Referrals can be made to the Children and Young People’s Therapy Service, either directly or through the Early Help Assessment process. To refer directly please email all referrals to CYPTSReferrals@SomersetFT.nhs.uk (preferred option) or send in the post to Referrals, Children and Young People’s Therapy Service, Priory House, Priory Health Park, Glastonbury Road, Wells BA5 1XL. See Children and Young People’s Therapy Service website for service criteria and referral forms.
Any referral made to occupational therapy will go through the triage process. This assesses whether the level of need a pupil is demonstrating meets the relevant criteria for support. To meet the service criteria, the child or young person will need to have significant functional difficulties with everyday activities.
If the level of need is deemed to be high enough, then the pupil will then be placed on a ‘sensory pathway’ which is an advisory pathway. Parents, carers and schools will initially be invited to either attend a ‘Sensory Information Group’. This is a training session lasting four hours to provide information about sensory processing, sensory processing difficulties and practical strategies to trial or be invited to do this training online.
The focus of this training is to empower parents, carers and schools with the knowledge to support children and young people effectively, while helping to develop specific tailor-made packages together. Participants receive a pack of information with recording sheets to track the progress made with the strategies suggested.
For many, this level of support is all that may be required. However, if a child or young person is not making progress, or further support is needed, then a follow-up consultation can be requested. Evidence of recording sheets and all of the strategies that have been trialled during this time will be required. It may also be determined that the child or young person’s needs may not be due to sensory processing difficulties but due to another reason.
If the child or young person’s difficulties are not deemed to be due to sensory processing and there is evidence of functional difficulties this could be helped by an occupational therapist, referral to a more appropriate care pathway will be sought in order to access appropriate assessment and advice.