NHS Speech & Language
Who we are
A team of Speech and Language Therapists visit Shepherds Down. They are employed by the local NHS trust and work in primary and secondary special schools in Winchester and Andover. They oversee the NHS caseload for SaLT within the school.
How we work
The role of each therapist is to support the children’s functional communication skills. Throughout the school there is an emphasis on ‘communication’ and not just spoken language, where all forms of communication are valued and promoted. For example, body language, objects, photos, Makaton signs and symbols.
The therapists have responsibility for supporting teaching staff to use these communication systems in classroom lessons and activities, to enable each child to participate and learn to the best of their potential. They work in a variety of ways at the school. There is a focus on group therapy with the therapists running groups in the classrooms, in conjunction with teaching staff. This approach supports the children to work towards their targets within the familiar settings of their classrooms, whilst also allowing the therapists to demonstrate the use of communication systems / strategies to the teachers and learning support assistants.
For enquiries about the availability of Makaton courses, please enquire through the school, or alternatively contact the therapists via the details below.
Physiotherapists will work closely with teaching staff and families to enable your child to develop his/her physical independence. Physiotherapy treatment will be incorporated into the curriculum and the child’s daily activities with close liaison and support from experienced classroom staff who will carry out the programmes. Active intervention by a Physiotherapist will include assessment and treatment planning, problem solving, review / monitoring and referring on if required. We may recommend a range of equipment to achieve optimum posture and improve function. Frequency of input may vary according to the child’s needs at any given point in time.
Physiotherapists will see any child at school who has been referred by a Doctor or other medical professional. On receipt of the referral they will send you an appointment or telephone you. You will be sent an information leaflet with a consent form asking for your written consent to enable us to progress with the referral.
You will be invited to attend the initial appointment with your child. The Physiotherapist will need to discuss the reasons for the referral and any subsequent treatments. A physical examination will then be carried out which will help to decide what therapy, if any, your child needs.
Programmes will then need to be followed both at home and at school to ensure maximum benefit.
Referrals should be made through school using the generic referral form.
NHS Occupational Therapists
Occupational Therapists will see any child at school who has been referred by a Doctor or other medical professional
The therapists have an office base at Shepherds Down School, with a direct dial number of 01962 717824. Messages can be left in a child’s home / school book, which is used daily by school staff and parents to share information.
Sensory Processing OT input:
Efficient sensory processing is “the organisation of sensory input for use” (Jane Ayres 1970).
It helps us to make sense of who we are and the world around us. It is a neurological process, involving the brain, spinal cord connected to different parts of the body by nerves.
Many of the children in the school have difficulties with sensory processing, this means they find it difficult to receive and respond to information that comes in through their senses. When the system does not function well, the result is raised agitation, lack of attention, anxiety, inability to ignore distraction and oversensitivity. This has a significant effect on learning, and limits their potential if not addressed.
At Shepherds Down school we aim to ensure that we address any difficulties a child might have with their ability to process the senses through the distraction free environment provided and where required assessment and an individual programme to address any differences. A typical programme would be based on the assessment of the individual sensory processing difficulties and is often referred to as a ‘sensory diet’. It includes activities such as regular exercise, bouncing on a trampoline, ‘squeezing’/deep pressure and use of wobble cushions and weighted jackets/blankets all aimed to provide the sensory feedback children need in relation to their own body.
In order to provide this, we have two highly trained LSA who support the assessment and advices on programmes across the school. We also provide, funded through FOSDA, advice and monitoring from a highly skilled Specialist OT who is known to the school, for half a day each half term.