The Children’s Occupational Therapy Service provides an occupation centred approach as a way to improve the health and wellbeing of children.
Occupation is a fancy word for the activities you want to do, need to do, and are expected to do. The overall aim of occupational therapy is to enable children and young people to participate as fully as possible in occupations that are meaningful and important to them.
Types of occupation
Occupations can be broken down into three types:
Self-care: For example, getting dressed, using the toilet, preparing, and eating meals
Productivity: For example, playing, attending school or university, volunteering, caring for others
Leisure: For example, playing with friends, socialising, doing hobbies or sports
Some children and young people have difficulty doing the activities that are important to them, at home, at school or in their free time, because they have a disability or additional need. Our mission is to enable children and young people to achieve their potential regardless of their level of additional need.
Types and levels of occupational therapy support
Children and Young people may need different types of support from an occupational therapist at different times. For this reason, we offer a graduated approach to interventions. Not every child will need to be referred to the service to get the advice and help they need.
Universal Support - This is support which is available for any child who needs it. We offer a range of advice, information, and resources which you can access through this website. This level of support does not require a referral.
Targeted support – This is support which is available for children who need a little more help to able to achieve their potential in everyday activities (occupations). To access this, we offer appointments to parents, professionals, and carers through our telephone consultation service (coming soon)
Specialist support - Other children may require more help and specialist intervention and can be referred for an assessment with one of our occupational therapists.
If your child requires an assessment:
- This will be based around the identified areas of need highlighted in the referral.
- We may offer a telephone appointment first to enable you to tell us more about your concerns
- The assessment may be completed in one or over several appointments and may take place at home, nursery, school, or clinic depending on the needs identified in the referral
- We will listen to you and your child about what is important to them and support you and your child to identify meaningful goals
- We will make a plan about what will happen next to help your child achieve their goals
Subject to the outcome of the assessment, the Children’s Occupational Therapist may identify that further intervention is required and provide one or more of the following:
- Verbal and/or written advice to enable the child to develop their skills further at home, nursery, or school.
- Advice about specialist equipment/minor adaptations to promote functional independence and postural management e.g., bathing and toilet aids, seating, beds, hoists, and slings.
- Advice on adapting the nursery, school, or college environment to enable the young person to access the school buildings and participate the curriculum
- Advice on moving and handling in the home or other environments accessed by the young person to enable them to engage in daily activities and to minimise the manual handling risks to parents and / or carers.
- A therapy programme to help to develop the young person’s skills and abilities that can be carried out at home, nursery and/or school by carers.
- A time limited episode of therapy intervention delivered by one of our Occupational therapists or ISCAN Therapy assistants in order to train and support a family member and/or carer to be able to continue the therapy with the child in the most appropriate setting.
Will I be informed if my child’s referral has been accepted by the service?
We currently don’t inform when a referral has been accepted. However, the referrer will be notified if the referral has been rejected and the reason for this. Sometimes we will reject the referral and request a new referral with additional information to help us reach a decision.
What should my child/young person wear for the appointment?
If there are concerns about your child’s motor coordination skills, please ensure your child is wearing comfortable clothes and shoes in which they can easily move around in.
What do I need to have available for the initial appointment?
Please have copies of any reports or other information that you feel may be helpful to share with the occupational therapist. For example copies of educational psychology report; other professional assessments; consultant clinic letters etc. For preschool children it may be helpful to have their ‘Red Book’ available to be able to share information about your child’s early development.
How long is the initial appointment?
This varies depending on the reason for the appointment. You can find out more specific details about the appointment by contacting the service once an appointment has been booked.
Will my child need more than one appointment to assess their needs?
Some children may require more than one initial assessment appointment. This is variable depending on the needs of the child. Some children with more complex needs may require assessments to be completed over several appointments whereas others may only require a single appointment.
Will the therapist speak to other professionals involved in my child’s care?
It is often helpful for therapist’s to liaise with other professionals involved in your child’s care to gain more detailed information about their needs i.e. school staff, other therapists and/or consultants. The occupational therapist will ask your permission before seeking further information.
Will the therapist share information with other professionals following my child’s assessment?
With parental/carer consent, we share information about the outcomes of assessments and the strategies recommended with other professionals and agencies. If you do not wish for this information to be shared then you can withdraw this at any time by speaking to your therapist.
Is there a cost?
- There is no cost to access the Occupational Therapy Service.
- The therapist may however recommend small items of equipment which will support the child’s ability to participate in daily activities. The service is however unable to provide funding for these items.
- You may be eligible for the loan of equipment from the services provided by Tameside Council and Tameside and Glossop CCG. A range of professionals in the local health and social care system are able to assess your needs and arrange for equipment to be delivered to your home. This may be for a long term ongoing need or for a short term need, for example following an operation. This equipment is funded through the Integrated Community Equipment Service (ICES) which is jointly funded by health and social care
Will my child/young person be discharged?
Your child/young person will be discharged for one or more of the following reasons:
- Therapy intervention is complete
- The child/young person has achieved the goals agreed
- The child/young person has reached their potential
- Where additional information has been requested and this is not returned within the agreed timescale
- The Child/young person has moved out of area
Will my child receive a diagnosis?
Children with motor coordination difficulties: Children’s occupational therapists may play an essential role in the assessment, diagnosis and support of children whose difficulties managing everyday activities are (or may be) due to developmental coordination disorder. This is, however, done in conjunction with a paediatrician and sometimes other professionals.
Children with sensory processing challenges: As there is ongoing controversy regarding existence, identification and measurement of sensory processing disorder as a distinct diagnosis. The College of Occupational Therapists recommend that occupational therapists at this time, should not be diagnosing sensory processing disorder.
What if English is not my first language?
- We are always happy to arrange interpreters as needed, this could be face to face or by telephone interpreting.
- Please state on the referral form if an interpreter is required and what language is needed?
The Children’s Occupational Therapy team is based at Rowan House in Hyde, but work in a variety of different settings e.g., nurseries, mainstream schools, community clinics, special schools and/or the young person’s home
If your child does not require a face-to-face appointment, we may feel it is appropriate to offer a telephone or video consultation instead. This may be with a parent/carer only or sometimes with the child as well.
Rowan House Clinic,
Grange Road South,
The Children’s Occupational Therapy Service has an open referral system which means that we will consider referrals made by anyone who knows the child, including parents, teachers, GP, other professionals.
Children and young people who are eligible for referral for Occupational Therapy assessment must be:
- Aged 0-18 years and have a disability and/or additional need which impacts on their participation in one or more everyday activities (occupations)
- Registered with a Tameside and Glossop GP
Referral information - Exclusion criteria
We do not accept the following:
- Referrals for children who do not present with a functional difficulty impacting upon their participation in one or more everyday activities
- Referrals for children whose functional needs can be met by universal and/or targeted levels of support as part of a graduated response
- Referrals where the primary concern is around mental health or behaviour
- Referrals for a wheelchair - further advice can be sought from your child’s GP to make a referral to wheelchair service
- Referrals for support with home adaptations – such referrals should be directed to the Community Occupational Therapist within your local authority
ALL referrals to the service need to be completed on this form.
For some of the referrals we receive, parents/carers will be requested to send in additional information. Please ONLY complete the form below if you have been sent a link asking for this. Thank you.