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Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy enables children and young (CYP) people to take part in daily life to improve their health and wellbeing. Daily life is made up of many activities (or occupations).

For children or young people, this may include:

  • self-care (getting ready to go out, eating a meal, using the toilet)
  • being productive (going to nursery or school, volunteering, doing chores) 
  • leisure (socialising, playing with friends or doing hobbies)

Occupational therapists promote environments, relationships, and activities which support children and young people to develop and feel happy.  This can help them feel valued members of their community, regardless of physical, learning and mental health needs.

Who can Occupational Therapy help?

We see children and young people with various difficulties or conditions. These include neuro-motor conditions such as Cerebral palsy; Autistic Spectrum Disorder; Syndromes; Developmental co-ordination difficulties; and Developmental delay

Some children may experience sensory differences due to their disability. As such, they they will find it hard to process, and act upon, information received through their senses. This can create challenges in everyday tasks.

We can support children and young people to manage the impact of their sensory differences on their daily experiences.

For example, by:

  • changing the environment
  • changing  the task the child is trying to attempt into smaller steps, or
  • developing strategies for children to help them manage their own needs.

Read about the Royal College of Occupational Therapists view on Sensory Integration and Sensory based interventions here.

Read Waltham Forest’s FAQs on how sensory differences affect children.

How to get referred to our services

Your child’s school or nursery, GP or Health Visitor can use the SCS referral form (Word) to refer you to our services. Once your child's referral is accepted, you should be seen within 18 weeks.

The reason for referral must relate to an identified functional concern. For example, difficulty with using cutlery, organising their books for school, dressing, riding their bike, making breakfast/light snacks, participating in PE lessons or sporting activities, handling play items (e.g. building with Lego) or using school tools (such as scissors).

See our service criteria here. 

Get in touch

Opening times

9am to 5pm
9am to 5pm
9am to 5pm
9am to 5pm
9am to 5pm
Children’s Community Occupational Therapy Team

NELFT NHS Foundation Trust
Wood Street Health Centre
6 Linford Road
London E17 3LA