The Occupational Therapist works with individuals and small groups of students, supporting them in overcoming barriers to learning in the areas of Sensory and Physical Skills- and the occupational therapy approach is integrated into the waking day curriculum. The work focuses primarily on overcoming barriers to students being able to do as much as they can independently for themselves, as concerns occupation and skills of daily living-such barriers include mobility needs and fine and gross motor skills. Many students at the Sheiling present with sensory needs, and the Occupational Therapist works to develop and train all staff in individually formulated Sensory Diets to support students to regulate themselves and maintain a ‘just right state’ for learning.
Outcomes for Occupational Therapy:
- Supporting students to engage with learning, minimising ‘off task’ behaviour due to distraction or dysregulation
- Students being able to use and adopt specific equipment and activities to enable calming/alerting
- Increasing abilities, precision and refinement in use of fine and gross motor skills/motor control/motor planning so that students can learn to do their skills of daily living with as much independence as possible
- Students being able to regulate themselves and manage their responses to their emotional and sensory needs, so that they are less reliant on helpers/carers to do this for them in adult life