Occupational Therapy

We specialise in enabling children and young people to participate as fully as possible in the activities of everyday life.

We can help your child if they find tasks such as dressing, feeding, handwriting, socialising and play difficult, due to a problem with their fine motor, co-ordination skills, perception skills and/or sensory processing (the ability to make sense of the world around them).

We aim to support your child to become as functionally independent as possible and able to interact with their peers and environment so they can play, learn and take part in daily activities.

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 splints, sensory strategies, adapted cutlery, writing aids, specialist seating, switches and plates)
  • 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.

Assessment and support

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. 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. 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.

For all new referrals, please contact our Children, Young People and Families (CYPF) HealthHub:

Complete our online referral form

If your referral is urgent, please phone 0300 365 1234.

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