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Children's handwriting difficulties

Find out how we can help

A child struggling with handwriting may soon become frustrated and lose motivation. Proactive, early action ensures that their difficulties are addressed quickly and minimises the impact on their progress at school.

We regularly assist children with handwriting difficulties and have developed our own programme which can be delivered at home and/or school. And when we help a child with their handwriting, we typically observe improvements in other areas of development too, including their academic progress and behaviour.

How OT's help

Whether your child's school has identified that their handwriting is falling behind that of their peers, or you have noticed such difficulties yourself, we can help. Parents contact us for a variety of reasons related to handwriting, but some of the most common difficulties to which it may contribute include:

  • Difficulty remembering how to form letters or in copying from a book or whiteboard
  • Poor spacing and positioning of letters and words
  • Discomfort in gripping a pencil for any length of time
  • Weak fine motor skills, hand strength and dexterity
  • An unwillingness to complete written homework
  • Difficulties concentrating, or poor behavior in the classroom that is less evident in the playground
  • Excessive tiredness after short periods of writing

Our assessment process allows a specialist occupational therapist to identify the nature of your child's difficulties with handwriting, and the reasons for them. Once identified, we can work with you and your child to put in place a plan to address them.

Packages of care

We are flexible around the needs of your child and family and have a variety of handwriting treatment packages to ensure we provide the right solution for you. All of our interventions are oriented towards ensuring that you and your child see measurable improvements.

This might include one or more of the following:

  • An eight-week block of one-to-one bespoke handwriting treatment sessions, delivered to your child at home or school, after which we will review and plan the next steps with you
  • An intensive block of treatment delivered over the holidays - this is popular with overseas families, or those with limited weekend or after-school capacity in term time
  • A home and school programme providing practical, everyday techniques, with advice and support to ensure that the approach is consistent throughout your child's day
  • Attendance at a handwriting group at weekends or over the holidays

Common areas we work on

Through our assessment we will identify the specific areas of handwriting that your child is struggling with, and the source of these difficulties, allowing us to plan a targeted treatment programme.

Some of the most common areas that we would expect to be working on include:

  • Developing a mature pencil grip
  • Assuming and maintaining an effective seating posture
  • Correct letter formation
  • Development of pre-writing and copying skills
  • Activities to increase core and shoulder stability
  • Fine motor skills, hand strength and dexterity
  • Organisation and presentation of work on the page
  • Working with parents and schools to ensure that the right approaches to handwriting continue even when the OT is not present

Schools, LEAs and businesses

Is your organisation looking for professional OT services?

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Why The OT Practice

We recognise the importance of knowing that you and your child are in safe hands. That is why, when you first make contact with us, you will straightaway be able to explain your concerns to a member of our client management team who will be able to provide relevant information about our services, answer any questions you may have and provide guidance on next steps. This dedicated paediatric team will then remain in charge of your case through any subsequent assessment and treatment we provide.

Other reasons to rely on The OT Practice include:

  • We visit you and your child at home or school at a time convenient for you, with no clinics or waiting lists, offering after-school and weekend appointments where necessary
  • We devise home and school-based treatment plans to ensure that our assessment and advice is relevant to each child’s unique environment
  • Our nationwide network of registered children’s occupational therapists allows us to find you the right local therapist
  • Intensive treatment available during the school holidays
  • We believe our role is to equip you and your child to become as autonomous as possible – ultimately independent of, and not dependent upon, the help we provide

Services for businesses, organisations and the public sector

Schools

Delivering individual or group therapy for children, or advice and training to up-skill members of staff.

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Local education authorities

Occupational therapy provision at home or school as recommended in an EHCP or Statement on behalf of LEA's.

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Healthcare concierge

Assessment and treatment services for clients in their own homes both in the UK and internationally.

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Next steps

Initial enquiry

During your initial call to us you can discuss your concerns with a member of our paediatric client management team, who will be able to understand what your child's difficulties are, provide information and advice on our services and identify the right OT from our team.

