve the lives of autistic people and their families. Information about current research can be found in the following websites/publications.

Organisation/Publication  Website
CRAE    crae.ac.uk
Ambitious about Autism ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk
NAS autism.org.uk
Autism Education Trust  Autismeducationtrust.org.uk
LGFL lgfl.net
Autism Speaks autismspeaks.org
Research Autism researchautism.net
The Conversation theconversation.com.uk
ican ican.org.uk