At Silver Linings, we understand that learning and developing confident and competent children is vital to their success and independence as adults. We have a strong focus on learning as well as therapy to ensure this. The two main therapies provided for at the school are Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy. We also provide counselling where possible and necessary.
Occupational Therapy helps children to learn the skills of LIVING. This means any activity a child needs to be able to do in daily life – from self-care to handwriting, to doing their buttons up. Some children need help to learn basic skills that other children learn easily such as playing with a toy appropriately. Many pupils at Silver Linings have difficulty processing the information that they receive from their senses and the environment. This can result in sensitivity to light, sound or touch, or though transitioning from one setting or activity to the next. Our OT helps children learn the needed skills, be more independent and function more independently and more effectively in their daily lives.
During weekly OT sessions our pupils do activities that help to learn the skills they need by breaking bigger tasks into smaller pieces. Our Occupational Therapist strives to have the children work on things in the most fun way possible and works with our teachers to identify the relevant goals and treatment plans to be included in the IEPs.
Skills Occupational Therapists address include:
- Fine motor skills
- Sensory processing
- Visual motor and visual perceptual skills
- Relationships and sex education
- Life skills.
Speech Therapy works to improve a child’s understanding of language and their expression of thoughts and feelings. This therapy works with all the cognitive aspects of communication, speech and language. At Silver Linings our Speech Therapist works with our pupils and teachers to enable the children to acquire the full range of communication.
Speech therapy focuses on three main areas: comprehension, expression and articulation. The therapy helps children with comprehension of both verbal and non-verbal language in understanding that people, places, and things have names as well as more complex language such as spoken directions, inferred meanings and humour. The Speech Therapist, with the support of the teachers, works on expressive communication through words, signs and pictures with the goals of communication basic wants and needs and being understood. Articulation of speech is also addressed, helping pupils to learn the sounds of the English language so that others can more easily understand what is being said.
Speech and communication goals form an important part of the IEP for many of the pupils at Silver Linings.
Skills speech therapy addresses include:
The emotional well-being of our pupils is an important aspect and priority of our school. As our classes are small, pupils generally have a close and trusting relationship with their teacher, and many see their teacher as a pillar to lean on when times are difficult. Many of our teachers are trained in counselling and by the nature of who they are, provide emotional support for the pupils.
At our Senior School, we have lessons in self-esteem and these not only cover topics of acceptance, growing in confidence and encouraging others, but allow for the pupils to share their personal challenges and emotional issues. Through this class, the pupils have learned to value and appreciate one another and some important skills in coping with difficulties. It provides a therapeutic group setting which enriches the emotional growth of our pupils.
Once every few months we have a psychologist and a social worker come to the school. They spend time with our Senior pupils in groups as well as individual sessions, depending on the needs arising at the time. Pupils are encouraged to speak about the emotional challenges they may be having in a safe and therapeutic setting. Many pupils have taken advantage of this opportunity and have experienced support and understanding, enabling them to grow in confidence and a sense of security.