The Therapy team at Brantridge School consists of:
- Speech and Language Therapist
- Art Therapist
- Occupational Therapist
- Therapy Assistant
Speech and Language Therapy
Children with Autism and/or Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) difficulties can often present with co-occurring speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). Difficulties with language or communication can manifest as challenging behaviours therefore it is important to identify any SLCN needs through the admissions screening and/or assessment upon starting at Brantridge school.
A pupil may receive direct or indirect intervention from the speech and language therapist, depending on the provision outlined in their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). If additional support is considered necessary by education staff, parents or the therapy team, then the Speech and Language Therapist or the Therapy Assistant can become involved through the referral system.
Pupils at Brantridge may need support due to significant difficulties with attention and listening; understanding and using complex spoken language; being able to understand abstract language such as verbal reasoning and problem-solving, and often have significant social communication and interaction difficulties.
Interventions offered at Brantridge are evidence based and include;
- Active Listening
- Attention & Listening skills
- Narrative skills
- Assertiveness training
- Colourful Semantics
- Social Stories & Comic Strip Conversations
- Lego Therapy
- Cued Articulation
- Social skills
- Emotional Literacy
Education staff also receive regular advice on identifying and supporting speech, language and communication needs and to provide an inclusive environment where language is supported visually.
“Occupation” refers to practical and purposeful activities that allow people to live independently and have a sense of identity. This could be essential day-to-day tasks such as self-care, education or leisure.
The occupational therapist at Brantridge will consider and identify barriers which may prevent a child from being independent such as;
- Physical needs e.g. toileting, feeding, fine motor (pencil, scissor work), gross motor (balance, ball skills)
- Psychological needs e.g. self-regulation skills (ability to recognise changes in their body and identify and use strategies to calm)
- Social needs e.g. friendships, relationships at home and at school, inclusion with others in the community
- Environmental needs e.g. seating, distractions, culture, social, family & home life
A pupil may receive direct or indirect intervention from the occupational therapist, depending on the provision outlined in their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). If additional support is considered necessary by education staff, parents or the therapy team, then the Occupational Therapist or the Therapy Assistant can become involved through the referral system.
Education staff also receive advice on identifying and supporting occupational needs in the classroom.
Art therapy is a psychological therapy used to help students manage difficult thoughts, feelings and experiences, it is very different from art lessons. In the UK, art therapists must qualify with a higher degree and maintain registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.
The school offers 1-1 sessions for students who would benefit from time with the therapist using art making processes and materials to express and think about what they find difficult. The sessions are confidential, so that students can talk without fear of the therapist telling other people what they discuss. However the therapist also follows school and legal safeguarding procedures when a child makes a disclosure or is deemed to be at risk of harm.
Art therapy allows students to express feelings, fears, thoughts and frustrations in a containing and creative way; it can help people to explore what is hard to put into words and is easier when shared with a therapist.
If you think your child would benefit from Art Therapy please get in touch by contacting the school telephone number on 01444 400228.
Websites for further information
I Can (children’s communication charity) www.ican.org.uk