Therapies

Assess learners and offer therapy or advise to parents.

We offer a turnkey solution of in-house therapies at Situla, ultimately saving parents valuable time and money.  The following therapists are available to assess learners and offer therapy or advice to parents.  These professionals work at our campuses during the school day and form an integral part of our staff and of the school trans-disciplinary team. Together we can open a new world for your child…

At Situla a comprehensive, holistic- based assessment conducted within a family- centered approach is completed.

The assessment aims to determine:

  • The development status already achieved
  • A learner’s positive attributes and resilience factors
  • A baseline from which intervention will be commenced

Situla trans-disciplinary team consists of a Speech therapist, Occupational therapist, Educational psychologist, remedial teachers and director of the school. The team recommends possible therapy management options for the family and determines goals for intervention.

The main aim of occupational therapy intervention is to help a child reach his full potential and independence.

Occupational therapists use their expertise to help learners prepare for and perform important learning and developmental activities. This typically includes muscle strengthening and a range of motion of the hands and body, work on bilateral coordination (using two hands together), motor planning, visual perception skills and visual motor skills. It also includes direct practice of the task, often with adaptations or modifications of the fine motor and self care tasks (cutting, writing, tying shoes) that might be difficult to master. The mastery of these tasks has a direct influence on a child’s social and emotional development.

Speech and language therapists are professionals educated in the study of human communication, its development, and its disorders. They assess speech, language, cognitive communication, and oral/feeding/swallowing skills to identify types of communication problems and the best way to treat them.

Speech and language therapists work on articulation skills/ speech intelligibility, articulations skills/ speech intelligibility, expressive language skills, receptive language/ listening skills, speech fluency/ stuttering, voice and resonance, social/ pragmatic language, cognitive-communication skills, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and swallowing and feeding issues. Speech and language therapists also educate and empower parents to best help your child communicate at home.

Your child might need Speech and Language Therapy for reasons including:

  • Cognitive (intellectual, thinking) or other developmental delays
  • Hearing impairments
  • Weak oral muscles
  • Autism
  • Motor planning problems
  • Articulation problems
  • Fluency disorders
  • Feeding and swallowing disorders
  • Traumatic brain injury

Like all therapy, Speech and language therapy should begin as soon as possible. Children receiving speech and language therapy early (before the age of five) tend to have better outcomes than those who begin therapy later.

Learners love participating in music therapy. In this fun environment, children have the opportunity to explore, express feelings and communicate without having to use words.

Benefits of music therapy:

  • Music creates a safe non-threatening environment conductive to therapy and learning
  • Music is a pleasurable and attention gripping experience
  • Music is a strong motivator throughout the learning process
  • Music is a structured reality that includes organised, structured behavior
  • Music is non-verbal communication and offers the opportunity to express and relate to others without having to use words.
  • Singing and playing with instruments (horns, whistles, flutes) facilitate speech development
  • Music experiences can easily be adapted to suit any functional level, supplying successful experiences and thereby improving self-esteem
  • Music and movement provide an orderly integration of auditory, visual and kinesthetic stimulation
  • Music offers an experience of beauty.

Kinderkinetics is an exciting specialised pediatric field which aims to increase the total well-being of developing children.

This is done by stimulating, promoting and rectifying age specific neuro-motor and physical skills. Kinderkinetics works in a developing, stimulating and remedial manner and consists of various programmes based on scientific and well-researched motor learning principles. In a session with a kinderkineticst, your child will have lots of fun while working on coordination, vestibular functions, reflex problems, low muscle tone, bilateral integration, auditive and visual system.

Benefits of participating in Kinderkinetics include:

  • Promoting gross and fine motor skills.
  • Motor development promotes other aspects such as cognitive, visual, proprioceptual, pre- reading and writing skills.
  • Develop a good physical self-esteem/ self-confidence and emotional expression
  • Contribute to school readiness and scholastic progress.
  • Cultivate a love of movement.
  • Increase physical fitness.
  • Correction of gross motor-and perceptual-motor deficits.
  • Improve concentration, social skills and physical abilities.

Horses are used by physical, speech and occupational therapists to reach their patients on a personal level. Children benefit from equine therapy due to the motor, emotional and sensory sensations that come with riding a horse.

