Screening

Formal

  • 1:1 or 1:4
  • Whole class or year group.
  • Select children.
  • Therapist administered.
  • School staff administered (therapist scores).

Informal

  • Observations
  • Work samples

Assessment

Privately Funded

  • Most common
  • 1-2 hrs
  • Parent attends
  • Standardised tests
  • Clinical observations.
  • Questionnaire
  • Report highly recommended

School Funded

  • Based on need – severity and socioeconomic factors

Therapy

Individual (withdrawal)

  • Weekly / Fortnightly

Group (withdrawal)

  • 2-4 children
  • Weekly / Fortnightly

Home Program

EA Program

Student Support
(OT student)

Classroom Intervention

PD

Staff Talk or Workshop

  • Tailor made to staff needs.

EG: “Motor skills required for pre or early literacy attaintment.”

Parent Talk or Workshop

EG: “Helping my child to be ready for Kindergarten.”

Tip of the Week

  • OT tip or thought for newsletter.

Consultation

Programs

  • Review current programs.
  • Program design input.

Universal Design

  • Activity and environmental changes.

On Call

  • Drop in service for staff and parents.

Possible Roles within Your School

Screening

We pride ourselves on developing customized services unique to your school and its students. We have outlined some possibilities; it is by no means conclusive, rather a guide. Please contact us to discuss your school’s needs and budgets and how we may work collaboratively to achieve best outcomes for your students.
Screening

An annual screening program in the early years is highly advised to identify those children who require support to develop foundation skills necessary for optimal learning. Any year group can be screened upon request.

Screening may be informal or formal or a combination of both.

Examples of informal screening include:

  • Classroom observation
  • Review of work samples
  • Teacher checklist
  • Interview with school staff

Formal screenings may:

  • Involve the whole class (year group) or a selected group of students.
  • Be administered by school staff with scoring and interpretation completed by clinician.
  • Be administered by clinician and conducted on a 1:1 basis or small group up to a maximum of 4 children at a time.
  • Include stations of activities for a small group of children to complete in rotations whilst therapist is observing. Alternatively school staff could be trained in clinical observation and recording of activity stations.
  • Occur with additional efficiency if a ‘team’ of therapists or therapist and OT Student conduct the screens simultaneously.

Post screen, your therapist(s) can provide you with feedback and recommendations based on the outcome of individual students or cohort. You may request a meeting to discuss findings in person in addition to the written report which we provide within the costing of the screen.

Assessment

An assessment may be warranted based on a student’s performance during a screening measure. In addition to which, a teacher may initiate a referral based on referral guidelines provided or professional opinion. Parents may also instigate a referral.

Most individual assessments in schools AIM currently services are privately funded; they include standardized assessments, clinical observations, parent and teacher questionnaires and / or interviews. Parents are encouraged to attend initial assessments to meet the therapist and provide valuable background information, they are also asked to complete online assessment form prior to the appointment as it allows clinician to prepare suitable items for assessment.

Assessment may occur at the student’s school or at AIM’s office dependent on clinician’s timetabling and parental work commitments.

A written report is highly recommended and incurs a set fee in addition to the assessment appointment fee. A copy of report is available for classroom teacher dependent on consent having been provided to share or disclose information.

There is also the possibility for assessments to be funded by schools. With AIM’s current school partnerships a small percentage of assessments are funded by schools. In general this occurs when the school has observed a trend in students not possessing foundation skills upon entering the school combined with socio-economic factors hindering families from pursuing private assessment. We are able to discuss with you which students are at greatest risk and assist you in prioritizing your assessment budget.

Therapy

Families can choose where therapy will take place dependent on their child’s age, needs and family commitments. For many, school based therapy is regarded as the ideal option; it minimizes absences from school, promotes a direct relationship with classroom teacher and is convenient for time poor families.

Intervention is tailor made to the individual needs of the child. Some examples of privately funded therapy that we are able to provide within your school include:

  • One on one weekly or fortnightly treatment session. The student is withdrawn from the classroom at a regular time decided upon by teacher and therapist.
  • Small group – 2, 3 or 4 children pulled out of their classes who have been matched by therapist based on therapy goals. Students are not required to be from the same classroom or year group though the time is agreed upon by all teachers involved.
  • Student Support – The Occupational Therapist sets up strategies for OT student to carry out in class to assist the student’s participation within the classroom.
  • Classroom intervention or the ‘push in’ service. ‘Push in’ sessions (less common but extremely valuable). They involve observing/trialing strategies/equipment for student’s whose goals incorporate participation/behaviour/skills in the classroom (Benson, 2013).
  • Education assistance programs.

Families are encouraged to complete home practice between appointments. ‘Homework’ is given at each session and a detailed home program provided upon request.

