Occupational therapy helps children participate in their everyday lives and occupations to the best of their ability. A child’s occupations are the daily and meaningful activities that they need or want to do.
A child’s occupations include play and learning, exploration of the environment, self care (i.e. dressing, eating, toileting etc), school work (i.e. handwriting, organising school work, cutting & drawing and PE).
Babies and children with Down Syndrome, experience some delay in all aspects of their development – physical, social, language, play and emotional. They also have some physical features such as low muscle tone which may impact on their development and acquisition of fine motor and self care skills. Occupational therapy can help your baby or child in these areas.
What we do
The occupational therapist will contact you to arrange the assessment. The assessment process may include feedback from parent/teacher questionnaires, interviews with key people (e.g. parents / carers / teacher), direct interaction with the child, use of standardised and nonstandardised tests together with the observations in different settings e.g. play, school activities and undertaking everyday life skills, such as dressing.
Through the assessment, the therapist can explore the following areas:
- Developmental skills including motor and play development
- Self care and functional skills such as feeding, toileting and dressing
- Fine motor and gross motor skills in relation to sitting posture, play, self-care, balance etc
- Visual perceptual skills in relation to handwriting and other functional tasks (e.g. dressing)
- Sensory processing
The exact nature and amount of therapy provided will depend on the child’s needs.
It could be in the form of:
- Direct individual or group therapy sessions, with a defined period of time prior to review.
- Use of home and nursery/school programmes to integrate treatment activities into real life environments.
- Regular review or monitoring of the child’s progress.
- Consultation and training for school staff and parents.
Where we work
- Mainstream schools and nurseries in Camden
- In special schools such as Swiss Cottage School and Jack Taylor School
- Kentish Town Health Centre
- Royal Free Hospital
Who can refer?
- Teachers / SENCOs
- School or hospital doctors
- Allied health professionals
Who may be referred?
Any child aged 0-19 years with a diagnosis of Down Syndrome who attends nursery or school in Camden and who has difficulties in the areas mentioned overleaf. For further information on appropriate referrals please consult our referral form.
Where do I send referrals?
All completed referral forms should be forwarded to:
Head occupational therapist
Lower ground floor
The Royal Free Hospital
Telephone: 0207 830 2535
Once a referral is accepted the child will be placed on our waiting list and the referrer will receive an acknowledgement letter.
9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday