Paediatric Occupational Therapy

Paediatric Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapists believe that participation in occupation can have a positive impact on wellbeing.  We talk about occupational performance as a way of describing participation in occupation that supports you to live a safe, healthy and happy life.

We understand that for a person to participate fully there is a connection between 'the person', 'the occupation' and 'the environment'.  Each of these elements can have a positive or negative affect on occupational performance and therefore on wellbeing.

We believe that by making changes to any of these elements we can influence participation and wellbeing.

That is how we as a profession think and talk about occupational therapy but what does this mean for children, young people, their families and other professionals that are part of the team around the child?

When we think about 'occupation' we think about the person's job so what does 'occupation' mean for a child or young person?  Occupational therapists think about 'occupation' as a wider concept which includes all the activities that you do on a daily basis which keep you safe, healthy and happy.

We talk about 3 different types of occupation

  • Self Care
  • Work
  • Play and Leisure

As children grow and develop they need to learn the skills required to look after themselves as adults.  A child's work is learning about the world, so instead of talking about work we talk about education.  Children learn best through play and play can have an impact on both safety, health and happiness.  So under the occupational therapy section the information is organised under the banners of Self Care, Education and Play & Leisure.  If your are looking for help with a particular activity of daily living then this is probably the best place to start.

The Role of the Community Paediatric Occupational Therapist

The role of the Community Occupational Therapist is to provide intervention, support and/or advice to children and young people (0-18 years) and their families, where there is disability or impairment which impacts on their performance and participation in everyday activities of life.

Treatment and intervention approaches are developed with the aim of enabling children and their carers to maximise independence and support effective self-management. This is done through a variety of ways; one-to-one sessions are offered at the Child Development Centre (CDC), at home, in schools and nurseries. Group sessions are held in the CDC or in other community venues; these give children the opportunity to mix with others who have similar difficulties. Advice and strategy leaflets are offered to the parents and education staff, providing them with information to help the child.

Occupational Therapy is offered to children who have difficulties such poor gross and fine motor co-ordination, poor core stability, poor motor planning skills, visual perceptual difficulties or sensory difficulties which are affecting their ability to undertake daily activities e.g. dressing, using cutlery, completing jigsaws, riding a bike, writing.

The Occupational Therapists offer advice and information sessions in schools to develop the staff's knowledge of some of the difficulties the children have and how they can support the child.

The Role of the Community Occupational Therapy Support Worker

The Community Occupational Therapy Support Workers are part of the Community Paediatric Occupational Therapy Service providing support to the Occupational Therapists and delivering direct intervention to children and young people.

Their duties include planning and implementing programmes in clinics, nurseries, schools, or at home. Support Workers feedback and discuss observations with therapists to ensure interventions are appropriate for each child.

Support Workers are responsible for completing a session evaluation form after each session as well as an intervention summary at the end of each block and keeping EMIS records up to date meeting Occupational Therapy professional standards.

Click on the leaflets below for more information.

Click on the leaflets below for more information.

OT Advanced Practitioner Pathways

Advanced Practitioner Pathways in Occupational Therapy:

  • Neurodevelomental
  • Developmental Impairment
  • Neurodisability

Occupational Therapy Student Placements

We aim to provide you with high quality learning experiences that develop your clinical skills as appropriate to your profession and stage of training, and extend your enthusiasm for your profession. We believe that students should be treated as adult learners who are capable of taking responsibility for their own learning, and developing colleagues who are able to contribute to professional discussions. All of our departments are working departments and the needs of the services must be the priority. In view of this your programme could change at short notice and will require flexibility if this happens.


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