Therapy at BeyondAutism
The Therapy Team work using a multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach to support learners across the organisation. The team work with ABA consultants, Supervisors, Tutors and Teachers across the school to meet our learners needs. We also work alongside our learner's external support systems such as external health professionals and respite care teams.
The Therapy Team at BeyondAutism consists of:
- Occupational Therapists (OTs)
- Speech and Language Therapists (SaLTs)
Our Therapy Team is involved in a variety of tasks across the organisation. Examples of tasks within our roles include:
- Group and individual therapy sessions
- Assessment to create termly IEP targets, annual targets and recommendations
- Contribution to baseline, annual review and EHCP reports
- Implementation of new communication and/or sensory strategies/ systems
- Provide whole school training to support therapy targets and generalisation
- Train Tutors to run therapy programmes throughout the week
- Discussions with parents and parent trainings
Our Therapy Team recognise the importance of establishing close working relationships with pupils’ families and support this by using the following methods:
- Drop in parent coffee mornings to provide updates and offer the opportunity for parents to ask questions
- Sharing goals and resources with families at home
- Providing training on new therapy techniques or communication aids where appropriate
- Being available to answer parental queries either by email or telephone at the end of the school day
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapists (OTs) work to enable people to participate in activities of daily living to the best of their ability; in an aim to improve their health and wellbeing as well as their independence skills. We are a part of the Therapy Team at BeyondAutism Schools working across all ages and alongside the different specialists that make up our schools. We are regulated and registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and keep up-to-date with current best practice. We focus on enabling individuals to participate in occupations (or more simply, everyday tasks) that are meaningful to them.
|Sensory Processing - we have to meet our learners' sensory needs before we can support them to participate in everyday tasks|
Productivity & Learning
Playing board games
Accessing the gym
We take a holistic view of an individual by looking at the learner, the task and their environment to determine how best to enable occupational performance. We are client-centred in our practice and focus on the activities that are meaningful to the individual to promote independence as much as possible.
At BeyondAutism we deliver training on sensory strategies, fine and gross motor tasks and breaking down activities of daily living into achievable goals. We do this so our learners have OT input throughout every school day and they have a toolbox of tasks to utilise when we are helping others.
What is Speech and Language Therapy?
Speech and Language Therapists (SaLTs) are part of the onsite Therapy Team at BeyondAutism Schools. We are trained specialists in language and communication registered with the Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC). We ensure that we use evidence-based practice to provide the best outcomes for our pupils.
We support communication skills including:
- Speech Sounds (if appropriate)
- Expressive Language
- Receptive Language
- Interaction & Social Skills
- Play Skills
- Attention and Listening
We work closely with school staff to support pupils’ language and communication skills at school in the following ways:
- Carrying out assessment and reviews of a learners’ communication skills
- Training staff in the use of communication aids, therapy approaches and strategies
- Delivering therapy groups to support the development of your pupils’ language and communication skills e.g., Attention Autism, Lego therapy
- Carrying out individual specialist sessions where appropriate e.g., speech sound therapy or introducing a new communication aid
- Assess to create termly Individual Education Plan targets, annual targets and recommendations
- Liaising with other professionals from the Therapy Team to set and review goals jointly where appropriate.
- Attending or providing written updates for annual reviews
At BeyondAutism we promote the use of a variety of communication systems in combination or alternative to verbal speech. Our staff participate in weekly Makaton trainings in addition to training to use a variety of high technology and low technology Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) devices/systems.
Some examples of AAC devices/systems used at Beyond Autism include but are not limited to:
- GoTalk 4+ and 9+
- Visual Timetable
- ProLoQuo2Go application
- Widgit symbols
- Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS)
- PECS application
- Communication boards
- Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD)
- GRID application
Different approaches that our Therapy Team use at BeyondAutism
The therapy team employ a wide range of approaches which are embedded within IEPs, some examples include:
- Attention Autism - based on programme by Gina Davies
- Zones of Regulation - based on programme by Leah M. Kuypers
- Colourful Semantics – by Alison Bryan
- Intensive Interaction – bases on the programme by Dave Hewitt
- Social skills Groups - based on principles from Social Thinking by Marcia Garcia Winner
- Lego Therapy - based on programme by LeGoff et al 2014
- Fun with Food Groups - based on programme from Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) training
- Sensory Diets
- Cued Articulation – by Jane Passy