Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Working with other professionals... not just a nicety, it's essential!

There are more speech and language therapists moving over into independent practice each week, which is great because it gives parents more choice. However, it also makes it difficult to know who to choose. We'll cover that aspect more in a later blogpost but one of the factors must be whether they work with other professionals. It is vital they do not just work in isolation.

Unless, the problem is extremely simple, it is essential that the speech and language therapist can call upon other professionals. Here at Small Talk we work with Specialist Teachers, Counsellors, Clinical and Educational Psychologists and Occupational Therapists.  
If a child has a communication problem, it impacts all areas of their life. This slide from the ELDP shows that it impacts learning, behaviour, social development and emotional development. Similarly if a child has problems with learning, behaviour, social development or emotional development , it will affect their  communication. In a nutshell, communication difficulties do not exist in isolation so the remediation cannot exist in isolation.

We are finding that more and more we need to call upon Alison Hart and her team at Children's Choice Therapy. Very few people really understand what a Paediatric OT does so we do get some resistance initially from some families. However, once they meet Alison or her team they find her advice and support invaluable.

Occupational Therapists address the question:- "Why does this person have difficulties managing his or her daily activities (or occupations), and what can we adapt to make it possible for him or her to manage better and how will this then impact on his or her health and well-being?" 

Paediatric Occupational Therapists help children develop skills in the areas of self-care, school and play. These are seen as a child's main areas of occupation. By supporting children and enabling them to achieve their maximum potential, Paediatric Occupational Therapists indirectly work on developing confidence, self esteem, social skills and general well being. 

If we are concerned about attention control, potential sensory needs, sleep issues, we call in Alison and her team.They assess the child at home or school and draws up  a plan of action.

We had a joint team meeting last week and it really brought home how we can give a much better service if we can work as a team around the child.


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