Shine Therapy Services
Shine Therapy Services is an independent consultancy offering occupational therapy and sensory integration therapy for children and young people. Our therapy services benefit children and young people who have recognised medical conditions or learning, social and emotional difficulties and all those who simply require some additional support with aspects of their development.
Within Knowsley Central School, the occupational therapist provides specialist assessment to help staff identify the pupils across the school who are presenting with sensory-based behaviours that are having an impact on their participation, learning, and ability to effectively self-regulate. These pupils are provided with a holistic and personalised sensory diet in which each sensory behaviour is individually identified, and suggestions are provided to staff and parents to meet the underlying need.
Education settings are complex and demanding environments and, to navigate these successfully, pupils require a range of physical, cognitive, and functional skills. Any difficulties relating to these skills may have a detrimental impact on the attainment, behaviour or well-being of a child or young person. Ensuring that students’ sensory needs are met throughout their waking day provides them with a strong foundation from which they can build such skills, meet developmental milestones, and achieve success in functional tasks.
The coming academic year sees an expansion in the occupational therapy service provision within Knowsley Central School with an added specialist focus on areas such as promoting self-care skills and fine-motor skills for handwriting.
All students at Knowsley Central are assessed by the occupational therapist to determine if they have any additional sensory processing needs with whole-class sensory strategies then recommended to foster and promote an accessible and effective learning environment. However, some students are identified as requiring more in-depth assessment and provision of a sensory diet.
Sensory diets are personalised plans which identify a young person’s specific sensory-based behaviour and advise various strategies to help them meet their underlying sensory need. Strategies may include physical movement and activity (such as completing a sensory circuit), retreat to a quiet space with minimal sensory stimuli, and accessing specialist equipment (such as weighted jackets and blankets). The diets are highly structured, giving a clear indication as to when each strategy should be used. Much like a regular diet, sensory diets are to be done consistently each and every day to ensure a young person’s optimum health and wellbeing.
Staff at Knowsley Central have been trained in how to implement sensory diet strategies and continue to receive regular coaching and mentoring from the onsite occupational therapist to ensure pupil’s are able to successfully access all of their recommended diet strategies.
of need and resource availability.
Under the guidance of the occupational therapist, a variety of sensory circuits have been set up at Knowsley Central, meaning that all students have the opportunity to access them throughout their school day.
A sensory circuit is a structured movement-based activity which involves the integration of both sensory and motor skills. Each sensory circuit is comprised of three stations which the pupils complete in order: the ‘alerting’ station, the ‘organising station’, and the ‘calming’ station. This structure is carefully designed to help pupils achieve the ‘just right’ state of alert that is needed to set them up well for the demands of their school day. If they are feeling tired or sluggish on arrival to school, a sensory circuit can help to wake them up, ready to start their day. If they are feeling giddy after a breaktime spent running on the playground, a sensory circuit can help them to calm and relax, ready to focus on their schoolwork.
In addition to supporting their self-regulation, the sensory circuits also offer opportunities to help improve motor skills (such as improving balance), to practice social skills (such as turn-taking), and to practise what they are learning in class (such as counting or recognising colours).