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Children's Occupational Therapy


Children’s occupational therapists (OTs) work with children and young people aged 0 to 18. Focusing on meaningful activities they need, want or are expected to do in their daily life such as getting washed and dressed, playing with toys, or going to school. 

We provide Children’s Occupational Therapy within Southend-on-Sea, Castlepoint, and Rochford and work in close partnership with:

  • Parents and carers
  • Other Occupational therapists (including Social Care)
  • Physiotherapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Health visitors
  • Paediatricians
  • GPs
  • Psychologist
  • Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCos), Teachers and Learning Support Assistants
  • Dietician
  • Local education authorities
  • Early years team.

Service Information

Children and young people referred to the team could be experiencing a wide range of difficulties, which effect their ability to participate in their daily activities. The OT works with the child or young person, their family and other professionals and relevant individuals to enable them to reach their full potential and maximise their independence.

Children’s OTs work with children and young people focusing on meaningful, purposeful activities they need, want or are expected to do in their daily life, otherwise known as their ‘occupations’. These activities are divided into three main categories and could include the following:

  • Self-care: Using a toilet, getting washed and dressed, or using cutlery to eat a meal
  • Leisure: Playing with friends and family or taking part in hobbies
  • Productivity: Going to nursery or school and recording written work
  • Our involvement could include some or all of the following: assessments, advice, therapy, specialist equipment, EHCPs and annual review contributions.

The service is based at the Lighthouse Child Development Centre but should be provided at the most appropriate venue for the child. This may include:

  • Lighthouse Child Development Centre
  • Home visits
  • Nursery visits
  • School visits
  • Input within Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools, colleges and days centres.

We provide three main areas of service, which are divided as follows:

Pre-school Service

For children under the age of 5 years with a range of children’s clinical conditions. These difficulties could be due to physical, developmental, sensory or neurological impairment, or as a result of illness or trauma, effecting children’s development.



Functional Improvement and Developmental Coordination Service

Provides occupational therapy for children and young people from 5 to 18 years who have difficulties with: physical, developmental, sensory or neurological impairment, or as a result of illness or trauma.


Provides children and young people with long term difficulties aged 5 to 18 years, including neurological and developmental disorders, progressive conditions and learning difficulties, within a community setting.

This includes children in mainstream aged 5 to 18 years and children and young people in special educational needs school aged 3 to 19 years.

Referral Information

The following professionals can refer children to our service using this referral form.

  • Healthcare professionals s (GPs, Paediatricians, Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists, Health Visitors, Nurses, Educational psychologist)
  • Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCo) / Teachers
  • Early Support Workers

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