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School Based Intervention

Children’s Occupational Therapists can be a valuable resource to have within school’s; whether you require advice, assessments, or longer term therapy intervention to work with an individual or group of children.

Children’s Occupational Therapists are able to locate the precise areas of difficulty that may be affecting a child’s ability to learn  new skills, required for classroom activities. By identifying where the difficulty lies, it is possible to develop skills to overcome these.



Children’s Occupational Therapists can help with a variety of matters; below are just a few examples:

Visual perceptual skills – are required in everyday life; from reading and writing to finding items in a draw / cupboard. Difficulties in the development of these skills can cause a child to experience great challenges in dealing with academic tasks and coping within the general classroom environment.

Handwriting – Children need to be able to write to demonstrate thinking, understanding and academic development and consequently, writing can take up much of the school day. Handwriting requires the effective development of a relatively large set of fairly complex skills; a difficulty in one or more of these may result in the child achieving messy, unreadable handwriting which varies in size and position on the line.

The inability to write legibly is not only frustrating for the teaching staff but can have a detrimental effect on the child’s self esteem and academic success. It is therefore something that we should spend time perfecting.

Scissor Skills – The development of effective scissor skills requires a child to have learnt and become efficient in the performance of several pre-requisite skills. Occupational Therapists are able to assess and find out where the child’s difficulties lie and can then advise / put a programme in place to develop the specific areas of difficulty affecting the development of these skills.

Problem Solving, Organisation and Planning Skills – Children with developmental difficulties such as co-ordination disorders (i.e. dyspraxia) often experience difficulties with problem solving, planning and organisation skills; causing them to experience great difficulties when faced with new challenges, or when required to organise their thoughts into a piece of written work.

Difficulties in the development of these skills may affect their ability to perform in class, and could not only affect their ability to complete a piece of written work that matches their level of intelligence but often results in them arriving at school late, with the wrong equipment / books for that day, and forgetting to do (or return) homework.

Add into this the challenge of moving to a new (and much bigger) school, a child with planning, organisational and problem solving skills will generally experience great difficulties following timetables and finding their way between lessons; often taking the longer route and arriving late.

Attention, Distractibility and Fidgety Behaviours – Children who experience difficulties with concentration and attention in the classroom may actually be experiencing difficulties processing their sensory environment.

Difficulties with this may present with the child not responding when spoken or called to, them having an ongoing need to fidget and move around, thereby affecting their ability to complete their work or simply being easily distracted by noise or movement within the classroom environment…

The effects that a sensory processing difficulty may have on a child will vary depending on the extent of difficulties the child has. Whilst it may cause one child to have some difficulties tuning in to what they are being told, another child may experience immense difficulties coping within a very noisy and visual environment and the effects of this can at times be extremely debilitating.

Fine Motor Skill Development for Dressing and Pencil Skills – In order to learn to dress and develop early pencil skills, a child needs to be able to perform various movements with their fingers and hands. This enables the child to be manipulate and control objects, and thereby allows the child to go on to develop more advanced pencil control.

Advice on Classroom Equipment / Adaptations – From sloped desks and sensory cushions to classroom adaptations, if you have child with a poor sitting posture or reduced attention they may benefit from some minor pieces of equipment to assist with their production of work. At the other extreme, you may have a child who has a physical disability or learning difficulty who may require larger pieces of equipment / adaptations in order to access the classroom environment.

Co-ordination – Children with poor co-ordination (whether it is a diagnosed difficulty or not) can experience difficulties with many aspects of the school day; whether this be getting to school or class, keeping up and producing neat handwriting, managing within practical lessons such as P.E or science, eating lunch or even dressing after sports.

Occupational Therapists are able to work with these children to not only develop these skills but to assist the child in developing coping strategies to help them manage day to day challenges. We can also provide teachers with advice and strategies to better assist these children, thereby overcoming some of the difficulties that they experience.

This is a sample of the services that we can offer but is by no means an exhaustive list. If you have any concerns and you are unsure whether we will be able to assist, please get in touch using the ‘contact us’ form to the right of the screen. Even if we are unable to help, we might know somebody that can.

Please note that your details will not be passed on to any third party companies / organisations unless you have requested this.



There are NO fixed packages. Each package is designed in accordance with the needs of your school. Therefore, you only pay for the service that you require and receive. There are hourly, quarterly, half and full day options available.

We will happily complete assessments and blocks of therapy designed specifically to meet the needs of the children. Alternatively, we can simply be a source of advice in planning and setting up school based groups (for your own teaching /support staff to deliver).




29th January 2011 | Karen |