I assess and treat children and adolescents with the following conditions: Sensory Processing Difficulties, Anxiety, Delayed Milestones, Learning challenges, Dyspraxia / DCD, Dysgraphia, Autism, ADHD and Dyslexia.
I also see children who don't have a diagnosis but concerns have arisen about their development or academic skills.
What these conditions all have in common are clinical signs of neurological immaturity. This will manifest through poorly developed attention and listening skills; postural, ocular and balance problems; coordination difficulties and / or difficulty regulating their emotions and behaviour. For some children the symptoms are much more subtle but result in tasks taking much more effort than it does for those around them.
When a child enters the education system, it is expected that these skills have developed sufficiently to allow them to sit still, listen and stay silent, stay focused and alert, play cooperatively, hold a pencil and write etc. Due a variety of factors occuring in-utero, during the birthing process or during early development, not all children have sufficient brain-body connections to support the skills they need to succeed. This can sadly result in low confidence, self-esteem and achievement.
Fortunately the brain isn't fixed. It is always possible, through the right intervention, hard work and committment, to improve brain-body connections, thus supporting the development of postural control, coordination skills and the ability to respond appropriatey to environmental demands. These are the foundation skills necessary to meet cognitive demands.
An assessment is the first step for all children I see. This helps me identify your child's strengths and needs.
An assessment will look for evidence for and the degree of neurological immaturity. To do this, I will complete a variety of standardised tests and clinical observations, as appropriate. Most, if not all, children I see, show evidence of unintegrated primitive reflexes and pooly developed postural reflexes. Children with these difficulties will always show signs of poorly developed sensory integration, including difficulty interpreting and responding to sensation, poor self-regulation skills, poorly developed postural control and / or coordination and sequencing difficulties.
When a child shows a cluster of the difficulties mentioned above, they are said to display signs of neurological immaturity.
After an assessment, you have the option of requesting a report that details the findings of the assessment. Reports summarise assessment findings, outline the impact of findings on function and list recommendations. The benefits of a report include a written summary of assessment findings and recommendations and the ability to share my findings with other professionals.
All therapy is goal orientated and progress is continuously monitored and reviewed. Goals are typically set to support the development of:
Children and either seen for monthly appointments, supported by a home program requiring 20 minutes of committment per day, or are seen for short intensive blocks at my clinic (6-12 sessions.)
Some of the therapy tools I use include:
If you're unsure if your child needs OT intervention or if you're just looking to discuss your child's needs and problem-solve 1-2 issues, I offer 60 minute parent advice clinics to provide information and strategies for you to try at home.
Please get in touch to request more information about my various assessment and treatment packages and a list of my current fee structure.
Sarah Sandford, Founder and Director
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