The 5 occupational therapists working at Jan Kriel School render services to learners from grade R – 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 pre-vocational training 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 assessed and learners are then included in individual, small group and/or class group intervention programmes.
- The aim of these programmes is to promote 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:
- Sensory-motor components: considering sensory integration processing and dysfunction and the effects it has on daily performances.
- Postural control components: considering the impact that muscle tone, strength, stability and co-ordination have on development and learning.
- Motor skills: promoting the development of gross and fine motor skills needed to perform daily tasks.
- Visual perception: promotion of the basic building blocks necessary for optimal understanding and learning.
- 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.
- Computer aided methods of alternative 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 these phases, Occupational Therapy in these phases, Occupational therapy is offered to selected learners.
Occupational therapy services are rendered to learners in these grades during individual or group sessions and it is aimed at:
- 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.
- Adaptation of methods and/or apparatus to facilitate accommodation of physically disabled learners in academic and practical classes.
- Development of 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.
- Organization and co-ordination of seating clinics for the monitoring of optimal positioning of wheelchair users and to prevent secondary deformities and/or complications.
After grade 12
Follow-up of ex-learners for placement in suitable employment, learnerships, protected employment, etc.
Training of students
Third and fourth year occupational therapy students from the University of Stellenbosch are placed at Jan Kriel School and Bottelary Primary School to complete their practical training under supervision of a therapist working at Jan Kriel School.
Sport for the physically disabled
Occupational therapists and physiotherapists are involved in sport for the physically disabled learners. Sport activities are seen as an extension of therapy in terms of both maintenance and improvement of physical function and social skills. Participation in sport also contributes to the holistic treatment of learners and offers the opportunity to teach them about the value of a healthy lifestyle, physical fitness, interpersonal relationships, competition, development of their talents and skills, and promotes a healthy self-image and body image. Learners compete in interschool, provincial, national and international competitions.