Occupational Therapists aim to assist students to develop skills for life in the school or college and in everyday life. They identify students’ strengths work to minimise or compensate for a student’s functional limitations.
Students’ needs are assessed through the use of informal and standardised assessments; liaison with carers/ parents and other professionals; as well as through observation of students within functional contexts (residential houses, classroom or during leisure time).
At Young Epilepsy the OT team work across site and cover the Assessment Unit, School and College. Intervention that follows assessment could involve the following:
- Input to work on fine motor, sensori-motor, cognitive or social and life skills, that may take place in groups or individually. Examples of input include movement activity groups, and health and hygiene groups. We then support students in applying their existing and their new skills to different aspects of their life.
- Sensory Integration Therapy, which aims to improve sensory processing and motor planning skills in order to function effectively.
- Advice and provision of specialist equipment or adaptations to the environment. For example, to enable the student to function at their best despite their difficulties we could provide specialist equipment like adapted cutlery, kitchen equipment, specialist seating, bathing and showering equipment.
- Safety: we provide protective helmets or pad aspects of the environment, if required.
- Advice, training and monitoring of functional skills such as self-care.
- Working jointly with colleagues from Clinical Services, education and care staff to maximise outcomes.
Occupational therapy will monitor students’ progress to ensure that students are continuing to develop their skills. Therapists might develop and implement therapy programmes to integrate treatment throughout the waking day with support from the staff working with the students on a day-to day basis. Occupational therapy provides training to staff to raise their awareness of students needs and enable staff to continue to have the knowledge and skills to support the students to be as independent as possible, and benefit fully from therapy input.