It's not unusual for schools to buy in occupational therapy to support their students to engage with the curriculum, provide specialist training to school staff to develop their skills for CPD, increase their local offer, and /or provide outreach work for families / main caregivers.
Butterflies is now working with 6 Yorkshire based schools!!!
We are currently providing input around
-Specialised knowledge to assess the classroom environment, -Creation of sensory circuits,
-Development of emotional regulation, -Sensory processing assessment and intervention,
-Mindfulness, and much more!
These sessions work well in school in which it is difficult to engage the pupils due to their difficulties.
This approach is blended with environment assessment, classroom observation and standardised assessment tools.
Sensory Processing Difficulties assessment is completed with the children who can engage with a more formal assessment structure.
Current research is suggesting that praxis challenges can have a detrimental affect on behaviour. If demands are too high for a student their arousal levels will increase and their behaviour can decrease. This can impact on their ability to access education, self esteem and mental health. We provide specialist input and training to schools and staff to support students with this.
Butterflies Occupational Therapy provides specialist training to whole schools or certain class/years/staff around:
-Adaption of the classroom environment to ensure engagement of pupils whilst learning
-The development and use of movement breaks to support pupils to access the curriculum,
-Development of pupils emotional regulation to also enable them to access the curriculum,
-Outreach work to families/main caregivers
-Workshops for families/main caregivers as required.
This can be done as part of an insert day yearly or we can arrange regular occupational therapy input as required.
'Initially I did not think that movement breaks / sensory circuits would work. I was fearful that my already dysregulated class would become even more turbulent, however I was willing to give them a try and I am very glad that I did. I started by implementing a sensory circuit as part of my morning routine. I wanted students to feel calm enough to sit and eat during Nurture Breakfast.
I then began to implement movement breaks straight after social times, as the class was quite heightened when returning from break and lunch.The change in the students both collectively and individually once completing a sensory circuit or movement break was quite significant. My students became much calmer and appeared to be more relaxed and focused. As a result of this the classroom environment became quieter which in turn allowed me to engage each student in a task suited to them without disruption. It has not been easy implementing this routine and I have had bumps along the way and I am still exploring different activities and circuits.
On reflection I have learnt that it is important to change up the sensory circuits and the activities which are given during the movement breaks.I would definitely recommend building movement breaks / sensory circuits into your daily routine. They have had a positive impact on my group. It is important not to give up with these routines and keep on trying them as they can change the entire classroom dynamic'.
Rachel C (School Teacher).
Look at this graph, we can clearly see a drop in the amount of student physical incidents. Why and how you ask? Well, these brilliant classroom staff have been implementing regular movement breaks as part of the school day and prior to an activity students find challenging, based on class and individual needs. This was following education around sensory processing and sensory regulation provided by Butterflies OT as part of their school CPD sessions as well as completion of sensory profiles of students within the class.
OT + Schools =Therapeutic classrooms+ students meeting their full potential!
As part of a therapeutic classroom we want to ensure the students are not distracted by visual supports or clutter in the classroom and always do an environmental assessment of the space and what is working well, and perhaps isn't based on the student population and individualised sensory profiles of those students.
Following assessment of students resources are recommended to support students with their attention, sitting posture, handwriting and feeding skills to ensure their individual needs are being met to access the school curriculum.