Our specialists assess and treat children and young people who have difficulties that affect their movement and physical development. We work closely with you and your child to help them develop their gross motor skills. We also give advice on their postural needs, mobility (including walking) and any specialist equipment they might need, such as specialist seating, standing equipment, mobility aids, splints and more.
Our aim is to achieve positive outcomes working towards goals that are functional, meaningful and important for your child. We help develop movement, mobility and good posture.
We do this by:
- Providing you and anyone else involved in supporting your child (e.g. education staff) with training and advice
- Providing recommendations, approaches and activities to support your child in a range of different environments
- Providing advice and recommendations for specialist equipment (such as specialist seating, standing equipment, mobility aids, splints)
- Contributing to Educational Healthcare plans and transition planning
- Providing direct therapy with your child individually or in a group when needed.
We work closely in partnership with you, your family, education staff and a range of professionals to help your child achieve the goals that we have agreed with you.
Once your referral has been received, it will be assessed quickly (triaged) by clinicians to see how we can best help. Often, it’s possible to give you advice over the phone where we’ll also discuss what might happen next as your child develops and how and when to contact us again if further advice is needed.
If a clinic assessment is required, a letter will be sent to you offering an appointment at a clinic closest to you.
We offer support via face-to-face visits in clinics, home and educational settings and online/telephone consultation where appropriate. We continue to follow NHS guidance and will wear appropriate PPE for any face to face contacts. If you have a scheduled appointment with one of our teams and either you or a member of your family have symptoms of Covid-19, please call to reschedule your appointment on one of the contact numbers in the Contact Us section.
It might be more appropriate for the assessment to be carried out at your child’s school or nursery, in which case this will be organised with you and the school/nursery.
At the assessment, we’ll discuss your concerns, take a brief history and assess your child. Much of this will be through observation, play and fun activities.
Sometimes there will be more than one clinician present, particularly if the assessment is for more than one type of therapy. We offer integrated assessments (joint sessions with a physiotherapist, occupational therapist or speech and language therapist) where possible to reduce the need for too many appointments. For physiotherapy assessment, your child might need to be partially undressed so wearing shorts and a vest might be more suitable than jeans and sweaters.
After the assessment, we’ll discuss the best way to reduce the impact of any difficulties that have been found. We’ll provide a report and suggested activities and/or exercises to be carried out at home and/or school. Further appointments will be offered as required. This might be either be one-to-one therapy or in groups.
If no further therapy is required at the current time, your child will be discharged with clear advice about when to return to the service for further support if required.
Before referring a young person to physiotherapy, please check that all the strategies relating to their difficulties in the Health and Development section have been tried.
How to make a referral
Referrals can be made for children and young people 0-19 years old who have a Berkshire GP. These are accepted from parents, teachers, SENCOs, GPs and other health professionals.
Once a referral is made, it will be triaged (looked at by a clinician) to see how we can help. This may be telephone advice, signposting to other services or a local clinic/school assessment.
Preschool aged children in Wokingham and Reading
Preschool children in Wokingham and Reading are not seen by our service. Referrals from GPs and Consultants will need to be made directly to Dingley:-
Dingley Specialist Children’s Centre
3-5 Craven Road
We do not see children with orthopaedic conditions such as painful joints/muscles, broken bones or respiratory conditions. These are seen at Dingley for the west of the county and Wexham Park or Frimley Hospital for the east of the county.
If your child/young person is already known to our service and you have a query, concern, or need advice, or you need to cancel/re-arrange a scheduled appointment, please call your local administration team:
- East Berkshire (Slough, Bracknell, Windsor and Maidenhead): 0300 365 0123 (Option 2)
- Reading: 0300 3654000
- Wokingham: 01189 495093
- West Berkshire (Newbury): 01635 273706