The Primary School Pathway 1 is for primary school settings who have identified an individual child with additional needs. The setting may have identified general areas of difficulty, for example; concentration and attention, self-esteem and confidence, emotional and behavioural regulation or physical development. Alternatively, difficulties may have been identified in relation to specific activities, such as; dressing, feeding or toileting. Often, primary school settings will use inclusion and/or higher needs funding to finance this pathway.
1) Referral Form & Record of Consent
Once a setting has identified a child with additional needs, they should ask the child’s parent/guardian for consent to make an Opportune-OT referral. If consent is given, the setting should complete the referral form on Opportune-OT’s website – a record of parental/guardian consent should be made clear on the referral form. Opportune-OT will receive the referral application and arrange an appropriate time for a free telephone consultation via email.
2) Free Telephone Consultation
The setting will receive a free telephone consultation from an Opportune-OT occupational therapist. During this conversation, the occupational therapist will collect relevant information about the child, their needs and their goals.
3) Referral Accepted or Declined
The information collected during the telephone consultation will be discussed by the Opportune-OT therapists, before a decision is made to either accept or decline the referral. In cases where the referral is declined, Opportune-OT will always try and signpost to a more appropriate service. In cases where the referral is accepted, Opportune-OT will provide information about booking an initial assessment to see the child in the setting environment. This information will be communicated via email.
4) Initial Assessment Completed
Typically, an Opportune-OT initial assessment will consist of a 60-90 minute visit from two qualified occupational therapists. During the visit, the occupational therapists will; gather information from practitioners and teachers, observe the child in their usual routine and participate in activities or play with the child.
5) Recommendations Provided
Following the initial assessment, the occupational therapists will discuss their observations before sending the setting a follow-up email. This email will contain pertinent details of the assessment, a suggested focus or goals for 1:1 occupational therapy input and any additional recommendations for the setting to implement.
6) 1:1 Therapy Session
Typically, an Opportune-OT 1:1 therapy session will consist of a 60 minute visit, of which 30-40 minutes will be play-based activities and interventions with the child. The additional time ensures there is enough time allowed for the child to transition and settle into the therapy session and therapists to receive a quick update from staff.
The first 1:1 therapy session is normally completed by two therapists. Subsequent sessions may only require one therapist.
Following a therapy session, the setting can expect to receive a follow-up email. This email will include pertinent details from the therapy session, as well as plans for next steps – such as continuation plans for staff and goals for next 1:1 therapy session.
8) Discharge From Service
Discharge typically occurs when the child develops the skills required to complete desired or necessary activities, or when the setting has been adapted/staff have been up-skilled to meet the child’s needs independently. Wherever possible, discharge from Opportune-OT services will be a mutual agreement between the occupational therapist and setting.