We offer specialist assessments of your child’s motor skills, functional skills (including handwriting,) sensory processing and visual perception, tailored to fit your child’s individual needs.
A free telephone conversation is available for you to explore whether we can help you. Following this, a short face-to-face consultation can be arranged, or a longer full assessment, if necessary. The initial referral which can be from families, school or other agencies, always with consent of parents/guardians.
Because parents/primary carers know their children best, the OT may request a pre-assessment questionnaire be completed to get all the preliminary information. Where sensory difficulties are apparent, a separate sensory profile or sensory attachment questionnaire will need to be completed by parents too.
Once we have an idea of the types of difficulties your child has, we carry out an initial assessment: this may involve lots of playing and some standardised assessments. This could be carried out over one or two sessions and could be at home, in school or at our specialist occupational therapy centre. (Each assessment takes a total of around 2 hours.)
A full written report will be compiled when the Occupational Therapist has considered all the comments from parents/carer and observation she has made in assessment. This will contain suggestions for areas of intervention and ideas of how parents/carers/teachers can best help the child. Where appropriate referral to other professionals may be suggested and can be arranged as Beacon House OT has links with a number of other professionals.
Home programmes and “sensory diet” suggestions can be provided and a block of regular Therapy sessions can be set up which are tailored to help your child’s individual needs.
In our initial telephone consultation we will explore how we can best help. In general we are able to see any child or young person with:
Therapy models are selected carefully according to an individual. The therapist will draw from their wide range of experience and training, possibly using one or a combination of the following approaches:
Where a child is developmentally delayed, therapy will be aimed at moving through normal stages of skill development from basic to more complex.
SI therapy is based on the theories of Dr. Jean Ayres (1979) who believed that enhancing sensory input yields adaptive responses subsequently improving ability to process sensation and enhance learning/behaviour. Modulation of the senses is an important part of SI thus treatment may involve providing sensory input which calms or alerts specific sensory systems. Good sensory organisation results in good organisation of movement.
See http://www.sensoryintegration.org.uk/What-is-SI For more information
A method of treatment pioneered by Occupational Therapist Eadaoin Bhreathnach. It aims to “enable parents and children to learn the art of self-regulation through the use of sensory and engagement strategies”. (Bhreathnach 2013).
Based on the theory of attachment combined with Sensory Integration theory because strong links have been shown between sensory processing difficulties and attachment. There will be high importance given to nurturing activities such as deep pressure (proprioceptive) to promote calming. Many children are functioning at a high arousal state due to past trauma and the priority in treatment is to “facilitate a controlled and regulated response to sensory stimuli and engagement with others”. (Bhreathnach 2013)
Where children are struggling with issues such as feeding or dressing themselves, after addressing the cause of such difficulties we may also be able to provide a top down approach to retraining of skills.
Eating difficulties are very challenging and for one reason or another children may be picky eaters or have difficulties with overcoming mechanical and sensory difficulties around eating. This programme is a fun way for children who have eating issues to learn how to develop a better relationship with food and overcome their difficulties. We have links with other professionals who can help problem solve this tricky issue in a multi-disciplinary way.
As Beacon House OT is part of the wider multi-disciplinary psychology team, we may suggest an integrated approach of occupational therapy and psychology or psychotherapy for your child. We often find that for more complex difficulties, a dual approach such as this can support your child’s holistic emotional, sensory, behavioural and learning needs.