Quote

If therapist input is recommended, we will send you a detailed quote via email or in writing explaining what, after a full assessment, we propose and how much it would cost, as well as rates for further work that might be recommended in the future.

Referral

Once you have had time to consider the options and costs, and if you would like to go ahead, the next step would be to fill in our online referral form. In the meantime, if you have further concerns or questions then our client manager will be happy to discuss them with you.

Assessment

Our therapist will then contact you within 24 hours to arrange an assessment visit at home or school, a mixture of formal and observational methods - as well as conversation with yourself, your child and their school - after which you will receive a comprehensive written report.

Advice

The report will include a clear record of our findings and recommendations, together with practical advice on how to help your child. Where additional involvement is required, we will follow up the report with a detailed quotation so that you have all the information needed to make an informed decision.

As Private Occupational Therapists our aim is to provide choices and guidance to help you decide what the best options are for you

Lucy

Cambridgeshire, East Anglia

Qualifying in 1999, Lucy specialises in seating & postural management, rehabilitation and housing & equipment for adults.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

East Midlands, East Anglia, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Suffolk

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Vocational Rehabilitation, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation

Further qualifications

AMPS, Train the trainer

Specialist skills

Fatigue management, Pain management, Motivational issues, Routine planning, Daily living skills, Gross motor skills, Behaviour management, Co-ordination, Self care, Social integration

Tracy

Leeds, West Yorkshire

Specialising in rehabilitation, Tracy is an expert Occupational Therapist working across Yorkshire with clients in their own homes and workplaces.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Wakefield, Hull

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Neurological rehabilitation

Further qualifications

AMPS

Specialist skills

Fatigue management, Motivational issues, Routine planning, Financial management, Daily living skills, Community access, Sensory integration, Behaviour management, Planning & execution, Self care, Social integration, Anxiety management & relaxation, Learning disability

Liz

West Sussex, South of England

Liz is a highly skilled paediatric OT working with children and their families across Kent, London, Surrey and Sussex.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

South East of England, Kent, Surrey, West Sussex

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, Therapeutic listening

Specialist skills

Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Behaviour management, Balance, Co-ordination, School Based Therapy/Support, Makaton, Sensory attachment intervention

Susan

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Qualifying in 2004, Susan specialises in housing & equipment, seating & postural management and moving & handling for children.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, East Midlands, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicester, Derby

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments, Routine planning, Daily living skills, Community access, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, Planning & execution

Jonathan

Birmingham, Warwickshire

Jonathan is an expert Children's OT who specialises in complex and long term conditions, working with children and their families.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, London - West, Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Moving and Handling

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments, Daily living skills, Self care, Postural management

Michaela

London - North, Suffolk

Based in Essex, Michaela is an expert paediatric Occupational Therapist working with children with sensory needs in their own environments.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

East Anglia, Essex, Suffolk, London - North

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Self care, School Based Therapy/Support

Gaynor

Leicester, Warwickshire

A highly skilled occupational therapist, Gaynor provides expert neurological, vocational and functional rehabilitation to clients in the East Midlands.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, East Midlands, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Warwickshire, London - North, Nottingham, Leicester

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Vocational Rehabilitation, Functional rehabilitation, Neurological rehabilitation

Further qualifications

BOBATH

Specialist skills

Fatigue management, Motivational issues, Routine planning, Community access, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Behaviour management, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Wheelchair accreditation, Anxiety management & relaxation

Rachel

Hertfordshire, East Anglia

Based in Hertfordshire, Rachel delivers specialist rehabilitation assessments to children and adults at home or work.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, South of England, South East of England, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, London - Central, London - North

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Vocational Rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, AMPS

Specialist skills

Sensory integration, Behaviour management, Handwriting assessment & treatment, School Based Therapy/Support

Kirsty

Wrexham, North West England

Qualifying in 2001, Kirsty specialises in housing & equipment, moving & handling and rehabilitation for adults and children.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

