As part of the multidisciplinary team the occupational therapist receives referrals from medical staff, psychologists and from schools in relation to children. Although children at Stage 3 onwards can be seen and treated it is only a statutory requirement if part of a statement at Stage 5. Occupational Therapists may be called in for children with learning disabilities, physical disabilities or behavioural problems. Occupational therapists will visit children both at home and at school depending on where the area of need is considered to be and parental permission is required to treat a child, except in cases where children are in care or under social service protection.
In school the occupational therapist will undertake a complete assessment of a child. He or she can then advise on different aspects of treatment alongside the teacher and usually a six week programme is designed. This will normally involve activities which can be undertaken by the whole class and not just the special needs child. He or she will give advice on accommodation within school, equipment and teaching strategies.