Therapy

The therapy team is a multidisciplinary team made up of Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech Pathologists, Social Worker and Therapy Assistant. The team actively work in consultation with staff and families to address the individual needs of all students. The Therapy team utilises a consultative model within the school to maximise the learning outcomes and goals for each student. Students are generally seen in the classroom setting, and occasionally on a one to one basis, as needed.

Combined Therapy groups are held weekly, with Occupational, Speech and Physiotherapy all giving input to the students in the class. Students may participate in a variety of other therapy based groups, such as PMP (Perceptual Motor Program), Rough ‘n Tumble (sensory based), Social Skills groups, and Café Program.

The school therapy team coordinate with a variety of medical and external therapy services. They collaborate with allied health professionals to assist staff and families to support the students' needs.

The students also have access to a school dental service.

 

Occupational Therapy

   

The term occupation in Occupational Therapy refers to all ‘activities of daily living’. An occupational therapist is a trained health professional whose role is to assist the people with whom we work to successfully and independently take part in their daily living activities or ‘occupations’.

 

What do we do?

  • Prescribe equipment / modifications for the child’s various environments (home modifications, wheelchairs, hoists, transport, etc.).
  • Assessing and addressing the sensory needs of individual students.
  • Assess and address various occupations of the child.
  • Run class sessions in conjunction with the other staff including food exploration and play; sensory programs; gross and fine motor; and play therapy.
  • Liaise with private therapists, professionals, families and carers.
  • Collaborate with private therapists to provide consistency across environments

 

Physiotherapy

The Physiotherapists' role in a school is to optimise the physical functioning of a person. In both the early education and school environment we assess and assist with the gross motor development and function of the child.

 

What do we do?

  • Help to facilitate a child’s ability to move about their environment, with assistance or independently.
  • Develop and implement various programs around a child’s physical needs.
  • Prescribe equipment (wheelchairs, standing frames, assistive walking devices, seating) for early education, school & home, in conjunction with the OTs
  • Work and liaise with orthotic specialists to prescribe & fit foot and leg orthotics
  • Provide support to staff and families
  • Run a modified PMP program in the early years of school.
  • Attend various appointments as required (wheelchair/equipment trials & fittings, specialists etc.)
  • Collaborate with private therapists to provide consistency across environments.

 

 

Speech Therapy

Speech Therapists support individuals to communicate as independently and effectively as possible. 

We are also trained to work on areas concerning the function and musculature of the mouth, such as eating and drinking, and speech clarity or articulation. 

 

What do we do?

  • Support classrooms to improve accessibility to activities (eg. using visuals or sign language)
  • Run groups in conjunction with classroom and therapy staff working on food exploration and play, joint attention, turn-taking, social skills, language development and choice-making
  • Support students with oromotor needs such as hypersensitivity and aversion
  • Provide safe swallowing recommendations, e.g. food and drink modifications, strategies
  • Trial and develop individualised communication systems in consultation with significant others
  • Support families and carers in applying for funding for electronic communication systems
  • Support students with life skills such as making friends, coping with change, interpreting signs in the community, ordering at a café
  • Collaborate with private therapists to provide consistency across environments
   

  

Social Work

Many families require information about what disability services and supports are available and how to access these services.  The Social Worker at Monash SDS acts as the link between community resources and families and can assist families in obtaining the most appropriate services for them.  

To promote good communication, the Social Worker also acts as a liaison between the school and families.  The Social Worker advocates for families in need and works to keep both school staff and families informed of new and changing resources. 

The Social Worker assists the school in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the students and networks with many community partners like Parent Support Network, Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre, Child FIRST, Centrelink and various case management organisations to ensure families are receiving the supports they need.