The physiotherapist and physiotherapy assistant deliver physiotherapy as outlined on a student’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). These sessions include gross motor work, blocks of hydrotherapy, setting and reviewing individual programmes for staff to implement throughout the day. Physiotherapists advise staff on postural support and positioning and the use of specialist equipment. Additionally where needed, the occupational therapist (OT) assesses students and gives advice regarding specialist equipment and furniture.
Communication - Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT)
A specialised Speech and Language Therapist works alongside teachers to develop SaLT programs for each student.
Speech therapy baseline reports are produced for all students and then the therapist works with staff to set and evaluate challenging communication IEP targets. The speech therapist oversees the student voice session, and specific interventions such as Lego Therapy. Recently the she SaLT has provided training for staff regarding approaches to working with students with autism, for example, TEACCH approach, PECS, social stories, colourful semantics and the use of Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC).
Following the introduction of our college animals (6 chickens, a tortoise and 2 rabbits) staff have completed Animal Therapy training. Aspects of this are included in our animal care sessions to enhance our students’ learning and therapeutic experiences.
In Summer 2021, our Therapy dog started working at Brentwood. Working with the Canine Assisted Learning programme, the dog will be learning to work with students throughout college with a full timetable in place by Autumn 2022. More information can be found here: https://www.canineassistedlearning.com/
Brentwood commission a Specialised Sensory Integration Practitioner (SSIP) to work collaboratively with class teams to observe the sensory needs of students with autism. A sensory profile is written with recommendations of specialist sensory equipment and modifications to the environment to allow students to have their needs met and be able to access the curriculum. Brentwood have worked with the SSIP for many years, and staff have benefitted from internal and external bespoke sensory integration training. The SSIP was instrumental in the design of our specialist soft play room to ensure it provided optimal opportunities for students to self-regulate.
We are excited to have newly formed Sensory Champions across both College and School to work in conjunction with the SSIP to support all staff to produce sensory passports for students with autism. The impact of training and collaborative working is evident in our daily practice and as a result students sensory needs are very well met which enables students to fully access teaching and learning.
‘Sensory and the curriculum are very fluid, linking seamlessly to ensure a balance of effective teaching and learning, and balanced sensory input. Staff are fully aware of learner sensory deficits and behaviours, and will direct learners to sensory activities to supplement their input at time of need.’(Autism Accreditation, 2016)