Hamilton North School offers the services of our team of therapists who can work alongside teaching staff to implement appropriate therapy programmes. Individual programmes are developed after observations and assessments to ensure educational and developmental goals are identified and progressed.
SPEECH LANGUAGE THERAPY
Speech Language therapists within the school setting are able to provide services for:
- Speech - unclear speech, sound disorders, articulation, oral motor difficulties
- Voice - vocal abuse, voice changes
- Fluency disorders e.g. stuttering
- Language - understanding and expression (both oral and written)
- Receptive Communication i.e. sensory losses associated with Hearing Impairment
- Social skills
- Problem solving
- Swallowing or other upper aero-digestive functions
- Alternative and Augmentative communication (AAC) - both through the use of high and low technology e.g. communication boards, computer etc.
Speech Language Therapists work collaboratively with students, family, other organisations, teaching and therapy staff to ensure that interventions are purposeful and working towards the student's / family's goals.
Occupational Therapy within the school setting is focused on enabling students to maximize their potential through achieving independence throughout their school day. Occupational Therapists look at the activities and tasks a student is required to complete throughout their school day and identify areas for skill development to increase independence as a student. These tasks may be related to:
- Achieving a suitable sitting position to access the curriculum
- Following a timetable, manipulating pens/ pencils and stationery equipment
- Completing self-cares such as toileting, washing hands, eating, drinking and showering.
- Occupational Therapists work with students with all abilities and provide specialist assessments for assistive equipment such as specific classroom furniture, assistive technology/ computer access methods, wheelchairs and seating, manual handling equipment and environmental assessments.
- Occupational Therapists work with students to increase participation in self-care, play, leisure and productivity (i.e. school work)
- Therapy programs may be one to one, class sessions or consultative working with teaching staff to implement programs such as perceptual motor programs, multi-sensory handwriting programs, swimming groups.
Physiotherapists in this school work conjunctively with classroom staff to address concerns around the body, primarily the musculoskeletal system.
Referrals for physiotherapy will include:
- Weakness or tightness of muscles / joints especially when it affects mobility(walking) and positioning
- Weakness or poorly coordinated muscles that control breathing and coughing. We teach effective breathing and secretion clearance techniques
- Difficulties with motor control
- Poor cardiovascular fitness / posture
- Sensory integration disturbance - if there is dysfunction, especially proprioceptive, tactile or vestibular. Physiotherapy can assist students by providing them and staff with tools to modulate sensory systems
- Equipment needs - standing and walking frames, transfer belts and seating 1 (basic seating)
- Difficulties at participating in horse riding and swimming
- Positioning and transfer
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
An Orientation and Mobility therapist works with students who have a visual impairment. and / or visual perception difficulties. Many children in a special needs school who have nothing physically wrong with their eyes may have difficulties with interpreting what they are seeing.
- Road crossing safety
- Optimising residual vision
- Body protection techniques
- Body Awareness
- Spatial awareness
- Vestibular programs
- Sensory programs
- Staff training
Orientation and Mobility therapists work very closely with teachers, teacher aides, parents and other professionals to ensure that the vision impaired child can achieve their potential.
Psychologists work closely with teachers and focus primarily on promoting adaptive behaviour within the classroom setting in order to enable all students to maximise their participation in their learning programs. Assessments take a biopsychosocial approach to ensure the development of a holistic working formulation of students' strengths and dfficulties. Family involvement is an important aspect of gaining a good understanding of difficulties and promoting consistency in management/interventions across the school and home environments. Behaviour management plans are developed in conjunction with classroom teachers. Individual supportive counselling is also available to students struggling with emotional and social concerns. Psychometric testing of intellectual and academic achievement can be arranged if deemed appropriate.
"At Hamilton North School the therapists are an integral part of the entire educational team who work collaboratively with parents / whānau / caregivers, other agencies, teaching staff and support staff to create and implement practical , appropriate and achievable personal learning plans."