Occupational Therapy FAQ

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    Cartoon image of four children

    Frequently Asked Questions

    My child cannot write as clearly as the other children in their class. Should I refer them to your service?
    My child cannot use a knife and fork correctly. Should I refer them to your service?
    My child struggles to tie their shoe laces and fasten their buttons. Should I refer them to your service?
    My child finds it difficult to copy from the white board at school? Should I refer them to your service?

    Your child may need to be seen by our service.  Please see the referral section for information on whether a referral is appropriate, as children develop their skills at different ages.    

    Please visit an optician for a sight test.

    How can my child be seen by your service?

    If you are worried about your child's ability to take part in and be independent in their daily activities then you can refer the child using our request for involvement form.  However, it is often helpful if you ask your child's school, nursery or Health Visitor to do this on your behalf as they can provide valuable information about your child's development that your therapist will need.  Some referrals may not be accepted by our service if they do not meet our referral criteria or may be returned to the referrer if the form is not fully completed. 

    Who needs to bring my child to the first appointment?

    For the first appointment an adult with parental responsibility must bring the child in order to give consent for assessment and possible treatment.

    Where will my child be seen by an Occupational Therapist?

    Where the initial assessment takes place is guided by what the difficulties are identified by the person making the request for involvement. The best place for the therapist to see your child doing their activities will be offered. This may be within a clinic, at home or in school. 
    If further Occupational Therapy is needed the Occupational Therapist will talk with you about the best place to offer therapy.

    What happens following my Child's assessment?

    • You may be given advice and strategies to try with your child and be discharged from the Occupational Therapy service
    • You may be offered further assessment to identify your child's strengths and needs
    • You may be offered a block of treatment to work on identified goals
    • You may be given a programme of activities for school/nursery to carry out.
    • Commitment from parents to engage and work with their child on recommended activities at home and in the community.
    • A request for involvement may be made to another service e.g. physiotherapy


    Your therapist will advise you on how much help your child needs, and this may change depending on your child's progress. 

    If necessary, a plan to support your child's goals will be developed, taking into account:

    • Your concerns, priorities and views on your child's needs. 
    • The therapist's assessment of the child's needs 
    • Expectations of all parties about the role they will play.
    • Expectations of the benefits of the intervention.


    How will Occupational Therapy benefit my child?

    The benefits of Occupational Therapy for children are numerous, the main reasons are highlighted below:

    • Your child will be more independent or safer carrying out daily tasks
    • Your child is more likely to reach their full potential
    • Day to day occupations (eating, dressing, playing, school work) will be less frustrating for both parent and child.
    • Increased self-esteem, confidence and participation in activities.
    • Reduction of child's and/or parent's anxiety.
    • Better understanding and awareness of your child's function and difficulties within the education environment, resulting in better learning.
    • Improved relationships.


    How many times will my child be seen by the Occupational Therapy Team?

    This will vary depending on their needs. Some children may have only mild difficulties whilst other children may have long term needs. 

    Children are usually discharged from our service when the therapist feels confident that the child is developing skills in line with his/her general development, and that the recommended strategies to support his/her needs have been shared.

    The therapist will discuss the discharge process with parents and support staff and explain how to get help in the future if needed. This will be confirmed in a discharge letter.

    Why has my child been discharged?

    Your child will be discharged when they no longer need our service.  The main reasons for a child being discharged are: 

    • The agreed goals have been achieved 
    • Occupational therapy will no longer impact on future skill progression
    • The family or settings feel that they are unable to carry out the agreed activities at that time.
    • Communication skills are no longer a cause for concern/priority.
    • The people involved with the child have the knowledge to carry out strategies and support the child's occupations.
    • The child is being transferred to a specialist centre or other service(s).
    • The child is not able to cooperate with the therapy.
    • The child has not attended appointments or has moved out of area.


    Children can be referred again if they need further help.  

    What if English is not my first Language?

    If English is not your first language and you think you may not be able to communicate well with our staff please let us know this on the request for involvement as a professional interpreter can be booked for appointments.

    What happens if my child misses or cannot attend an appointment?

    We have many children needing to be seen by Occupational Therapy so it is important that we make good use of our appointments. If your child cannot attend an appointment then you need to ring the office number printed on the appointment letter or on this website to cancel your appointment.  If you do not attend and do not cancel your appointment, your child will be discharged.