An Occupational Therapist will come into school and work with children who may have difficulties with gross or fine motor skills. They assess the needs of a child and provide advice for what can be done for the child to help them with any difficulties. For example; they may recommend special equipment/aids for the child. The benefit to the child is that they can partake in activities with their peers rather than be left out. This ensures the child has maximum opportunities in school and doesn’t have to miss any lessons.
Speech Therapist A speech therapist works with children who have speech difficulties and who may have difficulties with understanding/processing information. They will advise teaching staff of stratergies to use, work that can be done to develop the child’s speech. They may also recommend communication aids for the child. They may also advise of training for adults in school E. g; sign language/Makaton training. The benefit to the child is that they can find ways to communicate in school-either by speaking or signs, or using communication aids.
This may help them interact with their peers and also communicate with the teacher-they are able to express their needs. The child’s understanding of work they are asked to do may also improve-if the work is differentiated to their level and the language used is appropiate. E. g instructions kept simple, information presented pictorially. The benefit to the child is their inclusion in lessons and if they can complete tasks successfully this builds up their self confidence. Additional Learning Support (Teaching Assistant) A teaching assistant may work on a 1:1 basis with a child that has additional needs.
The teaching assistant may differentiate work to the child’s level, support the child to behave appropriately and provide support with any physical needs. The child may have a specific programme to follow and may spend time away from the classroom working with the teaching assistant. This ensures the child can attend a mainstream school and is included in the curriculum as much as possible. The benefits to the child include; working at their own level, building up a relationship based on trust with the teaching assistant and being able to partake in activities that they were unable to do without support.
The child’s self esteem will be built up as the teaching assistant will help them achieve their potential in school. School Nurse The school nurse is available in school on a drop in basis for parents and children to speak to in confidence about any concerns. Teachers can also speak to the nurse about any child they have concerns or need advice about. For children with specific health needs the nurse is involved in the care plan for the child. This ensures all staff working with the child are aware of the child’s needs and what they have to do if the child is unwell. The school nurse can also be involved in “in school training”.
For example: giving all staff training on the use of epi-pens for use if a child has a severe anaphylactic shock. The benefit for the child is that they have someone who they can talk to in confidence about a medical or personal health concern. The school nurse also supports individuals to manage their conditions which reduces the amount of absence from school due to poor health. Frequent absences due to ill health could affect the child’s intellectual development if they miss important parts of the curriculum. Also their social development could be affected if they had less opportunities to interact with their peers due to poor health.
The school nurse promotes general health and welfare which is a benefit for all children and can support their development in different areas. Hearing Impairment Worker Hearing Impairment worker-works on a 1-1 basis with children who have a hearing impairment. They work with the child on communication and language; supporting the child to develop their speech. They will give support with the curriculum and suggest resources or adaptions that can be used to help the child. The hearing impairment worker will attend reviews and have input with the child’s IEP-setting targets. They can give advice about training or staff working with the child.
The worker may show staff and children simple sign language which enables them to communicate with the child. The child benefits from this intervention as they are able to attend a mainstream school and have an inclusive education. The child is able to communicate with the adults who teach them or their peers with the support of their worker-this could be using simple sign language or symbols or even using technological aids. This helps the child feel less isolated and can give their confidence a boost especially if they are able to make friends.