Why children might be referred to us
The Child Development Centre helps children with various disabilities or difficulties.
Treatment for children may be in the form of treatment sessions, joint therapy sessions, group sessions, advice and support, or referral elsewhere.
Types of reasons children may be referred to the centre can include:
- neurological problems
- multiple complex disabilities
- learning difficulties
- multiple sensory difficulties
- developmental delay
- physical difficulties
- coordination difficulties
- orthopaedic problems
- juvenile arthritis
- respiratory problems
These problems may be long or short term.
What services does the centre provide?
We provide many services, including:
- multi-agency assessment and therapy management programs for over 5s with special needs and for those under 5s with special needs
- outpatient appointments
- joint therapy groups
- baby / toddler support / playgroups
- visits to children in nursery, schools or at home
The following are also available at the centre:
- toy library - for children and carers to choose and borrow a variety of toys
- advice and provision of specialist equipment including seating, toileting, walking, standing, hoisting, bathing, feeding aids
- meeting room
- access to support services and swimming group - 'Tiddlers' - held at Oakwell Respite Care Home
Where is the Child Development Centre?
The Child Development Centre is based at Overdale hospital in Westmount Road.
How can I get a referral to the Child Development Centre for my child?
The criteria for how to access the services is different for each of the professionals involved.
See the more detailed information below about each professional's service.
Who works at the Child Development Centre?
A variety of professionals provide services each having a special role within the team.
The physiotherapist will assess motor development and the quality of movement. They will advise on handling and positioning your child.
The educational psychologist works with your child at home or at nursery to assist with improvements in learning and behaviour. They help to plan for future education.
Speech and language therapist
The speech and language therapist will observe, assess and advise on your child’s early communication and feeding skills.
Speech and language therapy
The consultant’s role is to assess children presenting with developmental difficulties and if necessary to arrange tests, refer to other specialists, and to liaise with general practitioners (GPs).
The consultant oversees the medical care of children seen by the child development team.
Special Needs Service
This service is a lifelong service for individuals with special needs. The social worker's role is to offer a comprehensive support service to children and families with special needs.
There is close liaison with other professionals and agencies so individualised support can be maintained for as long as is deemed necessary.
The occupational therapist will assess hand function and daily living skills. They work with the physiotherapist on advising correct positioning which may involve the provision of equipment.
The health visitor is a registered nurse who is based at Family Nursing and Home Care at Le Bas Centre and works with the community paediatric team.
A health visitor visits from birth onwards and, following an initial assessment, is able to give advice to parents about such issues as:
- parent groups
- support groups
Health visitors play a vital part in coordinating the services available in the community to help and support families. They are able to organise the services of the paediatric care worker, and together they run a weekly support group.
They can arrange to visit families at home, in hospital, at the child development centre or at school. They organise routine child health screening and assessments and attend clinic appointments when appropriate.
Referrals to a health visitor can be taken from individual families or professionals. To make a self-referral contact Family Nursing and Home Care.
Family Nursing Home Care
Respite services manager
The respite services manager will communicate information and guidance about accessing social services and respite provision within the Island. The manager will liaise with the special needs health visitors in the support of parents by facilitating support groups at Oakwell Respite Centre.
Oakwell respite services
Paediatric care worker
Paediatric care workers are trained nursery nurses with vast experience of working with families. Following a careful assessment they can offer support to families in the community. They are able to give day time respite in the families own home or arrange to take children out.
The care worker helps parents access the hydrotherapy pool at Oakwell Respite Centre where they run a support group alongside the health visitor. All referrals to the paediatric care worker are coordinated by the health visitor.
Tiddler’s swimming is a relaxing and enjoyable way to encourage children to play and interact in a warm hydrotherapy pool at Oakwell respite centre.
Following a referral from a health visitor or other professional, parents and young children or babies who would benefit from this special support group are able to take part.