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Sunday 21 April 2019
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
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Children who have Coordination Difficulties

young boy writing

Concerns may have been raised by parents, carers or school staff, which have identified that a child may have specific difficulties with coordination differing from that expected for their age. This may be seen in a variety of ways which include: problems in PE, handwriting issues, handling small items with care, frequently tripping or falling over, learning to dress, use cutlery or manage the toilet. Through discussion with school, input should already have been provided to try and manage these areas of difficulty, including use of the Physical Literacy Toolkit.  When progress is a concern, and basic strategies have not been successful, referral to the paediatric therapy team may be appropriate.

Referral is made via a paediatrician (a children's doctor) or school SENCO if they are Physical Literacy trained.  Once a referral is made, you will receive an acknowlegement that it has been received.  Once your child has been allocated to a therapist, they will contact you with details of your appointment. You will be asked to come to a clinic, or your child’s school. Occasionally, the therapist will ask to come to see you at home for this initial appointment, if they feel that this is the most appropriate place for your child. For the first appointment, it is necessary that a parent or legal gardian attends with your child as we need to hear about your concerns and needs for your child.

An Occupational Therapist and a Physiotherapist usually work together to assess your child’s development and coordination. Your child will be encouraged to feel at ease, and activities will be graded to ensure that they can achieve most of what is required.  It is a good idea to talk to your child about the assessment beforehand, explaining that we are here to find out what is hard for them, and also find out what they are good at too. We will provide you with advice to help your child overcome their difficulties along with a treatment programme, if appropriate, to be delivered at home and school.  The appointment usually takes 1 – 1 ½ hours.