Children are referred mainly by the Child Development Clinic and the Community Child Health Department. Assessment and treatment is often part of a multi-disciplinary approach to ensure the optimum outcome for each child.

Following referral each child is assessed. Occupational Therapy may involve the assessment and treatment of the child’s motor, sensory, perceptual, psychological and social functioning through purposeful activity and play. Treatment may be delivered as individual treatment, treatment within a group setting in class, review or in an advisory capacity.

Occupational Therapists are often involved in the home. This may be as part of a treatment programme, or to assist with the solutions needed within the environment to overcome physical difficulties either through the provision of equipment or assessment for possible home adaptations.

The type and amount of input may change over time according to the child's needs.

 

 

The Speech and Language Therapists  are responsible for the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of pupils with communication and/or eating and drinking difficulties. Assessment is carried out within an interdisciplinary and co-ordinated team approach to provide a joint overall management and intervention plan.

Speech and Language Intervention may be delivered on an individual basis, class based group sessions, review, or in an advisory capacity. Pupils may also receive joint therapy sessions i.e. occupational therapy and speech and language therapy.

Therapists liaise closely with the class teacher in planning and implementing group activities.

The type and amount of input may change over time according to the child's needs.

Children are referred for Physiotherapy from The Child Development Centre, Community Paediatrician, GP, or community Physiotherapists.Following referral, each child is individually assessed, a treatment plan is developed and goals are set which are reviewed regularly.

Physiotherapy treatment may involve advice on positioning and handling, provision of standing frames and walking equipment, an individually tailored exercise programme to develop strength, balance, co-ordination and ultimately improve their functional abilities.

The physiotherapist also works closely with the Orthopaedic service and can assist in referring children to this clinic where appropriate.

Some children may only need Physiotherapy for a short time, but for others it may be helpful throughout their lives.It may take the form of individual sessions, group sessions, class based programme, hydrotherapy in Daisy Hill Hospital , Newry-or a combination of these.

After school and during school holidays the Physiotherapist may visit the children and parents in their own homes to review equipment and therapy programmes.

 

       Orthoptic Service 

 

 All children are offered a School based Orthoptic assessment when they enter School and              then ongoing follow up if needed; this replaces the previous vision screen carried out by School        Nurses.  The Orthoptist will assess the child’s level of vision and how the eyes coordinate                together; looking in particular for any squints, eye movement problems or peripheral vision                                                     (visual field) difficulties. 

The assessment is carried out in a relaxed way, initially by looking at pictures or toys and observation, and then if possible a formal vision test/game can also be carried out.  There are a number of types of tests that can be chosen, depending on the child’s abilities; ranging from spoken responses or using a matching card, to simply observing the child’s eyes and their automatic visual responses. 

Onward referral can be made if necessary to the Optometry service where the child is assessed for glasses and have an eye health screen; this can be done in School jointly with the Orthoptist or in the Hospital.

The Orthoptist works closely with teachers and therapists, giving advice on a child’s visual difficulties and how to optimise vision.

 

For more information on Orthoptics please visit:

http://www.orthoptics.org.uk/

Or contact the Specialist Paediatric Orthoptist for Special Schools

catherine.page@southerntrust.hscni.net

 

Music Therapy operates on the premise that every individual has an innate ability to respond to music, regardless of any level of disability, behavioural or communication disorder or medical condition.

At Rathore, Pupils are referred for Music Therapy by their teachers to assist with the development of a range of areas. During an initial assessment, the Music Therapist will work to gain an understanding of a child’s needs and abilities before establishing numerous therapeutic objectives which will inform the remainder of their treatment plan. Examples of such objectives may be the development of communication, social and interaction skills as well as improved concentration, emotional expression, reduced levels of hypersensitivity and the regulation of behaviour.

Music Therapy can be offered in a group setting or on an individual basis and the Music Therapist will liaise closely with the relevant teachers in deciding which approach would be most appropriate in meeting the child’s needs. Each child who is referred for Music therapy is typically offered a six week input.