Children's Occupational Therapy Team

Children’s Occupational Therapists (OT’s) help children achieve skills needed for home and school independence and also skills needed to play and enjoy interests; OT’s work to enable children and young people to contribute as fully as possible alongside their peers and develop skills in preparation for adult life roles.

What services are available?

We offer initial assessments, reviews, group and individual intervention.  As well as a monthly drop in clinic.

All children are seen under specific pathways, Assistive Technology, Upper Limb, Special Educational Needs, Special Schools, Pre-School, Mainstream physical/medical and Mainstream co-ordination.

Where are we based?

Most of our initial assessments, groups or individual interventions are based at the Kaleidoscope Children’s centre in Catford, but we also travel to schools and home to see our children and young people.

We have a central booking system run by our Administration team, which aims to give parents and carers a choice of appointment times.

Who are they for?

Our service is available to children and young people:

  • With physical disabilities/conditions or co-ordination difficulties/conditions where there is a significant impact on participation in everyday occupations (self-care, school, work or play). We see all different conditions, but this does not include when learning or social communication difficulties are the main barriers to the child achieving ape appropriate functional independence.
  • Between the ages of 0 – 19 years (if still in full time education)
  • Registered with a Lewisham GP and/or attends a Lewisham school
  • Attending Watergate and Greenvale Special Schools
  • Referred through the Lewisham Special Educational Needs Team
  • Whose cases have been closed to the service in the last 12 months, requiring brief revision of input previously provided

How do the team work?

Assessments and interventions are undertaken in a variety of settings; this may be at Kaleidoscope or may take place in the home or school environment.  OT considers how the child or young person manages the following daily occupations/activity skills:

  • Self care (e.g.  eating and drinking, using the toilet, dressing, personal safety)
  • Play and leisure (e.g. using toys, riding a bike, hobbies)
  • School participation (e.g. handwriting, use of scissors, using a computer, organisation in school environment)

Goals are set with the child and their parents, along with teaching staff and others relevant professionals.  The goals are aimed at increasing independence, participation or confidence carrying out daily occupations/activities which are agreed as being important.

The intervention may be:

  • Restorative: where the child is considered to have the ability to develop a specific skill
  • Adaptive: where the focus is on making changes to the environment to facilitate improved participation identified skills. e.g. The use of assistive equipment
  • Educational: where programmes and workshops are delivered to people working or living with the child
  • Advice and consultation: where resources, strategies and advice are delivered to the client or caregiver
  • Group work: where children can learn new skills in a group environment  participate

We work to an “episodes of care model”, closing cases when identified needs have been addressed. 

We will always:

  • Involve parents and others who know the child or young person well, in our assessments and intervention
  • Treat every child and young person as an individual
  • Listens to what the child and young person wants to do
  • Offer choice when deciding the best form of input
  • Gain feedback to improve the service we provide

How can you get an appointment?

Anyone can refer a child or young person to Occupational Therapy.  You can gain an Occupational Therapy Referral form from calling the administration team or by emailing the team.

Once a fully completed referral is received, a letter will be sent from the service informing you of whether the child referred meets the criteria shown above and asking the parent/carer to contact the department to make an appointment.

Once we receive your telephone call were we can usually give you a variety of appointment times to choose from.

We will consider referrals from professionals and parent/carers.  Professionals will need to complete a referral form but for parents we can complete this over the phone with you if necessary.  If you are unsure about making a referral, you may wish to call the Occupational Therapy Service to discuss.

Who are the key staff?

We have staff at all grades, including clinical specialist posts, with all staff having specialist areas of interest.  This allows us to offer a service to children and young people with many differing needs. We also train OT students and have close links with universities and colleges. 

What else do you need to know?

For some appointment types you will be telephoned in advance to fill out a questionnaire on your child’s skills and thus avoid having to talk about your child whilst they are in the room. You may be asked to bring in a completed questionnaire, which also saves a lot of time for assessments and gives us valuable information.

For some groups parents work with their children to help to learn how to assist and develop their children’s skills. You are asked to arrive for you appointment 15 minutes earlier than scheduled.

Visitor information can be sent out before appointments if you are unsure of how to find us. If you need any further information please contact our administrators on the mainline number provided below.

How can you contact the department?

Our administrators are available on:

T: 020 3049 1337