The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Children with Disabilities Team (CWDT) has 1.3 occupational therapists (OT’s) The OT’s support children and young people with disabilities in their home environment. The aim of the service is to support a child / young person and their carers to manage everyday tasks through:
- provision of specialist equipment
- provision of advice and teaching alternative ways of doing things to increase independence
- recommendations for adaptation to buildings
- recommendations for re-housing on grounds of disability
- referral to appropriate agencies when necessary
How the service is provided
Referrals are made to the Short Breaks front door phone number or email, or directly to the OT team, and can be made by a parent or a professional who knows the family with their consent. Once full referral information is received, a decision as to eligibility and acceptance of referral will be made within 5 working days, we will aim to see people within 6 weeks, subject to the availability of the family. We prioritise those whose needs are putting them at highest risk of harm.
What happens at an assessment?
An OT will conduct a home assessment. The aim of this is to see the child / young person’s abilities in all activities of daily living (ADL). This will include observing / discussion how the child / young person:
- gets in and out of the home
- gets in and out of their bed / bath
- sits on a chair for mealtime / play
- gets dressed
- eats / drinks / participates in meal preparation
During assessment consideration will be given to any transport requirements and any assistance required to support safe transfer.
From the information obtained at the assessment, the OT will propose ways of overcoming problems that have been raised.
Adapting the home
OT’s will recommend adaptations when they are assessed as ‘necessary and appropriate’ and ‘reasonable and practicable’. Adaptations are only carried out with the permission of the landlord or property owner and funding for adaptations is dependent on the owner of the property. Funding an adaptation may require an application to the council for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG).
Adaptations are usually provided so that the child can have:
- access to the building
- access to facilities for washing (this could be a bath or a shower)
- access to a room that can be used as a bedroom
- access to a room with a toilet
- safety in the home for the disabled person and other people living in the building
- access and movement of the disabled person to care for someone else normally resident in the property who needs such care (i.e. a disabled parent caring for a child)
- access to the principal family room
- access to a room for cooking / a wash hand basin
Read our Home Safety Advice here.
Sometimes specialist furniture or equipment is needed to manage every day activities. This is provided via an occupational therapist recommendation and is on loan to an individual for as long as it’s needed and are living in the borough. If something is designed to “grow” with a child, or is likely to need replacement for growth, the OT’s will check the needs every six months, or as parents alert them to change.
Other OT and therapy services
There are other OT’s in the borough employed by Health (CYPOT Service) and the Special Educational Needs department, to work with children with additional needs in their nursery or school to support inclusion. CYPOT also give developmental support to pre-nursery infants.
We work closely with the other OT’s working with a child, and with parents’ permission, share our assessments and follow up each other’s work to avoid asking the same questions. We also work closely with other members of Child Development Teams, in particular the Physiotherapists who will often be involved in orthopaedic management, postural care, and the provision of mobility equipment (e.g. walkers and standing frames.)
Xpanda Video Link: Please see our informative video on what the Xpanda Chair is, how to set it up and how to use it - https://youtu.be/jqrP0TrCDRY
For our "How and why to use a hoist and sling to help someone from a bed to a chair" videos click here
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