Occupational Therapy at The Holmewood School promotes independence in all aspects of life. Sensory integration, behavioural and developmental support are used to promote the teaching and learning of essential life skills.
Individuals at Holmewood that benefit from Occupational Therapy include those with autism, ADHD, ADD, sensory processing disorders, OCD, and dyspraxia. Our Occupational Therapy philosophy is based on the belief that for an individual to benefit and learn from an activity, they should enjoy it and find it meaningful. This underpins our approaches and methods at the school.
Assessments are fundamental to any therapy. The first step is to establish underlying reasons for a student’s difficulties in performing an activity successfully, for example difficulties with engagement, participation or performance in life skills tasks such as handwriting, dressing, academic learning skills, hygiene skills and other independent and self-help skills. Assessments identify a student’s strengths and difficulties and goals are set as a result. These are supported via direct or indirect occupational therapy input.
Occupational Therapy Programmes at Holmewood School consist of a combination of approaches depending on the specific needs of individuals. Programmes are delivered on a 1:1 basis, in small groups or in larger groups and address difficulties such as motor coordination, sensory difficulties, self regulation skills, executive functioning, fine motor skills and visual motor skills.
Group Therapy/ Relaxation Sessions/ Multidisciplinary Therapy is offered where necessary. Groups are tailored in such a way to provide opportunities for students to interact and communicate socially and appropriately in a secure environment. Small group Occupational Therapy addresses specific sensory, social and coordination goals, including handwriting and fine motor skills. In addition, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy work very closely to promote speech and language development, focusing primarily on social skills development.
Integrated Occupational Therapy Services consists of ongoing intensive review, consultation, and intervention for Occupational Therapy goals and objectives. Relevant data from performance in all areas of the program are reviewed half termly by the occupational therapist and personalised intervention plans are devised with staff members.
Continued Occupational Therapy input has shown tremendous impact on students’ learning and development. Many students with severe motor coordination difficulties are now able to take part in physical education lessons successfully. They are able to enjoy social aspects of sports, feeling confident and supported. Students who previously struggled to sit in class for prolonged periods of time are now able to sit and attend their lesson successfully. Intensive Occupational Therapy input significantly improves core muscle strength which supports improved attention in class. The Occupational Therapy team works closely with staff to target support for individuals with handwriting difficulties often facilitating alternative methods such as the use of a keyboard or a scribe. Some individuals have improved their motor planning and sequencing skills through activities such as cooking which involves multi step tasks and organisation of equipment.