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Health, Education & Social Care Professionals

What to expect if you refer a child to our service

All referrals to the service are screened by a Therapist who will use the information to decide whether criteria for an assessment has been met. Sometimes we need more information and do the following:

  • Ask referrers for more information.
  • Ask schools/nurseries and parents to complete a questionnaire.
  • Carry out a telephone consultation with the parents, designed to find out more about the child’s needs and provide strategies and ideas to try at home.
  • Invite parents to a workshop session. You will be given information on how our service works and provided with therapeutic strategies and ideas for the home. You will also have the option of an individual consultation with a Therapist to discuss specific concerns.

Parents may at this point receive a consent form which must be returned before an appointment is offered.

If they do meet criteria, they will be added to the waiting list for one of the following assessments:

  • Assessment in school: A Therapist will visit the child’s school. This visit may include observation of them, meeting with school staff and an assessment of their skills. The results will be fed back to referrer and parents, by verbal and/or written report.
  • Assessment in clinic: The child will be invited to attend a clinic setting. This will involve assessment of their skills and an opportunity for parents to speak with a Therapist.
  • Assessment at home: In certain circumstances it may be recommended to assess home based skills such as feeding.

At the end of the first appointment the Therapist will discuss their findings regarding the child’s needs. Parents and other professions for example Health Visitors, Community Nursery Nurses, school and nursery staff, Learning and Language Support may be given information and advice. The child may be discharged by the Service after a first appointment or a referral to another specialist service e.g. Wheelchair Service, Orthotics or a Paediatrician may be recommended. Alternatively our service might feel the child would benefit from intervention.

The aim of intervention is to skill up those working with the child (you as parents and/or school and nursery staff) to progress their development. This may be done through one or more of the following:

  • A therapeutic programme of activities and exercises to use at home and/or school/nursery.
  • A place in a group of similar aged children. The group will involve practical activities to address their difficulties. Many of our groups include the opportunity for parents to be involved in the session and meet other parents/carers.
  • Individual sessions with a Therapist or Therapy Assistant may be most appropriate for the child with tailored activities to build their skills.
  • Ongoing involvement may be required for some children for example to review equipment. This is assessed on an individual basis.
  • Training for both parents and school and nursery staff working with the child.

Intervention packages vary in frequency and duration. In most cases Therapists will set targets to help demonstrate progress. It is expected that after a period of intervention children are discharged.

Once support provision has been put in place or intervention completed your child will be discharged. A small number of children may require re-referred back into the service as their therapy needs alter.

in association with Frank Health