Professional Development

We are able to offer assistance with training and development; tailor made to your requirements.

Would your school benefit from?

1. A staff talk or workshop on:

  • Role of the Occupational Therapist within your school
  • Understanding and accommodating sensory processing issues in the classroom to assist attention and concentration, emotional regulation and behaviour
  • Motor skills required for pre or early literacy skill attainment
  • Developing handwriting skills
  • Developing social skills
  • Identification and support for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Importance of play in early childhood education

2. A parent talk or workshop on:

  • Helping their child to be ready for Kindergarten
  • Unraveling the mystery of play
  • Alternatively, any of the staff workshops above can be adjusted to suit parents
  • OT tip or thought of the week could be included in your school newsletter
  • “The reluctant drawer”
  • “Tips for learning sight words”
  • “Shoe lace tying tips”
  • “Fine motor tips for Kindergarten”
  •  “Link between movement and concentration”
  •  There are plenty(!) more

Or does your school have other learning needs that we may be able to provide a practical and enlightening presentation on?

Consultation

We can review existing programs within your school and consult with you on how they may be improved. Perhaps your handwriting program needs updating? Or your 3 year old Kindergarten program may benefit from guidance in planning activities according to the developmental continuum, to ensure that precursor skills are achieved? Maybe you are already providing a support service for children with identifiable fine motor difficulties and you want to make the most of existing resources and time? These are just a few of the areas where we may be able to provide support to your school.

Universal design within the classroom and school environment is another potential role for our consultants; we are able to advise you on easy to implement activities and environmental changes that optimize learning for students.

The consultative service can be devised to allow teachers to ‘call on’ the Occupational Therapist when they are seeking advice within their class, be it for an individual child or a group of children. Access to the therapist can be extended to parents. Being able to discuss concerns with the Occupational Therapist may allow them to identify if a referral is warranted and who else may need to be involved.

Existing Partnerships

AIM Occupational Therapy for Children has had the privilege of providing a service within many schools since its inception in 2009 and in more recent years formed partnerships with several schools.

Current Partnerships:

Carmel School, DIANELLA 2012 – Present

Roles have included:

  • Professional development – presentation to staff with Smart Talk Speech Pathology.
  • When, why and how to refer to Speech Pathologist or Occupational Therapist at Carmel
  • Improved understanding regarding the role of Speech Pathologist and Occupational Therapist working with children
  • Understanding of general recommendations made by therapists for a range of developmental areas
  • Individual privately funded Occupational Therapy assessments for students
  • Individual privately funded Occupational Therapy sessions for students
  • Regular feedback to teachers regarding students whom are receiving school based Occupational Therapy services
  • Presentation to parent committee (with Smart Talk Speech Pathology) regarding referral and role of therapists based at school
  • Parent and teacher handouts, including referral guidelines for 4-7 year olds and 8-12 year olds

Testimonial by Lynda Fisher, Principal for Carmel Primary School

“Life is busy and complicated for all. Having an OT service on site enables all to win. Parents are not taking exhausted students to specialist sessions after school, teachers communicate with the OT to ensure they are up to speed on student performance at all times and then the OT in turn advises the teacher of how to support the student in their OT programme. Win win is the outcome for all using an informed well supported programme.”

St Kieran Catholic Primary School, TUART HILL 2011 – Present

Roles have included:

  • Individual privately funded Occupational Therapy assessments for students
  • Individual privately funded Occupational Therapy subsequent intervention sessions
  • Privately funded group therapy
  • Kindergarten Screens
  • Supervision of Occupational Therapy Students
  • Handwriting groups within class
  • High school transition booklet
  • Education assistant program
  • OT week Magna drawing competition

East Hamersley Primary School, HAMERSLEY 2014 – Present

Roles have included:

  • Individual privately funded assessment and/or therapy
  • Attendance at Kindergarten information session
  • Parent handouts
  • “Helping My Child Be Kindy Ready”
  • “AIM Partnership with East Hamersley Primary School”
  • Referral guidelines to identify students with greatest need in either Kindergarten or Pre-Primary
  • School funded assessments and reports

Carine Primary School, CARINE 2017 – Present

Loreto Primary School, NEDLANDS 2017 – Present

St Stephen’s School, DUNCRAIG 2017 – Present

Lake Joondalup Baptist College, JOONDALUP 2017 – Present

Assumption Catholic Primary School, MANDURAH 2014 – Present

Roles have included:

  • Individual privately funded Occupational Therapy (assessment and treatment)
  • Sessions consist of fine motor activities performed within small room and gross motor activities in play ground area
  • Strong focus on teacher liaison post individual sessions
  • Teacher and parent education sessions on the role of Occupational Therapy
School Services and Therapy

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