North West England, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, West Midlands, Wales, Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Shropshire, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Powys, Wrexham, Liverpool, Manchester, Hull, Stoke-on-Trent, Salford

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Vocational Rehabilitation, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Moving and Handling, Neurological rehabilitation

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments, Blue Badges / Mobility Assessments, PIPs, Fatigue management, Daily living skills, Community access, Self care, Social integration

Ann-Marie

Wiltshire, West and South West of England

Based in Bristol, Ann-Marie provides expert therapy helping children with sensory processing, motor coordination and complex needs.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West and South West of England, Wales, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Bristol, Cardiff

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Co-ordination, School Based Therapy/Support

Samantha

Leeds, West Yorkshire

Trained in advanced sensory integration and therapeutic listening techniques, Sam helps families by treating children at home, school and nursery.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

North East England, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Humberside, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Wakefield, Salford

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Neurological rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, Therapeutic listening

Specialist skills

Daily living skills, Community access, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Behaviour management, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Social integration

Karin

Rutland, East Midlands

Working as a paediatric occupational therapist in the East Midlands, Karin assesses and treats children at home, school and nursery.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

East Midlands, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Daily living skills, Fine motor skills, Visual perception, Postural management, DMO (Lycra) Splinting, School Based Therapy/Support

Carien

Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Based in Scotland, Carien provides expert paediatric therapy helping children with handwriting, sensory and complex physical needs.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Scotland, Cumbria, Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh (City of), Fife, Glasgow (City of), Midlothian, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Perthshire and Kinross, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian, Glasgow, Edinburgh

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Functional rehabilitation

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Blue Badges / Mobility Assessments, Fatigue management, Pain management, Motivational issues, Routine planning, Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Behaviour management, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Social integration

Carmen

Hampshire, South East of England

Trained in advanced sensory integration techniques and therapeutic listening, Carmen treats children at home and in school.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West and South West of England, South of England, South East of England, Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, London - South

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, Therapeutic listening

Specialist skills

Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Self care, School Based Therapy/Support, Sensory attachment intervention

Natalie

Kent, South East of England

Natalie is an expert occupational therapist working in Kent & the South East, providing support to children and their families.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

South East of England, Kent

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Neurological rehabilitation

Further qualifications

BOBATH

Specialist skills

Routine planning, Daily living skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Postural management, School Based Therapy/Support

Su

Kent, South East of England

Su is a highly skilled occupational therapist working with children with a wide range of special needs and disabilities.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

South East of England, Kent

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Moving and Handling

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments, Daily living skills, Community access, Self care, Postural management, Learning disability

Lisa

Derby, Derbyshire

Lisa works across the UK with adults and children with complex needs, supporting them to live as independently as possible.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

North West England, North East England, East Midlands, East Anglia, London, Ireland, Derbyshire

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Moving and Handling

Hannah

Birmingham, Worcestershire

Hannah is an experienced children's Occupational Therapist based in the West Midlands.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire, Birmingham, Coventry

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, School Based Therapy/Support, Anxiety management & relaxation, Learning disability

Kirsty

Glasgow, Glasgow (City of)

An expert occupational therapist, Kirsty works with children with a range of conditions in West Scotland in their own environments.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Scotland, Glasgow (City of), Glasgow

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation

Specialist skills

Counselling

Emma

Brighton, West Sussex

Emma is an expert occupational therapist working with clients with a range of needs in Hampshire, Surrey & Sussex.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

South East of England, West Sussex, Brighton

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Moving and Handling

Further qualifications

Certificate in Education

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments, Daily living skills, Community access, Self care, Postural management

Louise

Birmingham, Warwickshire

Louise is an expert Seating & Postural Management OT, delivering specialist mobility and Rehabilitation assessments to clients at home.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, East Midlands, South of England, South East of England, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Birmingham

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Moving and Handling, Neurological rehabilitation

Specialist skills

Postural management

Elizabeth

Cardiff, The Vale of Glamorgan

Liz is an expert neurological rehabilitation specialist working with clients in their own homes across Wales and the West Midlands.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West Midlands, Wales, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea, Torfaen, The Vale of Glamorgan, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Swansea

