When should my child be referred to Occupational Therapy?
We offer assessment and advice and/or treatment for children and their families who have a range of conditions or difficulties including:
- Fine motor difficulties
- Self-care skills such as dressing or cutlery
- Development coordination disorder (we are not a diagnostic service)
- Neurological disorders or developmental delay
- Specialist equipment
- Postural management
- Sensory (advice only)
- Chronic fatigue
We see children and young people in clinic, hospitals, schools, nurseries and other early years settings and at home across Doncaster.
Children can be referred to our service from their GP, a Doctor at the hospital, school/nursery settings and other health professionals. Please contact any one of these people if you feel your child may need occupational therapy support.
We review all referrals to determine the urgency of the condition. The level of urgency will determine how soon the appointment is.
What to expect at your first appointment
The Occupational Therapist (OT) or Assistant will usually start by talking to you about your child’s early history and development. You will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about your child.
Depending on the age of your child and the identified difficulties, the Occupational Therapist will do a number of different tasks and activities with your child. For some children, particularly younger ones, the assessment may be done through play. If needed, the therapist may complete a more formal assessment with your child.
At the end of the session, the therapist will discuss with you the best ways of supporting your child and a plan will be made regarding further input. You will have the opportunity to ask the therapist questions. We may also ask for parental consent to contact education staff about your child or visit your child in setting. If needed, we may also ask for consent to refer your child to another service.
Where will my first appointment take place?
For their initial appointment, the setting your child will be seen in is dependent on their needs / reason for referral. This is usually at the Children’s Outpatient Department at Doncaster Royal Infirmary but may also be at school / nursery or home.
Your child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for both face to face and virtual appointments.
If attending the hospital site, parking is limited on site so ensure plenty of time to attend your appointment. Alternatively there is a Park and Ride service at Doncaster which runs frequently from the Racecourse throughout the day. Click here for more information to get to DRI.
In some cases we are still offering a virtual appointment, we ask that you are in a suitable environment for this appointment to be carried out, eg at home in a quiet room if possible with enough space to enable the therapist to carry out a full assessment.
If required following assessment, we may put in place a block of therapy. We place great importance on self-management so we will often give parents / education setting activities or strategies to use to support your child. With fine motor or independence skills, these are learnt over an extended period of time so it is important to practice these consistently with your child. Please be aware your maybe discharged after assessment or a block of treatment has been completed.
If required, we will assess your child for specialist equipment for the home and / or school environment. This may include toileting or bathing equipment or specialist seating.
How long will my first appointment last?
The appointment usually takes around 1 hour, or sometimes longer if a more formal assessment is required. Usually follow up appointments will be shorter.
What happens if I can’t attend my appointment?
It is really important that you let us know as soon as possible if you cannot attend your appointment by contacting the team on 01302 642633. We can then rearrange your appointment and offer your original appointment time to someone else who is waiting.
Self help/useful resources
Disability advice service
Support for SEN children in school: SENDIAS
Give us your feedback on our service
Please visit our patient survey (Friends and Family Test) and leave your comments
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Photo in header section by Sigmund on Unsplash
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