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Occupational Therapy for Children and Young People

A child playing with blocks

About Us

The Occupational Therapy Service for Children and Young People works with children and young people who live in the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan region.

Our mission is to open our access and increase our reach

This means that anyone can now request access to occupational therapy without having to go through another healthcare professional. We are working to find and develop resources which will support and empower children, young people and families to participate in their life and maximize their independence.

To make a Request for Assistance please contact us on 02921 836910. Please see this webpage on our Keeping Me Well website for more information on our Request for Assistance process.

What Do We Do?

We see children and young people aged 0 to 18-years old, who are having difficulty developing occupational tasks.

Occupational tasks can be described as:

  • What we need to do
    • – dressing, washing, eating, sleeping and personal care
  • What we have to do
    • – chores and schoolwork
  • What we want to do
    • – play and leisure

We think about why something might not be developing, and we look for the things and ways that help an individual make progress. For instance, poor coordination may affect how a button is fastened so using larger buttons or developing fine motor skills may lead to buttons being mastered.

Please watch our video ‘Understanding Occupational Therapy’


Why Do We Do This?

We want to enable children and young people to join in and master occupational tasks.

We want to support those who help the child or young person, like parents and teachers, to know what works best to progress these occupational tasks.

We want to have a shared understanding of what to expect if a child/young person has a developmental delay or disability and to explore how to adapt a task to make sure the child is involved as much as possible.


How Do We Do This?

We think about how the environment is helping to support occupational development.

  • Is the occupation at the ‘Just Right’ level for each individual?
  • What is the child’s age and stage of development?

We also think about the uniqueness of each child and young person.

  • What have they experienced?
  • What skills do they already have?
  • And if they have a disability or delay, how might this might affect their occupational participation?

We think about how these things interact and we work with you to remove barriers and to build skills and opportunities for increased occupational participation. We also talk to the child or young person and their parents or carers about their occupations. We may also talk to the child’s teachers and other health staff like doctors, speech and language therapists, psychologists and physiotherapists.

We use games and activities to help us understand what is important to the person and what they want to change.

We explore each child and young person’s underlying qualities. We find out how their sensory and motor development is impacting upon the development of occupations and their mental health and wellbeing.


Where are we?

Our occupational therapists work in a number of teams and setting which include:

  • Active Families, Active Lives (AFAL) – Weight Management Team
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Crisis Team
  • Child and Adolescent Learning Disabilities Team
  • Children’s Intensive Support Team
  • Community Children’s Centres
  • Neurodevelopmental Team
  • Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales
  • Paediatric Metabolic Bone Service
  • Paediatric Rheumatology Service
  • Special Schools in Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan


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