Therapies & Interventions
We are committed to the holistic development of our pupils and ensure that they have access to a wide range of therapeutic interventions. The purpose of an intervention is to address a barrier to learning or to enhance health, happiness and wellbeing thereby enabling the child or young person to develop to the best of their ability.
Sensory Integration Therapy
This approach helps children to understand and cope with the information coming in through sensory channels – specifically touch, movement and an understanding of where our body is in space. This can be particularly difficult for children on the autistic spectrum.
We have 2 Sensory Integration rooms and members of staff who follow advice from specialist Occupational Therapists to deliver daily programmes of sensory therapy. We use a range of equipment including such items as swings, balances and physio balls to provide structured sensory experiences for children to calm or alert them, according to their need. We also offer regular sensory circuits for all classes to access This can help to make them more receptive to learning and more able to access the classroom environment.
Theraplay (Interactive Play Therapy)
Theraplay is a therapeutic 12 week 1:1 programme of interactive play for children and young people aged 4-19 years, who have experienced trauma. Trauma is defined as an experience that the individual interprets as beyond their ability to cope.
Access to Theraplay is on a voluntary basis and is available for all children and families with a wide variety of problems, including:
Children/Young people who are withdrawn
Children/Young people struggling with relationships
Children/Young people with depressed behaviour
Children/Young people with aggression
Children/Young people with phobias
Children/Young people who have difficulty socialising and making friends
SEN e.g. ADD, ADHD, developmental delay and autistic spectrum
Theraplay is a structured play therapy for children and their parents/carers. Its goal is to enhance attachment, self-esteem, trust in others and joyful engagement. The sessions are fun, physical, personal and interactive and replicate the natural, healthy interaction between parents and young children. The interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships.Structure, Engagement, Nurture and Challenge. The purpose of intervention is to promote resilience by supporting the potential for hope.
Theraplay at Shorefields is provided by a trained theraplayist who is based part-time in the school
Music therapy is a process through which children can express themselves, become aware of their feelings and interact more easily. Through making music with the therapist, a range of benefits may be achieved.
The music therapist is trained to improvise music spontaneously with the child or adult. Through improvised music-making an immediate and personal relationship begins to form. There are no 'right' or 'wrong' notes in music therapy. Instead, the person is encouraged to use a variety of musical instruments to find their own personal 'voice' and to develop listening, communicating and relating.
The therapist, a highly skilled and trained musician - accompanies and supports the person in their development. The therapist listens and responds to the person through the improvised music. Together the person and their therapist build a shared understanding through their music-making and this informs the aims and intentions for the therapy. The aims of music therapy are tailored to the needs of each individual. but might include:
- Music therapy provides a means of communication and self-expression, when words are either not an option or are inadequate.
- Music therapy may lead to increased interaction and concentration for individuals with communication difficulties.
- Supporting the student to grow towards milestones in development, such as babbling, experimenting with voice, communicative skills and the ability to play spontaneously and imaginatively.
- Music therapy can raise self-esteem, confidence and dignity, because there can be a real sense of achievement in making music.
- It gives a choice for people who have very little or no control over other aspects of their lives.
- It can simply bring fun and enjoyment to people who may not be able to participate in other activities.
- Music therapy can help to lower anxiety levels and encourage improvement in coordination skills, because music can be a great motivator.
- Music therapy can provide psychological and emotional support for individuals experiencing difficult life situations (e.g bereavement, family breakdown, depression).
- Music therapy can help to contribute toward the health and well-being of the 'community' and individuals.
Music therapy at Shorefields is provided by a trained Music Therapist who is based in the school one day a week, in partnership with Suffolk Music Therapy Services.
Speech and Language Therapy
The speech and language therapy team at Shorefields School includes a part time therapist permanently based in the school and additional input from health service therapists. The provision aims to help students fulfil their communicative potential both within the classroom and wider community through working collaboratively with school staff, families and carers. Our style of input is determined by assessment of the student's needs and as such can take the form of individual or group sessions, collaborative classroom sessions, joining class outings and home/community visits.
We promote effective communication by all means, for example, speech, sign, symbol exchange and electronic low/high-tech communication aids. We also support the development of students’ social interaction skills.
The speech and language therapy team also support students with eating and drinking difficulties. We provide assessment, diagnosis and recommendations alongside training for school staff.
Our school is offered a regular service from the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy employed by Anglian Community Enterprise CIC. Therapists visit the school during term-time and also offer home and community support where clinically appropriate to their service users.
The therapists work in collaboration with class staff and other professionals involved in the child's care to implement an integrated programme which meets a child’s physical needs within their educational setting. Therapy is offered on an individual or group basis depending on the needs of the child.
The physiotherapists offer a joint clinic with the local orthotics service once a month within our school. This enables student's known to physiotherapy and orthotics to benefit from joint clinical reasoning and maximises outcome and function. Therapists also co-ordinate joint appointments with equipment reps, the local wheelchair service, children's social care OT's, etc to maximise joint working to meet pupil needs.