The specialist approach at Rashid means a lot of the therapy is integrated into the curriculum. therapists support the integration of therapy goals into everyday teaching making therapy an implicit part of the curriculum. However if your son/daughter requires specialist individual therapy sessions by any of the therapies these are provided. Individual sessions focus on working on particular skills with clear learning goals that have been agreed with families.
Within our school community therapists often see students with similar needs in small groups for targeted and specific therapy input. The group context provides very positive motivation and a healthy atmosphere of sharing, peer support and competition. The decision to provide small group therapy is based on a detailed assessment of need and an understanding of the best way to motivate individual children. Examples of such groups are balance groups, sensory –motor gym activities and the activity sessions within conductive education which are all group based.
Input into classes:
Because therapy is implicit in our curriculum at Rashid Centre, therapists have a vital role in inputting into our classes. An individual’s needs will be assessed and evaluated and then the classroom timetable is designed with the focus and many needs of each member of the class being taken into account.
We recognize the vital role that parents and families play in helping their son/daughter to learn and flourish. Home visits, where the therapists come and visit the family in their home setting, are done by staff from the centre to both see the child in their home environment and support families with practical suggestions and problem solving at home. Families and carers are also able to attend sessions at the school in order to see how the therapists work with their child and understand how therapy fits into the child’s wider life.
Thanks to continued support from Deutsche Bank and the Al Marmoom Initiative, students at Rashid Centre have the opportunity to be selected for a very novel therapy approach. Hippotherapy refers to the way in which occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and speech and language therapy professionals use the movement of horses to engage the sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems of children and adults to achieve functional outcomes. The approach is transdisciplinary, evidence-based, and recognised as scope of practice by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Hippotherapy uses the purposeful manipulation of movement to challenge or stimulate the mounted patient. Physiotherapy principles: • Development of balance and postural control • Influence on musculoskeletal function. Occupational Therapy principles: • Input to physical, sensory, cognitive and emotional systems • Sensory systems are progressively challenged through visual, auditory, olfactory, somatosensory, proprioceptive, vestibular and kinaesthetic input • Forming relationships between patient and horse. Speech and Language Therapy principles: • Postural alignment and control are vital for creating satisfactory respiratory support for speech production and vocal control • Repetitive, multi-system sensory input from the horse influences regulation of: o arousal, attention and communication o integrated tactile and proprioceptive systems o integrated vestibular system. It can therefore be used with a range of diagnoses: • Developmental delay • Cerebral Palsy • Autism Spectrum Disorders • Brain injury • Sensory Processing Disorders • Functional curvature of the spine • Neuromuscular dysfunction • Genetic syndromes • Dyspraxia • Developmental Coordination Disorder. However, there are a number of absolute contraindications that influence patient selection and may mean it is unadvisable for a specific individual to attend Hippotherapy. For more information about Hippotherapy, contact a member of the therapy departments or visit www.americanhippotherapyassociation.org
A weekly orthotics clinic is run at the centre in conjunction with Mediclinic. This allows our students to be seen by the orthotist with their personal physiotherapist present in order to get the best option for the individual. It is convenient for parents and students are seen in the school environment where they feel at home and school is not missed for these appointments. Dynamic Movement Orthosis (DMO/Lycra suits) Our team are able to assess, measure and provide lycra garments in conjunction with DM Orthotics UK for children needing this kind of support. These suits/garments are made to measure and have been successfully used for children with a wide range of movement challenges. Link to DM orthotics website www.dmorthotics.com
There is an onsite swimming pool where our Physiotherapists have the option of taking students into the pool for therapy sessions. Being in the water gives some of our students with physical challenges the opportunity to explore movement more independently in a safe environment where they can benefit from the physical properties of water to help them move and support their bodies.
The therapists are able to assess for, give advice on and work with families who require specialist equipment for their son/daughter such as seating, wheelchairs, buggies, standing frames, walkers, bathing aids and toileting aids. Representatives from equipment companies are asked to come into the centre to demonstrate their equipment and do specific assessment with the relevant therapists for individual children as and when needed.