The overall goal of Occupational Therapy (OT) is to maximize a student’s ability and potential to independently participate in a variety of activities across the school day. These activities may be academic, such as writing skills, as well as non-academic, including the development of social skills, sensory integration and self-care skills.
OTs work consultatively throughout the school, working on a referral and priority needs basis. The OTs provide recommendations in consultation with classroom staff to address areas of concern including:
- Activities of daily living: Such as dressing, toileting, eating
- Motor planning: developing the ability to organise, plan and complete new and unpractised skills such balancing, skipping and handling objects
- Sensory processing and sensory integration: Managing student sensory processing within the school environment, including oral motor (e.g. blowing bubbles), visual, tactile (e.g. touching and manipulating different objects) and proprioceptive activities (e.g. movement-based games such as climbing, kicking balls and using scooter boards)
- Fine motor skills: Using hands and fingers to manipulate smaller object
- Perceptual motor/ gross motor: the acquisition of large scale movements such as walking, running, jumping, climbing, swimming.
School speech pathologists assess and treat people who have a communication disability. Speech pathologists are trained in all aspects of communication including speech, writing, reading, signs, symbols and gestures. Speech pathologists also work with people who have difficulties swallowing food and drink.
The speech pathologists at Warringa Park School have a goal to equip every student at the school with an ability to communicate. This may include using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). AAC assists children with little or no speech by supplementing or augmenting the speech a person may already have. Alternative communication is used where speech is not possible. AAC includes all forms of communication, other than speech (e.g. gesture, signing, communication books and speech generating devices).
AAC is used to aid students in:
- expressing their needs, wants, thoughts, and emotions;
- reducing frustration and behaviour difficulties;
- turn taking, initiation and requesting skills;
- understanding the meaning of words;
- developing more complex thinking skills;
- developing spoken language;
- using socially appropriate behavior;
- supporting comprehension;
Other targeted areas of our speech pathologists include:
- Language development– increasing the length of sentences and improving the structure of such sentences by playing language games.
- Fluency – the smoothness and flow of speech. The most common fluency disorder is stuttering. Our speech pathologists work on ‘smooth speech’ techniques and by following the ‘Lidcombe’ program.
- Articulation – any disordered speech sounds by working from the individual speech sound through to phrase length.
Warringa Crescent Campus
Warringa Crescent Campus
The physiotherapist at Warringa Park School assesses and treats a variety of conditions that affect the physical function of students through enhancing learning in a fun way by encouraging movement. Key areas of focus include: exercise programs, gait aids such as walkers and wheelchairs, manual handling, transfers and staff and student education.
The focus of movement therapy at Warringa Park School is to explore and have fun with all body movements. This exploration assists with the development of confidence, strength, coordination, balance, flexibility, spatial awareness and body awareness.
These developmental body movements include: rolling in all directions, commando crawling, classic crawling, knee walking, bear walking, squatting, rocking, climbing, reaching, pulling and pushing.
The advancement of such movements assist our students to develop and improve their skills in: bending, stretching, flexing, extending, twisting and turning, balance, coordination and functional movement.
Movement therapy sessions are conducted on a one on one basis in our Allied Health room with identified priority students across the school. Ingrid Weisfelt is a Feldenkrais therapist and is employed by the school on a part time basis.