Service – in schools

When you send your child to school for the first time, they are entering a whole new world. With so much time spent at school, it’s important that your child feels comfortable in their new environment.

With this in mind, Novita services can help the school to get to know your child so that they can best meet his or her needs.

We can provide support to the school, home or relevant community environment.

This page is to help you understand the many ways Novita can provide in school support for your child.

How Novita staff support kids in school

Novita provides support through the child’s school as well as at home. Novita staff are ‘guests’ in a school and therefore only provide help as discussed and agreed with the school. Novita staff help the child fully join in with school life by:

  • helping school staff understand a child’s abilities and needs
  • working out with school staff how therapy ideas can be included in the educational program
  • individual student development and support
  • classroom development e.g. classroom setup, use of visual supports, routine support
  • capacity building of people around the child ( parents, teachers, school service office)
  • training school staff in:
    • ways to lift
    • how to use equipment
    • positioning
    • how to help with mealtimes
    • how to develop communication
    • regulating behaviour
    • changes in routine
    • sensory needs

You can devise a plan with the school based on your child’s needs at school. Novita therapists can come to the school with you and participate in planning meetings organised to develop the plans.

  • Negotiated Education Plan (Public schools)
  • Action Plan (Catholic schools)
  • Student Support Plan (Independent schools)

How physiotherapy can help

Physiotherapists provide information and training to school staff regarding mobility and physical issues. Some of examples include:

  • providing suggestions to ensure that the child can move about during play at lunch and recess breaks
  • providing Occupational Health and Safety suggestions for staff when lifting and transferring children. This may be recorded in a Transfer and Positioning care plan.
  • providing information on how to use mobility equipment, such as walkers and wheelchairs
  • providing information on how to use other equipment, such as standing frames and Ankle Foot Orthoses
  • providing advice for issues with sport and physical education
  • providing advice about mobility and equipment related to school excursions or outings

How occupational therapy can help

Occupational Therapists provide support for a wide variety of activities that occur at school. The occupational therapist’s goal is help the child become as independent as possible with tasks at school. This may take the form of simple suggestions or providing equipment to help improve independence. Some of the areas in which occupational therapists can help include:

  • hand skills – cutting, pasting, drawing, handwriting
  • computer use
  • toileting and using toilet equipment – this may include the provision of a continence care plan
  • technology use
  • play
  • mealtimes
  • accessing the school buildings safely

Disclaimer: This information is for general use and you should talk to the relevant therapist before using it with a particular child.

Speech pathology support

Novita can provide your child with speech pathology support where:

  • speech that is hard to understand due to the muscles that produce speech being affected
  • speech that cannot be understood and where the student uses augmentative and alternative communication – especially students who need voice output or who use symbol systems
  • eating and drinking difficulties
  • problems with drooling and saliva control
  • If students in public schools have the following difficulties, speech pathologists from Department for Education and Children’s Services (DECS) can provide services:
  • A delay or disorder in their use and understanding of language
  • A delay or disorder in their speech
  • Communication difficulties due to intellectual disability
  • How Novita speech pathologist can help Novita speech pathologists help children and teachers to think about how they can encourage a child who has difficulty with understanding or communicating to join in and be a full part of the school life. This can take the form of:
  • training staff about the child’s communication system • helping the child improve their communication skills
  • mealtime Assessments and providing Oral Eating and Drinking Care Plans
  • training staff about how to implement an Oral Eating and Drinking Care Plans
  • helping identify opportunities for communication at school
  • identifying and helping to overcome barriers to successful communication Novita speech pathologists base their input on the Participation Model of communication intervention

Frequently asked questions

I’m not sure if my child will cope at our local school – can you help? The Novita team can help you to work out what your child’s needs will be at school. They will look at the school surroundings and help you to come up with ways to solve the problems that concern you. They can also talk to the school staff to help your child get the most out of the school day and give advice about any equipment needs that may arise.

I’m not sure that my child is able to cope with moving about the school at lunchtimes – how can I be sure that her teacher is aware of the issues around her disability? The child’s Novita team can meet with the teacher to talk about her needs and what she is able to do for herself. They can talk to her teacher about the many things that may affect the way she copes with her school day. This may be to do with things such as moving around the school, using play equipment, using computers or communicating with teachers or friends.


Disclaimer Detail: The information on this website is of a general nature only and does not constitute advice. Novita Children’s Services makes no representations as to the accuracy, usefulness, suitability or application of the information to a child’s particular circumstances. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the information. In using this site, you are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions of Use for the site.