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Hand Therapy, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Moving and Handling, Neurological rehabilitation

Further qualifications

BOBATH

Specialist skills

PIPs, Fatigue management, Motivational issues, Routine planning, Daily living skills, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Postural management, Splinting, Wheelchair accreditation

Lone

Hertfordshire, East Anglia

Trained in advanced sensory integration techniques and both Bobath and Chailey approaches, Lone treats children at home, school and nursery.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

East Anglia, London, South East of England, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, London - Central, London - North

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, BOBATH, CO-OP Practitioner

Specialist skills

Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Self care

Helen

London - North, Hertfordshire

Working with children at home and school, Helen provides expert occupational therapy in North London, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, South of England, Hertfordshire, London - North

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Seating and Postural management

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration

Specialist skills

Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Balance, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care

Paula

London - South, London

Paula is a highly skilled and long term experienced clinical Occupational Therapist working with Children in the London area.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

London, South East of England , London - Central, London - South, London - East

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, AMPS

Specialist skills

Routine planning, Daily living skills, Sensory integration, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Self care, School Based Therapy/Support, Learning disability

Debbie

Middlesex, London

Debbie is an expert speech and language therapist, delivering specialist assessments and treatment to children at home, school and nursery.

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Profession

Speech and Language Therapy

Regions covered

East Anglia, London, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, London - Central, London - North

Specialisms

Paediatrics

Specialist skills

School Based Therapy/Support

Jenny

Carmarthenshire, Wales

Based in Wales, Jenny provides expert occupational therapy to adults and children. She specialises in housing & equipment and seating.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Wales, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Swansea, Swansea

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Moving and Handling

Further qualifications

Sensory Integration, BOBATH, Train the trainer, Chailey Postural Management

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments, Blue Badges / Mobility Assessments, Daily living skills, Gross motor skills, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Self care, Postural management, School Based Therapy/Support, Wheelchair accreditation

Hannah

West Yorkshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Qualifying in 2010, Hannah specialises in seating & postural management, housing & equipment and rehabilitation for children and adults.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Wakefield, Hull

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Moving and Handling, Neurological rehabilitation

Specialist skills

Fatigue management, Routine planning, Financial management, Daily living skills, Community access, Sensory integration, Fine motor skills, Handwriting assessment & treatment, Visual perception, Co-ordination, Planning & execution, Self care, Social integration

Kelly

Kent, South East of England

Kelly is a highly regarded Occupational Therapist who works with both children and adults. Kelly covers the Kent area.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

South East of England, Kent

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Housing and Equipment, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Moving and Handling

Further qualifications

AMPS

Specialist skills

DFG Assessments, Daily living skills, Self care, Postural management, Learning disability

Amie

Bristol, Somerset

Amie is a highly experienced Occupational Therapist specialising in Neuro-Rehabilitation covering the Somerset, Bath & Bristol and West Wiltshire areas.

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Profession

Occupational Therapy

Regions covered

West and South West of England, Avon, Somerset, Bristol

Specialisms

Paediatrics, Vocational Rehabilitation, Seating and Postural management, Functional rehabilitation, Moving and Handling

Specialist skills

Fatigue management, Routine planning, Daily living skills, Fine motor skills, Planning & execution, Self care, Postural management

Client feedback

Further reading

Our Experts' Blog

How and when to source a children’s Occupational Therapist

Paediatric occupational therapy is a specialism of the profession where the OT is able to assess and treat the physical, mental and cognitive aspects of a child’s development. They look at the whole child to facilitate and support them and their family to achieve maximum independence and access the opportunities within the world around them.

Read more

Our news & press

Radio 5 Live interview with our Paediatric Client Manager: Handwriting

Is there a right and wrong way to hold a pencil? When Radio 5 Live presenters approached us to find out, our Paediatric Client Manager Sarah Stagg was only too pleased to explain.

Read more