Life at Henshaws College: Occupational Therapists

Becky is one of our Occupational Therapists at Henshaws Specialist College. She is part of our Integrated Therapy Service team which supports students across the college. Here she tells us more about her role.

Hello!

I’m Becky, one of the Occupational Therapists working at Henshaws College. My job is to enable students to participate in all activities which support them to access their education as effectively and independently as possible. Activities include washing, toileting, dressing, eating, teeth brushing, community access, meal preparation, seating, handwriting, scissors skills, computer access and so much more!  We take the time to identify what activities our students need and want to do. We then work with them to remove any barriers that may be in the way.

No two days are the same!

A day in the life of an Occupational Therapist is really varied, especially at Henshaws College! We work on such a variety of things and with such a wide range of students that two days are never the same. However, it will usually include some 1:1 work with a student, joining in education sessions to provide advice and guidance, working with other therapists and staff within College, assessing for and providing equipment. We are also now starting some group sessions back up.

Increasing participation

As Occupational Therapists, we have a number of different ways in which we increase participation in activities. We may teach new skills, adapt a task, adapt to the environment or provide equipment. For example, if working on dressing skills we could:

  • Teach new skills- teach different methods for shoe lacing
  • Adapt the task- identify clothing which is easier for independent dressing
  • Adapt the environment- provide a full-length mirror to improve body awareness
  • Provide equipment- provide a zip grip to make zipping up coats easier

It’s really rewarding

My favourite part of the job is seeing our student’s independence grow. It is a really rewarding feeling knowing that you have been a part of that improvement. Our aim is to teach skills for life so that our students can leave Henshaws College prepared for wherever they move on to next. We make sure that when our students leave us they take all of the equipment and resources they require with them so they can continue to be as independent as possible.

Onsite support

We are really lucky to have an onsite therapy team who work collaboratively towards our students goals. Having access to these therapies to support their education really maximises what they are able to achieve during their time at Henshaws College.

During this year’s graduation, it was really great to hear stories about how the different therapy strands have supported our students during their time here. I really enjoy working alongside the other therapists in our team as I learn a lot from them.

Why I love it

I love working at Henshaws College because there is a really positive attitude amongst students and staff. Everyone here works hard to make sure that our students have the best experience possible. We all work in a person centred way which is what Occupational Therapy is all about!

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