Pioneering services for children with learning, developmental, motor and behavioural challenges

Occupational Therapy

Having thoroughly assessed each child and discussed the findings with their parents, a suitable therapy programme will be devised and implemented. Treatment is usually carried out in the centre with home and school activities to support it. Occasionally therapy may be implemented solely in the school setting or at home according to each child’s situation.

Therapists work very closely with children and their families. Therapy sessions generally last for 50 minutes on each occasion and children may be seen once a week or more depending on the nature of their difficulties. Families will receive advice, guidance and support throughout the process, as too will the children’s teachers or any other individual working closely with them. Each child will have a clear, measurable set of therapy goals (these can be incorporated into the child’s IEP, Individual Education Programme). Targets will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis and the progress made summarised in a report. Starjumpz OTs will liaise closely with other therapists including speech and language or physiotherapists and other medical personnel involved with the child.

Sensory Integration Therapy is offered in the state of the art Rompa rooms at our centre. Motivating and fun, this allows children to experience sensory integration using the very latest multi-sensory technology, creating a unique learning environment in which they rapidly progress.

Starjumpz offers the following occupational therapy approaches. According to each child’s needs, more than one approach may be recommended. Often a combination of approaches may be integrated into the treatment process.

1) Ayres™ Sensory Integration Therapy

This form of occupational therapy, developed in the 1970’s by Dr J. Ayres, involves the use of suspended equipment in a sensory rich environment. It enables children to become more efficient organisers of sensory information, thus alleviating the symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and leading to improvements in behaviour, concentration, coordination, fine and gross motor skills, personal organisation and speech, social and academic skills.

At Starjumpz we provide sensory integration therapy in our state of the art therapy suite that was created in partnership with Rompa. Our treatment model has been devised in collaboration with Hopscotch in Harley Street and influenced by leading organizations such as the Sensory Processing Foundation in the US. www.spdfoundation.org

See http://www.hopscotchtherapy.co.uk/sensoryintegration.html for more information on sensory integration therapy

2) Integrated Listening System (iLs)

iLs is an auditory based intervention for improving brain function. Based upon psychoacoustic techniques developed in Europe and refined over the past 20 years in the USA, iLs programs combine auditory stimulation with balance, movement and visual motor activities. Based on clinically proven outcomes, iLs programs strengthen existing pathways and create new neural connections/pathways in the brain (“neuroplasticity”). As these neurological connections grow stronger, language skills and emotional/psychological functions, such as self-confidence and regulation, also tend to improve.
See http://www.integratedlistening.com/parents/ for more information on iLS

3) Neurodevelopmental Treatment (Bobath)

The Bobath Concept is an evolving approach to the management and treatment of children and adults with cerebral palsy and other neurological or developmental conditions. The basis of the approach is to give individuals an experience of normal movement by enabling them to respond actively to specialised handling.
This treatment approach can be used by either Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists or Speech and Language Therapists with appropriate training. Joint sessions with a combination of treatments can be very effective.

See http://www.bobath.org.uk for more information on the Bobath approach

4) Perceptual Motor and Visual Motor Therapy and Training

Perceptual Motor Therapy (PMT) addresses a child’s perceptual motor development through sensory-based, age appropriate activities that help children explore balance, coordination, rhythm, and body awareness. Unlike gymnastics or dance classes, therapy is not skills based. Children are not taught how to do something but rather provided with an environment where they can explore and discover just what their bodies can do. Many of the skills that PMT encourages are actually the foundation for fundamental skills such as reading and writing.

Vision therapy (visual training, vision training) is an individualised supervised treatment programme designed to correct visual-motor and/or perceptual-cognitive deficiencies. The goal of vision therapy is to train the patient’s brain to use the eyes to receive information effectively, comprehend it quickly and react appropriately.
These approaches are often used in the school setting.

See http://www.add-adhd.org/vision_therapy_FAQ.html for more information

5) Handwriting and fine motor skills interventions

Good posture, muscle tone and coordination are essential for handwriting.

Our handwriting programmes are unique in that they address the neurological foundations for handwriting and combine a range of developmental fine and visual motor activities that help children with the skills needed for good handwriting.

An extensive range of resources are incorporated into the treatment sessions and these include a combination of the following:

  • Write start
  • Handwriting without tears
  • Speed Up (LDA)
  • Beery VMI books of letters and numbers
  • Ipad apps

See http://www.ot-mom-learning-activities.com/ for activities parents can use at home to help their children.

6) Life skills training

Starjumpz can provide individuals with the necessary help to overcome problems with everyday activities such as washing, dressing, feeding, time management, money management, help with travel etc

This is a popular way of working with adolescents who wish to improve their independence in everyday life activities both at home and in the community.

7) Behavioural Support

Supportive Behaviour management techniques can also be employed and discussed with the child’s family, school and teachers to enable them to more effectively manage children with difficulties in the home and school environment. This is especially useful in the absence of any specialist one to one support.

Once children’s sensory problems improve some children can be helped to develop their skills and improve their behaviour further through the principles of ABA (Applied Behavioural Analysis). This type of support is delivered by therapists who are experienced in managing difficult behaviour and in teaching skills on a one to one basis through a positive reinforcement approach.

Whilst Starjumpz does not provide ABA programmes per se, out therapists practice supportive behaviour management in their sessions with children, giving them a positive experience which allows them to build their confidence as well as ability.

See http://www.peach.org.uk/index.php/about-aba/ and http://www.behaviourmanagement.org/ for more information on ABA therapy and how to set up and ABA programme