Ivy Lane School has access to an in-house team of therapists and clinicians employed by Hesley Group. The Applied Psychology Team is made up of Psychologists and Behaviour Therapists, with support from assistants. The team aims to understand the emotional, social and behavioural needs of a young person to reduce any distress and promote positive wellbeing. They work with the young people being supported, their families and school staff to develop a PBS plan, which communicates their preferences, strengths and needs in relation to achieving the best learning outcomes possible.
The Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Therapy Assistants get to know each young person well through doing activities together and completing formal and informal assessments with them and their family and school staff. Many OTs within the team have further training in Ayres Sensory Integration. They assess how young people use or rely on their sensory processing skills and how their environments may impact on levels of calm or distress. They will then try out different approaches, helping the young person to regulate their own reactions and sensitivities. This is to help them to engage in daily activities more easily and happily, and maybe try things they’ve never done before.
The Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Team aim to support each young person’s speech, language and communication needs. We value all types of interaction and the SLTs and Therapy Assistants aim to reduce barriers to communication and learning by promoting an inclusive communication approach. This can include using different types of communication such as:
• Photographs and symbols
• Makaton Signing
• Using accessible information or social stories
• Objects of reference
• Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
• Electronic approaches (such as iPads)
They might also support staff in using Intensive Interaction, an approach which takes the skills of the young person and builds on them in a relaxed, enjoyable way. Speech and Language Therapists also have
a role in making sure that everyone has safe and enjoyable mealtimes. Each person who joins Ivy Lane School has an assessment to see if they have any difficulties with eating and drinking (dysphagia). If someone needs extra support with their eating and drinking, the SLT puts guidelines in place to help them.
The Therapeutic Services Team within Hesley Group provides individual and group support for young people, depending on what each young person needs. They work closely with education teams, providing training, coaching, support and advice. Equipment ranging from communication resources, adapted cutlery and weighted blankets is also provided.