Prior’s Court has been celebrating Occupational Therapy Week 2023 with staff across site learning more about occupation.

The focus of Occupational Therapy Week 2023 has been about what occupations are and why they matter, with our team of on-site Occupational Therapists (OT) focusing on this in the context of the young people with complex autism we support.

Our OT team (pictured above) issued a quiz to staff members about the concept of occupation and what some staff members' favourite occupations are. Posters were also placed around site for staff to share their thoughts on why occupations are so important.

Young people at Prior’s Court can struggle to self-occupy so as well as providing direct support to young people, our OT team works to share their knowledge with all staff to support young people round-the-clock.

Lucy Whitehead, one of our OTs, said: “Engagement in occupation is in itself a therapeutic tool and is fundamental to health and wellbeing. It should be considered a basic need and human right, as it gives meaning to life for everyone, it's what structures our day and gives us an interest in the world around us.

“Some individuals may need support to engage in a range of occupations and this is where we as Occupational Therapists would support. We would look at developing the individual's skills to engage in their chosen occupation and to support those around them too.

“As Occupational Therapists we are keen that the individual always has the opportunity to try engaging in their occupation first and then for us to support as needed.” 

Occupational Therapy Week is a Royal College of Occupational Therapists event which runs annually. This year, the event was from Monday, 6 November to Sunday, 12 November.

More about our on-site OT team

Our OT team of four manages a caseload across our Lower School, Post-16 and Young Adult Provision, using the Wave Model across Specialist, Targeted and Universal levels. They assess the young person's activities of daily living skills across self-care (washing, dressing, toileting etc), leisure (fine and gross motor skills) and productivity (skills required to engage at school).

The aim is to integrate the team’s recommendations into the young person’s day, to support the development of independence, motor and self-regulation skills.   

This could include creating universal approaches across the school and houses as requested, general advice or to create programmes to support the development of particular skills. Our OT team also runs and organises targeted group sessions on sensory circuits, scooter boards, messy play and dressing skills.

Read more about our approach to Positive Behaviour Support