Occupational Therapy (OT) at Treloar's aims to help students to be as independent as possible in every aspect of their life. All of our students are assessed when they arrive at the Treloar's and are assigned a named Occupational Therapist.
They work with students to:
- Ensure that they have appropriate seating to provide postural stability and promote function
- Identify the wheelchair(s) that will best meet their needs
- Ensure that they have the equipment they require to access their computer and the curriculum
- Work jointly with Speech & Language therapy, physiotherapy and assistive technology to ensure that students have access to the latest technology
- Identify and provide appropriate equipment to help them and their carers in the management of personal care
- Promote personal independence in carrying out or learning to direct activities of daily living
- Identify and develop the practical, social, domestic and community skills to help them make the transition into adult life Can get help with thinking about life beyond College and the future life of work.
- Promote their self-esteem and confidence in the educational environment, at home and in the community
Developing skills and acquiring independence at all levels involves liaison and close working with all departments within Treloar's, and with parents and local services. The appropriate skills are developed by practising in everyday situations in the educational, residential and community environments, and at home.
The Occupational Therapists are involved in weekly multi disciplinary planning and in setting targets for each student. These targets are typically interdisciplinary and will be facilitated in joint sessions with colleagues from speech & language, physiotherapy, assistive technology and residential services.
At Treloar College, OTs play a big part in Independent Living Skills. They work with students on a number of goals relating to greater independence, particularly domestic and community skills. Helping you understand what is a realistic goal and what help you may need in the future is an important part of this.
Working with an OT students may identify equipment or a strategy to help them carry out a task for themsleves or give them opportunities to develop their independence through directing and organising support.
There are a number of training kitchens and flats at college where students can learn to prepare meals and develop their domestic independence skills. For some students this will involve OTs working together with residential staff on breakfast and supper clubs on the boarding house, other students may work individually with OT to shop, cook and prepare meals for themselves. Where appropriate students can spend time staying in one of the independence training flats developing budgeting, organisational, cooking and self care skills. Initially this is for a few days to enable students to experience life in their 'own flat' following which they may choose to apply to stay in one of the longer term training flats for between one term and a year.
All students at Treloar College participate in community skill sessions working on goals identified by OT. Sessions may be delivered jointly with teaching staff as group sessions or be individual depending on the needs of the student. Residential staff are able to support these goals through practise at weekends. Depending on the needs of the students targets may include accessing the local community and communicating with members of the public, to road safety and use of public transport. OT's run the Transport programme each year which enables students to plan and arrange complex journeys involving changes of public transport, helping them to identify strategies and contingency plans that can be put into place if necessary.