For learners at Situla, we offer a turnkey solution of individualized and integrated therapies.

As all therapies take place in-house, this ultimately saves parents time and money.  Our therapists work closely with our teachers and tutors to quickly identify and address issues that may arise.  We believe in early intervention as it not only has the potential to change a child’s developmental path and improve the outcome for children and families, but it also brings the family a greater understanding of their child’s needs and how to break learning down into smaller steps for their child.

The following therapists are available to assess learners and offer advice to parents.   These professionals work at our campuses during the day and form an integral part of our staff and of the trans-disciplinary team.

Occupational Therapy (OT) applies specialist approaches and techniques to maximise a child’s engagement, achievement and independence in all activities, including those at school, play, leisure and self-care skills such as dressing and feeding. With OT, kids can work on fine motor skills so they can grasp and release toys and develop good handwriting or classroom skills. For autistic children, an occupational therapist works to develop skills for handwriting, fine motor skills and daily living skills. However, one of the most essential roles is also to assess and target the child’s sensory processing differences.

The following developmental areas are supported through OT:

  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Sensory integration
  • Visual perceptual skills
  • Cognitive and learning skills
  • Attention and organisation skills
  • Activities of daily living, such as being able to play on the playground, socialise and make new friends.

Speech and language therapists work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and feeding disorders in children and adults. Speech and language therapists provide life-changing treatment, support and care for children who have difficulties with communication, eating, drinking and swallowing. Speech therapy consists of techniques and activities aimed at improving overall communication by addressing delays and disorders in expressive/receptive language, articulation, oral motor dysfunction, apraxia of speech, social language, fluency (stuttering) and feeding and swallowing skills.

Speech therapy has many benefits for children, including:

  • Improving communication so they will be able to express thoughts and feelings
  • Enabling them to speak so that others will understand what they are saying
  • Improves vocal quality
  • Increases self-esteem and independence
  • Like other therapies, speech and language therapy is most effective when carried out early – so therapy should start as soon as your child starts experiencing difficulties.

Music therapy is the evidence based, clinical use of music to address the social, emotional and physical needs of children. In the sessions, the music therapist uses singing, instrument play and movement to music to build trust and form a connection with the child. It is a great way to encourage socialization, self-expression, communication, and motor development. Because the brain processes music in both hemispheres, music can stimulate cognitive functioning and may be used for encouraging vocalization of some speech and language skills. Music therapy offers opportunity for

  • Emotional expression
  • Developing impulse control
  • Increasing attention and concentration spans
  • Developing coordination, bilateral integration, and gross motor movements
  • All while having fun!

Kinderkinetics programs are carefully designed to ensure that children address milestone development and address aspects of gross motor development, all while having fun in the therapy sessions. If children develop a love for physical activity while they are young, they are more likely to lead healthy, active lifestyles as adults. Kinderkinetics plays a vital role in identifying and minimizing motor difficulties within children and therefore helping to prepare them for their scholastic endeavours. Effective motor control is the foundation for school readiness and long term successful participation in various activities.

Kinderkinetics focuses on important aspects of motor development:

  • Assists milestone development
  • Reflex Integration
  • Proprioceptive and Vestibular Stimulation
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Strengthens core muscles, shoulder stability and posture
  • Improves midline crossing
  • Improves rhythm and timing
  • Improves spatial awareness
  • Improves bilateral and hand-eye coordination

Horse riding therapy can create a calming sensory environment for children and is carefully designed to address specific physical, emotional and behavioural challenges. By making a personal connection with a non-judgmental animal, children are given the opportunity to bond with and foster a relationship with one of these magnificent creatures.

Children with speech and language delays can easily feel left out or excluded from social situations most of us take for granted. Children are given many opportunities to practice communication and language, from talking about caring for the horse to giving direct instructions to the animal itself. Children can learn to give basic directions to the horse and feel a sense of accomplishment when the horse follows those directions. This cause and effect can help children understand the importance of verbal communication. This way, children’s first overtures of friendship and companionship are accepted and reinforced.

A therapy horse is a supportive and gentle friend that children can depend on as they try new tasks and work on a wide range of sensory-motor skills. Aside from it just being fun, the benefits of horse riding therapy for children can provide a platform for achieving new developmental milestones.

Physiotherapists have studied the treatment of infants and children and have special understanding of what is happening in the connection between the central and peripheral nervous system and all the systems and functions of the body. Physiotherapy helps to restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. It takes a holistic approach that involves the patient directly in their own care.

Based on clinical practice experiences and research evidence, physiotherapists have suggested that incorporation of physiotherapy in routine care of children on the autism spectrum has the potential to improve health and wellbeing through promotion of physical activity and improved motor development.

Physiotherapists can work with adults and children who have autism to help develop physical and motor skills. They do this through massage and muscle manipulation, as well as planning exercise regimes that can improve movement and strengthen muscles.

Children benefit tremendously from swimming. For children of any ability level the pool can be a fun and relaxing environment to exercise their bodies. It builds endurance, works on muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. Swimming builds muscle tone in children and is particularly good for children with low muscle tone.  An essential aspect is practicing and teaching little ones about water safety in and around the water and it can also help with the development of physical skills such as hand eye coordination.

Educational psychologists are concerned with children’s learning and development as well as overall mental and emotional well-being. They use their specialist skills in psychological and educational assessment techniques to help those having difficulties in learning, behaviour or social adjustment.

An educational psychologist is further qualified to assess your child in order to determine whether he or she will be emotional ready to learn (emotional level of school readiness). The 5 key areas of school readiness are:

  • Physical and Motor Development e.g. running, skipping, standing on one leg
  • Emotional and Social Development
  • Cognitive Development
  • Language Development (this includes literacy, listening, speaking and vocabulary)
  • Emotional maturity

Learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out what is printed on the page. Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a wide range of words. This helps children build their vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read.

Learning new concepts, discovering exciting places and understanding others’ perspectives is key to building a well-rounded self-image – not to mention the self-esteem boost from being able to read well! At Situla, we offer an Impaq reading program which has the following potential benefits to older children:

  • It allows individualised learning.
  • Our learners have the opportunity to progress at their own level and at their own pace.
  • Learners are able to practice the content until they have mastered it.
  • Their confidence grows and they approach the next level with renewed motivation.
  • The reading program helps learners to improve language fluency in both English and Afrikaans.
  • The literacy program helps learners develop a love of reading.

Lego Therapy is a play-based approach, focused on individuals with deficits in socialisation and communication. The approach offers a natural environment wherein social communication, support, problem solving and conflict resolutions can be practiced.

Lego Therapy focuses on the following:

  • Teamwork and participation
  • Development of the ability to actively take part in and complete a specific task
  • Independent role identification and attribution
  • Sharing and generosity
  • Eye contact
  • Continued focus
  • Spontaneous verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Development of empathy and awareness of others’ emotions, strengths and areas of difficulty.
  • Patience