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The Orion College Therapy team is a vital part of the school. All Therapists are well qualified and registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
Occupational therapy is a service that helps people achieve independence in their daily life activities or “occupations”. In the paediatric setting, therapists use their expertise to help children prepare for and perform important learning and developmental activities. This typically includes muscle strengthening and range of motion of the hands and body, work on bilateral coordination (using two hands together), motor planning, visual perception skills, and visual motor skills. It also includes direct practice of the task, often with adaptations or modifications of the fine motor and self-care tasks (cutting, writing, tying shoes) that are difficult for the individual child.
What is an Occupational Therapist?
An Occupational Therapist is someone who specialises in working with individuals who are experiencing a condition that is limiting their ability to independently complete the tasks of everyday living. In pediatrics, Occupational Therapists use their expertise to help children gain the functional skills they need for independence in play, learning, motor skill development, self-care, and socialization in their home, school, and community environments.
Do your therapists have special training?
All of the Occupational Therapists at Orion College hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited University. In addition, they are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
We place a high value on ongoing education for our therapists. Some of the areas members of our team are trained in include: Sensory Integration theory and treatment, NDT (Neuro-developmental Theory), Therapeutic Listening and the deep pressure/brushing protocol.
How does Occupational Therapy work at Orion College?
Currently the school employs two fulltime OT’s. The therapists are based on the school premise – they have a fully equipped OT room. Being on site also means that the OT’s work very closely with the rest of the therapy team in order to provide children with a holistic intervention plan. These therapists see children in the Foundation Phase (Gr. R – Grade 3) for individual therapy sessions. The children in the above mentioned grades are seen once a week for half an hour. Children in the Intermediate Phase are seen for group therapy. These children are seen together with their class mates and groups are run jointly with the Speech and Language Therapists. Being on the school premises allows the therapists to liaise with teaching staff and often therapy is done within the classroom setting to allow carryover of skills learnt in the therapy department.
Therapists are easily accessible for students, teachers as well as parents. An open door policy is practiced and consultation is always welcomed.
As part of the acceptance criteria of the school, visiting children need OT assessments on entry that is not less than 15 months old. Assessments are offered at a special reduced rate.
The OT’s produce two progress reports per school year and each child in the Primary School receives a full OT assessment once every two years. During such an assessment standardised tests are used to measure visual perceptual skills development. The therapist will also assess handwriting skills and physical skills (gross and fine motor).
Orion College offers the following therapies:
• Occupational Therapy
• Speech Therapy
• Short Term Psychotherapy/Play therapy
The combination of small classes and therapeutic intervention ensures Orion College offers a unique learning experience, whereby children are emotionally, academically and socially supported.
Orion College has a dedicated team of full-time therapists, who work very closely with the academic staff to assess and monitor the progress of our learners. We also offer internal and external assessment services.
Members of the Team
Occupational Therapy (Foundation Phase)
Speech Therapy (Foundation Phase)
Storm van der Walt
Learner Support (Primary School)
Rozanne van Niekerk
Cost of Therapies
All internal therapies are included in the school fees