Newbridge School

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Speech and Language Therapy provision

The Speech and Language Therapy team at Newbridge School provides assessment and support for pupils who have speech, language, communication and/ or feeding difficulties.  Every child with identified difficulties is seen by the Speech and Language Therapists at school.

The Speech and Language Therapists work closely with parents, school staff and other professionals (e.g., Occupational Therapists, school nurse, community paediatricians and dietitians) in assessment, setting communication and/ or feeding aims, implementation of activities and making the environment communication and/ or feeding friendly.

The Speech and Language Therapists provide training for parents and school staff in supporting communication development, eating, drinking and swallowing management, and specific interventions.  They support pupils within a multisensory environment, using all the senses to help them to learn and develop i.e., visual, tactile (touching), olfactory (smelling), auditory (listening).

Pupils are encouraged to communicate using a range of means. This includes: -

Gesture (pointing, facial expression, body movements)

  • Signing
  • Speech
  • Vocalisations
  • Speech generated devices
  • Signs
  • Symbols
  • Photos
  • Real objects

The therapists work to ensure communication is available to all pupils and all attempts to communicate are valued, however this is achieved.

Physiotherapy provision

The physiotherapists work together within the school environment to assess, treat and provide staff training to support pupils’ therapy needs.  There are weekly meeting with class teachers to keep up to date on pupil’s progress and to advise accordingly.

Physio Programmes are put in place and monitored through reviews and include individual equipment prescription where required.

The therapy team are available on site at various points throughout the week and are also contactable at any time via email/phone directly or via the school office or through the home/school communication book.

Occupational Therapy provision

The Occupational Therapy team at Newbridge School provide assessment and support of children who have difficulty carrying out and participating in activities of everyday life, for example their self-care, school work or play. In school, we focus on a child’s particular goals that have been prioritised by parents and teachers. That might be developing skills such as basic dressing/undressing tasks, feeding, and toileting. The difficulties they have may be due to the child having a complex health and neurological condition, poor coordination skills, poor core stability or muscle control, poor movement planning skills, or sensory difficulties.

We look at the child’s physical ability to do these activities and provide assessment and advice around the best positioning to put a child in to support their function. This might involve joining an assessment with the wheelchair services or getting a specialist seating system if the child is unable to sit up by themselves. We assess their arms and hands and might provide hand splints to assist them with completing a task if this is required. Advice can be provided on play and hand skills development.

We also look at whether there are any other factors such as developmental stage, attention or regulation which could be impacting on their ability to engage. We consider the environment in which a child is in to see if this is impacting participation. We might provide a programme on progressing a particular skill or give advice on adaptations and/or equipment or environmental changes that would help.

We work closely alongside the physiotherapists and speech therapists and will have a collaborative approach if there are any goals that overlap with these other professions. We also work closely with the social services OT team and can liaise with them around any housing needs or equipment or adaptation needs at home.