Is concerned with promoting functional ability, health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable students to participate in the activities of everyday life as independently as possible. This may be through improving the child’s skills or it may be through improving the environment in which the child is expected to function e.g. prescribing special toilet seats or hand rails.
Using the Integrated Service model and the Visual Performing Arts Curriculum the Occupational Therapist role is to assist teachers to promote the development and acquisition of skills necessary for occupational performance of life roles. We utilise the vehicles of visual arts (eg painting, paper mache, cutting and pasting visual aids and collages), singing, rhythm, movement and dance to optimise a students’ motivation to engage in learning.
At Port Phillip Specialist School the physiotherapist helps the family maximise the movement potential of the students and teaches parents or carers the skills to develop the child’s ability to perform everyday tasks.
Physiotherapy at Port Phillip Specialist School works in conjunction with other health professionals to meet all the child’s needs in a thorough and comprehensive way. This includes referrals to other health professionals where appropriate.
Speech & Language Therapy
The Speech Pathologists at PPSS use an Integrated Service delivery model, whereby they work alongside teachers, assistants, other therapists and families to develop the students’ understanding and use of language in all daily activities.
They also support students with swallowing difficulties via staff training and mealtime assistance programs.
For communication development we use a “Total Language” approach – some students can communicate successfully using speech, whilst others may require a combination of speech, signs/gesture, symbols, photos or electronic communication devices to communicate.
The Speech Pathologists assess students and participate in the goal setting process. Training in the use of specific therapy techniques is provided for staff and families as required. We use a variety of strategies to help the children achieve their goals, and many of these are delivered through the Creative Arts (e.g. singing, dance/movement and drama).
Social Work & Psychology
The role of the Social Worker at PPSS involves a variety of activities. Primarily, the Social Worker works with students and their families to assist in the many additional tasks associated with having a child with a disability.
Many families require information about what services and support is available and how to access services. The Social Worker acts as the link between the school, those external services, and the family.
To maximise opportunities for students and to create future partnerships, the Social Worker networks with many external providers including Moira and Centrelink.
The Social Worker also advises and plans for student management in relation to behaviour and welfare issues.
The psychologists are involved in advising in the management of student behaviour. They work with staff and parents to assist in providing strategies for what is developmentally appropriate for each child.
They are also able to use standard tests to measure and quantify gains. Counselling is also offered to parents.