OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

The five occupational therapists working at Jan Kriel School render services to learners from Grade R to Grade 12. As a member of the multi-disciplinary team, the occupational therapist strives to adopt a holistic treatment approach.

Occupational therapy is aimed at the treatment of learners with physical, developmental and/or learning disorders through: purposeful, graded activities; modification of equipment or methods and the development of pre-vocational skills to promote independence in activities of daily living; enable learners to participate in school activities (academic, sport and culture) and prepare them for life after school.

Grade R – 3

The need for therapy is determined by means of relevant assessments and, on the basis of this, learners are involved in therapeutic interventions that take place during individual, small group and class group therapy sessions.

The aim of occupational therapy is to promote the competence in functional performance areas such as self-care, academic performance and aspects of play relating to development and learning.

The following components are addressed during therapy:

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Sensory-motor components: considering sensory integration processing and dysfunction and the effects it has on daily performances.

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Postural control components: considering the impact that muscle tone, strength, stability and co-ordination have on development and learning.

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Motor skills: promoting the development of gross and fine motor skills needed to perform daily tasks.

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Visual perception: promotion of the basic building blocks necessary for optimal understanding and learning.

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Assistive devices: facilitation of independent and/or effective functioning.

Grade 4 – 6

Therapeutic services rendered to learners in individual, group and/or class group sessions are aimed at the development of visual perception, fine motor skills and sensory integration.

Physical activities, teamwork, endurance and self-regulation is taught in co-operation with the educators as part of the Life Orientation curriculum.

The use of computer aided methods of assessment and learning support aims to promote independence and serves as an alternative to scribing (Learning Access Suite).
Selected learners are included in a programme aimed at the promotion of pre-vocational skills.

Grade 7 – 12

Due to the large number of learners in the high school, occupational therapy is offered only to leaners who have been identified with a severe need for it.

Occupational therapy services are rendered to learners in these grades during individual or group sessions and includes the following:

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Facilitation and support of the learning process by promoting thinking and learning skills to enable the learner to access the curriculum and perform to his/her potential.

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Adaptation of methods and/or apparatus to facilitate accommodation of physically disabled learners in academic and practical classes.

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Monitoring of optimal positioning of wheelchair users in co-ordination with the physiotherapists in order to prevent secondary complications.

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Develop pre-vocational skills to ensure realistic future planning as well as preparation for entry into tertiary education and training facilities and/or the world of work for school leavers.

After grade 12:

Sporadic follow-ups on former learners to support them in placement in suitable work environments, learnerships and protected workplaces.

Student training:

Third and fourth year occupational therapy students from the University of Stellenbosch are placed at Jan Kriel School to complete part of their practical training under the supervision of the therapists employed by the school.