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The 9 Allied Health Professional groups work in close partnership with other healthcare professionals, education, social work and the voluntary sector. Together they have a shared responsibility for meeting children's needs.
Occupational Therapists work with parents/carers and others to assess if a child has difficulties with the practical and social skills necessary for the child's everyday life. An Occupational Therapist will aim to enable the child to be as physically, psychologically and socially independent as possible.
Referrals to Occupational Therapy can come from a variety of sources and this varies across the country. All referrers must ensure the referral is made with the parent's consent.
The professional body for Occupational Therapists is the College of Occupational Therapistswww.cot.org.uk
SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY
Speech and Language Therapists ( SLT) work with parents/carers and others to asses if a child has speech and/or language difficulties, communication or eating and drinking difficulties. The therapist will consider the difficulties the child has and the impact these will have on his/her life. If appropriate the therapist will decide how the child can be helped to reach their full communication potential.
Anyone including parents can refer to Speech and Language Therapy. If anyone other than the parent is referring the child, the referral must always be made with the parent's consent.
The professional body is the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapistswww.rcslt.org
Physiotherapists assess and manage children and young people with movement disorders, disability or illness. The aim of the physiotherapist is to help the child/young person reach their full potential through providing physical intervention, advice and support.
Referrals to Physiotherapy can come from a variety of sources and this varies across the country. All referrers must ensure the referral is made with the parent's consent.
The professional body is the Chartered Society of Physiotherapywww.csp.org.uk
Podiatrists are involved with children and young people to deliver health promotion/education in relation to feet and in the assessment for early treatment of foot and gait related dysfunction. This is essential in reducing the impact of foot and gait problems in later life.
The Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists has launched a practical foot care guide to children's feet. The guide offers in-depth information on foot health, and problems associated with growth. The booklet is available free from the organisation's website, www.feetforlife.org
THE ARTS THERAPIES
Arts therapists support children to respond, without the need to use words, through the communicative power of art, music or drama to share and work on the issues and challenges facing them whatever their ability or need. Through the Arts Therapies children can build self confidence and motivation, express and make sense of feelings that are painful or confusing and build relationships with other people within the safety of the therapeutic relationship.
Anyone including parents can refer to Arts Therapies. If anyone other than the parent is referring the child, the referral must always be made with the parent's consent.
The professional bodies are:
The British Association of Art Therapistswww.baat.org
The Association of Professional Music Therapistswww.apmt.org
The British Association of Drama Therapistswww.badth.org.uk
A child may be referred to the dietician when there are concerns about his or her growth, or difficulties with eating and drinking which may compromise nutritional intake. The dietician will assess each child individually, develop a nutritional care plan, monitor growth and arrange appropriate follow up at school, home or in an outpatient clinic.
Dieticians will work closely with parents, carers and other Allied Health Professionals and school staff to ensure the child's nutritional needs are met and can be incorporated into the family routine and school life.
Referrals to Dietetics can come from a variety of sources and this varies across the country. All referrers must ensure the referral is made with the parent's consent.
Professional body is British Dietetic Associationwww.bda.uk.com
ORTHOTISTS AND PROSTHETISTS
Orthotists assess, diagnose and treat children who require specialist devices or input to overcome difficulties of body movement, control or discomfort as a result of a wide range of acute, chronic or progressive conditions or deformity. These bodily worn devices are called orthoses and can include splints, braces, callipers, corsets, collars or the full range of therapeutic footwear.
Prosthetists assess, diagnose and treat children by designing and fitting of the most suitable artificial limb replacements for patients who have lost a limb or were born without a limb.
Professional body is the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotistswww.bapo.org
An Orthoptist is a therapist, within the eyecare team, who can assess the various aspects of vision in young children and then either treat the visual problem or offer advice on strategies to enhance/aid optimum visual performance. Orthoptists are considered to be expert with eye movement problems and specific visual perception problems. They assess, diagnose, treat and discharge.
In the context of education it is important that visual difficulties are identified and treated as soon as possible to enhance the learning process.
Referrals are accepted from GPs, Community Paediatricians, any other Medical Practitioner, School Nurses. Health Visitors and Allied Health Professionals.
The professional body is The British and Irish Orthoptic Societywww.orthoptics.org.uk
DIAGNOSTIC AND THERAPY RADIOGRAPHY
If a child has an accident or goes to hospital the chances are they will see a radiographer. Diagnostic Radiographers carry out diagnostic imaging examinations (X-rays and scans) so that injuries or illnesses can be diagnosed. Diagnostic Radiographers also work closely with Speech and Language Therapists ( SLT) to diagnose, assess and monitor some types of speech or eating and drinking difficulties. Therapy Radiographers work in cancer centres and provide radiotherapy treatment and support for children with cancer.
Referrals to X-Ray and Imaging Departments and Radiotherapy Departments come from doctors, including G.P.s, Paediatricians, Clinical Oncologists and A&E doctors, and other appropriate healthcare professionals.
The professional body is the Society and College of Radiographerswww.sor.org .
Further information on your local Allied Health Professional services can be obtained from your health centre, GP practice or school.
Allied Health Professional services for children across Scotland are delivered in line with national and local priorities and the service delivered may change to reflect current staffing levels and resource demands.
Allied Health Professionals are graduate health professionals who must be registered with the Health Professions Council ( HPC) which is their regulatory body. You can check registration of any Allied Health Professional viawww.hpc-uk.org