Therapies

 

The Harlow Academy has access to a wide range of therapies and interventions. These enhance both the educational and the personal development of the child in a holistic way.

You can find out more information about the full range of interventions that we offer our young people by clicking to expand the boxes below.

 

Creative Therapies
Creative Therapies work through art, drama or music to help children express and explore their feelings, working verbally and non-verbally. They aim to build a safe and trusting psychotherapeutic relationship where the child or young person can feel able to share their thoughts, and work through troubling issues. The content of sessions is confidential but they liaise with teachers, mentors, parents or carers to share general themes arising from the work.
Through the creative therapy process we aim to do the following:
  • to provide a safe space for expression of feelings
  • to enable exploration and understanding of feelings
  • to alleviate distress caused by difficult feelings
  • to increase self-esteem and confidence

 

ELSA
An ELSA, will work with students who may need additional support with their mental health and well-being.

 

Some areas they can help with are the following:
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Self-esteem
  • Social skills
  • Emotions
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger management
  • Behaviour
  • Anxiety
  • Bullying
  • Conflict
  • Relaxation techniques
To support this need, the ELSA will plan activities alongside a learning objective.
The learning objective will be something the student will be able to do at the end of the sessions that they couldn’t necessarily do before the sessions began. For example, they may work with a student that will be asked to identify six of their strengths, which is a self – esteem objective. By the end of the session, we would aim for the student to be able to recognise various positive qualities about themselves. The benefit of this is that the student will then recognise the skills that they have and therefore their sense of self-worth and overall emotional wellbeing will increase.
Students are then able to make progress in a variety of curriculum areas and are much happier in school if their emotional needs are supported.
The sessions range from 20 to 45 minutes long and run for 6-8 weeks.

 

The session consists of the following:
  • Emotional check in
  • Main activity
  • Relaxation

 

Water Therapy
Water Therapy, is a complimentary therapy that uses water for health purposes.
It supports muscle strength, independence and opportunity to weight bear.
The 4 key features that make water therapy an effective therapy are:-
  • Buoyancy – Aids balance, reduces pain and supports bodyweight whilst strengthening the muscles.
  • Water Resistance – Builds up their strength level.
  • Hydrostatic Pressure - Pressure on the body helps relieve tightness and reduce swelling.
  • Water Temperature – Eases the mind, relaxes muscles and relieves anxiety.
Water therapy exercises can help students to improve their:-
  • Oral motor skills and respiratory control – by blowing bubbles, or blowing a lightweight object along the surface of the water.
  • Muscle strength – Activities using a water noodle can build muscle in the arms and core without it being obvious to the pupil.
  • Concentration and confidence, reducing overall anxiety and stress.

 

 

 

 

Physiotherapy and clinics
Physiotherapy focuses on how muscles, joints and pain can affect physical skills, posture and walking leading to a functional difficulty.
Physiotherapy is delivered by setting joint goals with parents and/or school. Therapy programmes are then set to meet these goals.

 

Physiotherapists also assess children for supportive standing and walking equipment where it is required.

 

We currently have a number of physiotherapists working collaboratively with the teaching staff across the school.

 

Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and Language therapy may include supporting children in the following areas:
  • Developing language and communication skills
  • Developing alternative methods of communication e.g. Makaton signing, communication books, PECS, high tech communication aids etc.
  • Developing social communication skills
  • Developing speech sound production
  • Developing fluency when talking
  • Developing children’s eating and drinking skills and assessing the safety of their swallow

 

Some of our pupils need some form of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) system to help them communicate. The SaLT has experience with a wide range of AAC systems.

 

Therapist spend time assessing each child and then jointly set goals with parents and school. Therapy programmes will then be set to meet these goals.

 

Children may be seen in school individually or in groups by the Speech and Language Therapist or Speech and Language Therapy Assistant. Programmes of work will also be delivered within the classroom setting under the direction of the therapist.