THE ROLE OF THE SPEECH THERAPIST
The role of the Speech therapist in schools is to assess the individual needs of students and design programmes to best aid students with communication difficulties. Disorders may include stuttering and fluency problems, voice disorders, auditory processing disorders, language and communication difficulties ( i.e. understanding and producing language) or the inability to produce certain sounds (such as a lisp). All of these may have a negative influence on the learning process and as a result overall academic performance suffers. Intervention within a school has the advantage of close collaboration with the class teacher which improves the efficacy of therapy.
THE ROLE OF THE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Occupational Therapy (O.T.) involves the assessment and treatment of the school-going child’s perceptual-motor functioning as well as their sensory processing. Children who have weaknesses in these areas experience difficulty with gross and fine-motor coordination, drawing, copying, reading and writing.
Children are referred to the O.T. practice at St. Dominic’s by the class teacher if there are concerns in the abovementioned areas. Following assessment, sessions are conducted during the school day on the school premises, either individually or in groups of two. This allows close liaison with the class teacher and promotes carry-over of skills into the classroom setting.
Occupational Therapist: Hayley Polley