Children's Occupational Therapy
We are a team of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistant practitioners who are specialists in working with children and their families.
We work with children and young people from birth up to 18 (19 in complex needs schools) and their families who have difficulties with functional activities due to illness, disability or coordination skills. The aim of occupational therapy is to improve independence and quality of life.
Functional activities of daily living (or ‘occupations’) for children and young people can include self-care (for example dressing, eating a meal or bathing), being productive (joining in at nursery or school), and leisure (playing or hobbies).
We work alongside other professionals, such as teachers, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, nurses and paediatricians.
Premature baby follow up and Preschool children
Babies born before 33 weeks gestation are routinely referred to occupational therapy as part of their follow up. They are seen in clinic and support is given around development, play and useful baby equipment to support them.
Other preschool children with functional developmental difficulties are seen in clinic but may also require home or nursery visits.
Physical Disabilities and Illness
Children who are having functional difficulties because of a physical disability or illness are seen by an occupational therapist in the location most suited to the difficulties experienced.
For example, if a child is having difficulty eating their tea at home because they cannot sit up without support, we would usually come and see them at home. This allows us to see the actual difficulties they are having, as sometimes, minor changes can make a big difference to how they are able to complete an activity.
We will often need to see these children in more than one place to get a full picture of their needs and may also see them in a clinic depending on what they need.
Coordination and Fine Motor Difficulties
Children who are having difficulties caused by their coordination or hand skills are seen in a clinic. This allows us to complete standardised assessments in a suitable environment and means we can discuss your concerns away from the distractions of home or school.
Before we see a school-age child with these difficulties, you will need to demonstrate that you have tried to resolve the difficulties at home and school. Full details of how you can do this are in our Pre-Referral Pack. Pre-school children may be referred without completing this programme but could benefit from completing activities from it whilst waiting for their appointment.
Child-specific moving and handling in schools
We provide child-specific moving and handling assessment and training in mainstream Norfolk schools. This service is for physically disabled children and young people and is not for those requiring physical intervention due to behavioural problems. Schools can refer directly to us with this referral form.
If your child has been seen by us before and still meets the referral criteria, you may request a review without going back to your doctor. If needs are related to coordination or fine motor difficulties, you will be asked to wait 12 months between referrals to allow time to work on recommendations and consolidate skills between appointments. Please use this review request form.
Our referrals criteria are as follows:
Children must be registered with a GP in the former Norwich, North Norfolk or South Norfolk CCG areas (except children registered with Thetford GP practices who are seen by the OT team based in Bury St Edmunds). Children registered with a GP in the former West Norfolk CCG will only be seen by this OT team if referred with suspected developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Other conditions and difficulties are addressed by the OT team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn.
First referrals must be made by a medical professional who knows the child, however, families and schools may request subsequent reviews.
Referrals should be made on the SPOR form.
Follow these links to find out more:
Children’s Occupational Therapy
Norwich Community Hospital
01603 506 535