We have visiting therapists who work with all staff to integrate therapy targets into the children’s learning. Therapists include physiotherapy, occupational therapy including sensory OT and speech therapy. To promote our children’s wellbeing, social and communication skills we have ELSA, 'Choose Time' and lunchtime clubs.
Speech and Language Therapy
The Speech and Language therapist works with children to develop their language, communication and speech, they also work closely with staff who will deliver class based programmes. Children access Speech and Language therapy through their EHCP when it is listed as part of their educational or health provision, however all children are assessed when they join Maple Ridge to identify if any input is required over and above what is delivered through the normal curriculum. Staff and parents can also request assessments if they think they are needed.
Intensive interaction is a programme to help children at very early stages of development. It teaches and develops early interaction skills such as giving brief attention to others, sharing attention with another person, learning to develop and extend this attention. Children work 1:1 with an adult.
PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
PECS uses pictures to develop early communication and social skills. It supports the development of communication that is relevant and motivating to the child. Children are taught to exchange pictures for things they want i.e. they would exchange a picture of an apple if they wanted apple at snack time.
Occupational Therapy (OT)
The Paediatric Occupational Therapist works with children who have difficulties that affect their ability to do every day functional activities, they also work closely with staff who will deliver class based programmes to enable children to become as independent as they can. Children access OT through their EHCP when it is listed as part of their educational or health provision, however, staff and parents/carers can also request assessments if they think it is needed.
Occupational Therapy (Sensory)
The Occupational Therapist works with children who need a sensory diet to enable them to regulate how they are feeling. This helps to improve focus, attention, communication and learning reducing feelings of anxiety caused by feeling overwhelmed by the world around them. Many of our children start the day with sensory circuits; alerting activities, organising activities and calming activities to prepare them for the day ahead, while others have regular input throughout the day.
Food explorers is part of our OT Sensory programme aimed to support children who experience difficulties with food. It provides opportunities for them to build up a tolerance of food types and textures alongside improving fine motor skills.
The Physiotherapist works with children who need physiotherapy on a regular basis. They also work closely with staff who will deliver class based programmes when necessary. Children access physiotherapy through their EHCP however, staff and parents/carers can also request assessments if they think it is needed.
Messy play supports children in developing their cognitive and creative abilities. Children are encouraged to explore their senses through opportunities to pour, mix, squeeze and squelch materials they would not normally use such as flour, shaving foam, dough and pasta. It encourages their curiosity about the world around them.