Occupational Therapy (OT) at Oaklands School is a school-based service with links to the NHS. The Occupational Therapist works closely with the parents, teachers and other therapy staff to identify areas of need which are affecting a student’s ability to develop independence and carry out daily activities within their community – this will include learning, play, sport and work-related activities.
Many students at Oaklands School have needs relating to sensory processing and modulation. This is when students experience the sensory information in the environment around them as heightened or fail to notice these cues at all (examples may include noises, visual information, smells or touch). Similarly they may be extra sensitive to sensory information they receive from their own body or may seek out extra sensory input – this may relate to movement sensation, touch or the awareness of how much force to use. Students may find it difficult to regulate their reaction to sensory information they receive through their body or from the environment, affecting attention control, behaviour and co-ordination. Students who have difficulties in sensory processing and regulation affecting daily skills will have access to a sensory diet created and monitored by the OT and teaching staff.
Children seen by the Occupational Therapy Service at school may have additional needs in areas of:
- Gross motor skills & postural control
- Motor coordination
- Fine motor skills and pencil control
- Visual-motor integration
- Visual perception
- Seating & postural management
- Sensory-related eating difficulties
A student may be given a programme of activities to work on any of the above areas that can be carried out at home or school. Some children may not require extra intervention or follow-up.
Please note that at present Occupational Therapy is available only and to all pupils with a diagnosis of autism. We hope to be able to offer Occupational Therapy to a wider group of pupils next year when the local authority has agreed to provide us with more Occupational therapy time.