Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists (OTs) help people to achieve independence in their activities of daily living. For children, these fall into the areas of self-care, school and leisure. OTs can take a ‘top down’ view to solving functional problems i.e. teaching a practical skill like dressing, or adapting the environment to make function possible.

But sometimes they take a ‘bottom up’ approach, which means they work on underlying deficits to help improve function in daily life. An example of this is using a Sensory Integration (SI) approach to help people with sensory processing difficulties.

Trudy Richards is Psychology Associates’ Specialist Occupational Therapist and has over 15 years of experience working with young people with sensory processing difficulties. Trudy has designed our brand-new Sensory Gym at our offices in Saltash, Cornwall.

What is a Sensory Gym?

A sensory gym contains apparatus (such as cushions, monkey bars and swings) which the occupational therapist uses, alongside a variety of approaches, to help people with sensory processing difficulties.

The therapist and environment enable individuals to process and integrate incoming sensory information in a safe and fun way. Sensory Integration approaches help to calm and regulate the nervous system. This in turn should improve the ability to engage and learn.

The sensory gym is also a safe space that may be used by families to nurture attachments and relationships. If appropriate, our Occupational Therapist will use approaches of Sensory Attachment Intervention (SAI).

SAI is an informed approach to help young people with a history of trauma, experience feelings of safety and improve their ability to co-regulate with their parents/carers and eventually self-regulate.

How do I know that a child has sensory processing difficulties?

There are different indicators that a child or young person may have difficulties with sensory processing, these include:

  • Hypersensitivity to light touch
  • Feeding/sleep difficulties
  • Poor concentration and attention
  • Unusual reaction to temperature and/or pain
  • Unusual reaction to temperature and/or pain
  • Oversensitive to noises (e.g. fireworks, hand dryers, traffic)
  • Fine motor difficulties (e.g. holding a pen, fastening buttons)
  • Sensory seeking behaviours (e.g. fidgeting, holding a toy, sucking, swaying in chair)
  • Poor body and spatial awareness (could be described as ‘clumsy’)

Trudy is also experienced in providing a vast range of Occupational Therapy services, whether to parents, carers, school and education staff and fellow health care professionals including:

  • Consultations (offering verbal recommendations to parents, carers and professionals)
  • Occupational Therapy assessments (including written recommendations and assessment outcomes)
  • Clinical supervision (to fellow occupational therapists)
  • Training and workshops (to fellow healthcare professionals and/ or parents)
  • Treatment ‘packages’ (this may include regular therapy using our new sensory gym)

Contact us to discuss your requirements

Contact us today and a member of our team will be in touch to arrange an appointment.

Courses & Events

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If you would like to find out more about our Occupational Therapy services please contact a member of our Referral Team

At Psychology Associates our clinicians are all HCPC registered and have up to date enhanced DBS checks

Psychology Associates is a dynamic, creative and expert independent practice of like-minded clinicians. We are all passionate about making a meaningful difference to people’s lives and will work hard to achieve the change you seek.

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