ExcelChild aims to provide a service of excellence in which children can excel,
families can thrive and a changed child can transform a family. ExcelChild is based in Norwich, Norfolk UK.
A parent can refer their child. Initial contact can be made via telephone or email. A referral form will be sent which includes questions regarding the child’s early development. Once this is filled in an appointment date is set.
The initial assessment depends on the presenting issues and age of the child. For children within main stream school aged 4 years and over the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test, Sensory and Structured Clinical Observations are used. This can take up to three hours in duration, parents should bring a small snack for the child and be dressed in shorts and T-shirt. For younger children and children with learning disabilities other tests such as the Movement ABC and Visual Motor Integration and Clinical Observations are used.
After the assessment appointment the raw results are collated, scored and entered onto a computer. Contact is made with the child’s school and further information is collated about their level of ability and their sensory response to a typical day in the classroom. For Tribunal assessments a school visit is carried out which includes a classroom observation and feedback with the teacher/head. The results are then interpreted and written up into a detailed report with recommendations for the level of intervention including home, school and direct treatment at the clinic. The parent or referring agent receives a bespoke report detailing the outcome of assessment.
A feedback appointment is given to parents so the report can be read, questions asked and discussed.
What is it?
Sensory Integration (SI) is a term used to describe the registration and processing of sensation through touch, movement, body position, vision, smell, taste and sound. The brain organises and interprets sensory information and this process is called Sensory Integration. This provides a foundation on which behaviours and learning are built upon. If this foundation is unstable and has gaps the resultant behaviours and learning are affected.
Sensory Integration develops in the course of typical childhood activities but for some children (as many of 5-10%) Sensory Integration does not develop as well as it should, this is known as Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). When sensation is dis-organised, a child could develop difficulties with learning, movement and behaviour. A child may be over sensitive to noise, touch or movement and they may seek movement or appear to be ‘on the go’ all the time. Children with SPD require specialist intervention to enable their sensory systems to develop and mature so the child can be more independent in life.
Specialist Sensory and Movement Assessment using Standardised Tests, report, recommendations and feedback.
Expert Witness at Trials
Expert Witness Report/Tribunal assessment and attendance at Special Educational Needs Tribunal.
Sensory Integration Treatment
Direct treatment Intervention of Sensory integration using specialised suspended equipment.
This includes parent coaching to assist their understanding of their child and sensory strategies for use at home.
School visits consist of: observation of a child at school, report feedback to teaching staff, sensory classroom strategies and a sensory motor programme for the school to carryout sometimes on a daily basis for a set period of time with measurable goals.
Direct Treatment is when the child receives a series of individual sessions of Sensory Integration which are best delivered within a clinic space and include the following:
Therapy rolls, trampette and blocks enable opportunities to develop and improve postural control working from stable to unstable surfaces, including initially regulating linear and later more challenging rotational vestibular input during movement. Suspended equipment swings provide opportunities to develop and improve postural control and the sensory systems working from stable to unstable surfaces and challenging gravity. Many children are fearful when their feet are off the ground and dislike being thrown in the air or get travel sick.
Target games, Access to suspended equipment swings, inner tubes, hammock and bolster swings, will introduce pumping and push/pull activities (proprioceptive) to enable resistive and swing movements “heavy work” will also encourage prone and antigravity extension.
Obstacle courses for pulling, climbing and pushing the body against resistance and gravity.
CPD SENSORY AWARENESS TRAINING COURSES - NEW DATES LAUNCHED
An extensive introduction to Sensory Integration, what it is, the affected sensory systems and how you can recognise the signs and symptoms.
Sensory Awareness Training Level Two -
Providing insightful ideas for sensory strategies for home and the classroom.
Sensory Awareness Training Level 3 -
Equipping parents and SENCOs writing formal documents such as Educational Health Care Plans with the sensory essentials.
Founder: Mary Hamilton
Mary graduated in 1993 from Coventry University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy. Junior Rotation included neurology, elderly, rehabilitation, orthopaedics and Head Injuries. She held a senior post in Peterborough, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for four years. In 1999 she completed a Master of Science in Paediatrics from the University of East London. Mary then worked in Norwich NHS in Paediatrics for 12 years, specialised in Sensory Integration and became an Advanced Practitioner in 2014 from the University of Ulster.
Private Paediatric Occupational Therapy Clinic in Norwich
Excel Child is a Private Clinic set up in 2011 to help a growing number of children with multiple diagnoses such as ADHD, Pathological Avoidance Syndrome, Tourette’s, Autism, Dyspraxia and general Sensory Processing problems. These children often fail the curriculum, have poor sleep patterns, frequent crying for no apparent reason, clumsy, extremely fussy with wearing clothes, washing, hair brushing, eating, do not have any friends and experience either violent, disruptive or defiant behaviours. Parents experience frustration, can be at a loss to know how to respond to their child who reacts negatively to most situations and are often very isolated. Mary knew that she could help these children and after 18 years in the NHS, moved on and started a private assessment and intervention clinic.
Governing Body and Professional Memberships
Mary is a member of the College of Occupational Therapy UK and the Specialist Section of Independent Practice. Mary works according to the College of Occupational Therapy’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. The Consumer Act is also adhered to and Mary is registered by the Health Care Professions Council. Mary is qualified up to the highest module in Sensory Integration (SI4) with Advanced Practitioner Status she is currently pursuing a PHd route with Anglia Ruskin University. Mary engages in regular clinical supervision, maintains a Continuing Professional Development Portfolio and keeps up to date with regular training to ensure Excel Child maintains excellence and expertise.
Mary is member of the Sensory Integration Network UK and Ireland and a qualified Integrated Listening System Practitioner.