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The Gateway School’s therapy team delivers occupational therapy, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and as of 2020 speech therapy to the learners.
At the beginning of 2020 The Gateway School appointed a Speech Pathologist/therapist, Ms Stephanie Carolus. The Speech Pathologist/Therapist’s role is to focus on preventing, assessing, diagnosing and treating speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders in learners at the school.
Therapy is mostly offered on an individual basis and a learner will receive speech therapy based on the grade they are in and the communication requirements they have. Learners who present with feeding difficulties and/or who are non-verbal will automatically be added onto the list of learners who require speech therapy. Learners who do not require Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) or Dysphagia (Difficulty Feeding) Therapy will be offered the option to attend Private Speech Therapy and a therapist will come to the school to provide the learners with individual therapy.
Speech therapy focuses on Dysphagia Therapy; Language Stimulation; Auditory Perception and Discrimination and Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Learners who require AAC therapy will either be introduced to PODD/GRID/Additional High- and low-technology devices such as the Gotalk or introduced to a form of PECS in order to aid communication in the classroom. Some of our learners prefer to communicate using hand gestures and signs and they will be taught Makaton as their sign language of communication. Some learners are also offered multiple forms of communication where they are taught to sign and use pictures to communicate simultaneously.
The occupational therapy available at The Gateway School is designed to enhance each learner’s ability to fully access and be successful in the learning environment.
The occupational therapists use purposeful activities to facilitate the learner’s active participation in self-maintenance, academic, vocational pursuits and play or leisure activities that occur in the school environment.
Using direct and indirect services, as well as assistive technology and environmental modifications, the occupational therapists at The Gateway School collaborate with parents, teachers and other educational staff to help implement the learner’s special education programme.
Examples of activities performed at therapy include participating in gross motor obstacle courses, messy play, performing visual perceptual games, threading, using pegs and other fine motor tasks.
Once the learners’ turn 17 and 18 years old, the Occupational Therapists assist with the implementation of the Individualised Vocational Programme at The Gateway School where those with the potential to work in the Open Labour Market are trained at various businesses outside of the school.
Hydrotherapy is available to selected learners of all ages who may benefit from the programme that is run by the therapists. Treatment in water forms an integral part of the total physical and psychological care of many varied conditions and is a very important part of the rehabilitation process.
The Physiotherapist at The Gateway School is responsible for assisting with the development of the learners’ physical performance and prerequisite skills for educational activities involving functional posture and movement. The provision of mobility aids and assistive devices allows for the learners’ to gain maximum independence to achieve their full potential.
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