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Occupational Therapy

What is Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy enables people with disabilities to participate in everyday activities.  Through the Puzzle Centre’s Autism Early Support service, we support children to be as independent as possible and maximise their potential in their home, educational and other environments.

Through Occupational Therapy we look at the child’s main activities for daily living:

  • Play – playing with friends, exploring and manipulating toys and objects, engaging in leisure activities.
  • Learning – participating in nursery or school-based activities.
  • Personal Care – eating, drinking, sleeping, toileting, going out.
Occupational Therapy

We also look at the components that enable children to participate in everyday activities.  This includes:

  • Sensory integration – how we process information from our bodies and the environment, that we receive through our senses, make sense of it and use it to attend and engage in everyday activities.
  • Gross Motor Functions – balance, coordination, planning and executing motor actions needed to engage in play, learning and personal care.
  • Fine Motor Functions – bilateral coordination, hand-eye coordination, manipulation and dexterity that enables children to participate in everyday activities.
  • Visual Skills – ocular motor skills how we use our eyes to function in child based activities.
  • Cognitive – attention, initiating and planning activities, problem solving.

Who we can help

We support children (aged 2 to 11 years), their parents/carers, and also practitioners working with them in educational settings.

You may seek our Occupational Therapy support if you have a child who:

  • Presents with sensory behaviours which is affecting their:

    • Emotional state
    • Attention and listening
    • Engagement in play and developing relationship
    • Participation in self-care activities such as toileting, eating and drinking, dressing
  • Experiences difficulties with nursery/school based activities:

    • Attention and listening
    • Play: relationships, physical skills, initiation and execution of play ideas
    • Mark-making, handwriting, using and manipulating tools
    • Games and PE
    • o Planning and organising themselves and equipment
  • Has difficulties at home with:

    • Regulating Emotions
    • Dressing
    • Eating and Drinking
    • Sleep
    • Toileting
    • Planning and organising self and equipment
    • Problem solving

You may also seek our support if you are having your child assessed for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and require an independent assessment which outlines your child’s strengths and needs, and highlights recommendation for special educational provision.

How we can help

We offer assessment and intervention, consultancy and training to support children with communication difficulties and autism.  This takes place within their natural environments such as home or school.

ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTION

Assessment includes comprehensive interview with parents and/or education professionals working closely with the child, observation and individualised assessment.  It may include:

  • parent/carer/teacher interview
  • caregiver questionnaires
  • standardised and non-standardised tests: observing how a child carries out set activities
  • play based-observations.

On completion of the assessment a report will be produced to share with parents and/or professionals.  Outcomes will be written in consultation with the parent/professional documenting the changes you want to see following Occupational Therapy intervention, based on the child’s needs.

Therapy is carried out in collaboration with key people working around the child.  Therapy aims to empower them to implement strategies or interventions.  Approaches are dependent on the child’s individual needs; they include:

  • Strategies and/or programmes for the parents or professional to implement at home/school.
  • Direct therapy with our Occupational Therapist at home, nursery or school.

CONSULTANCY AND TRAINING

As well as providing direct support for an individual child, we offer consultancy into educational, health or other settings.  We are able to advise on principles, approaches and strategies that can enhance children’s engagement and development through Occupational Therapy, and that can equip practitioners in their own setting.

We provide training both for parents and carers, and for practitioners.  Workshops and courses cover key aspects of sensory, behavioural and physical development, with practical examples and advice to take away.

Contact Us

To find out more about how we can help you and support your needs, please contact us.