Benefits of horse riding therapy include:

Creating an emotional bond

Children learn to bond with their horses and care for them, giving your child the ability to create a relationship with one of these magnificent creatures. Rather than verbal communication, children experience physical communication with the horses. Over time, feelings of empathy are fostered. They have the opportunity to brush them, hug them and pat them. This special bond can lead to social and communication skill production with other people in their life as well.

Speech therapy

The specific commands used, the gestures, and motions used to convey the desired movement or action to a horse also function as valuable skill builders. One of the main benefits of equine therapy programs is the many opportunities to practice communication and language, from talking about caring for the horse to giving direct instructions to the horse itself.

Your child can learn to give basic directions to the horse (which provides them with more opportunities to communicate and learn new vocabulary) and feel a sense of accomplishment when the horse follows those instructions. Children are naturally motivated to move; thus, they are exited and motivated to communicate.

Occupational and Physical therapy

To stay seated on a horse involves both fine motor and gross motor skills. While riding on a horse your child will get sensory feedback (from the motion of the horse), muscle development (from adjusting their body to stay in the saddle), and fine motor control (holding the reins and directing the horse). The horse’s movements provide sensory and proprioceptive feedback (position and movement information) from muscles and joints, and stimulates and work with the horse as it moves. Performing other tasks while seated on horseback can further improve fine motor skills and motor planning, as your child has to constantly adjust to remain upright.

Cognitive development

Children might have difficulty comprehending normal instructions. By engaging in equine therapy, the child follows directions through a fun activity that makes taking direction easier to grasp and remember. Classroom style activities can be combined with the calming effect of the animals and can have a wonderful effect on your child’s ability to learn new things. Your child will also develop and improve their responsibility, self-confidence and self-respect.

Sensory benefits

Balance and spatial orientation are experienced through the vestibular sense organs. These are located inside the ear and are stimulated through direction change, incline, and speed. Riding a horse helps liven these sensory preceptors, which helps make therapy exciting and motivates the child to continue to be engaged. Riding a horse can create a calming sensory retreat that allows your child to be more open to learning new things.

Physiotherapy is aimed at improving gross motor development.

Special care is taken to address factors such as muscle strength, length and tone, range of movement, bio-mechanical alignment as well patterns of movement. A holistic approach is always used and there is interaction between the therapists from different disciplines.

Paws 4 God (animal assisted therapy

Therapy dogs help create a non-stressful, non-judgmental environment. More importantly, many children derive so much joy from their relationship with animals, which help them have a better sense of well- being and more self-confidence.

Benefits of therapy dogs include:

  • Physical benefits including: Lowering blood pressure, improving cardiovascular health, reduces anxiety and releasing calming endorphins (oxytocin).
  • Lowers feelings of isolation and alienation.
  • Encourages communication and encourages socialisation.
  • Provides comfort
  • Increases self-confidence.

Children benefit tremendously from swimming. For children of any ability level, the pool can be a fun and relaxing environment to exercise their bodies.

Many other sports are difficult for children with different learning needs because they require them to focus on several different factors at once. Because swimming is an individual sport, it is much easier for your child to feel like they are fully participating.

Instructors are trained to work with children who have different learning needs and create a calm, patient and reassuring atmosphere. Lessons are conducted in a safe and fun environment, where importance is placed on enjoyment and confidence of the child.

Benefits of swimming include:

  • Water safety and drowning prevention.
  • Physical benefits including strengthening low muscle tone, improving balance, building core strength, improving equilibrium, improving spacial awareness and coordination.
  • Improve sensory integration.
  • Improved speech and oral motor function.
  • Water has a very calming effect because of the gentle and repetitive motion of water
  • Emotional and mental health.
  • Social interaction.
  • Develop confidence and build self-esteem.
  • Increase fitness.

Educational Psychologist and play therapists work on:

  • Dealing with school stress, such as homework, test anxiety, bulling or peer pressure.
  • Discovering the child’s feelings about family issues, particularly if there is a major transition, such as divorce, move or serious illness.
  • Emotional or behavioral problems.

Benefits of being a good reader include:

  • Reading books stimulates your child’s imagination and expands their understanding of the world
  • Reading helps develop language and listening skills
  • One of the main benefits of reading well, is that your child will have a higher aptitude for learning in general
  • Better communication skills
  • A bigger vocabulary
  • More logical thinking skills
  • Mastery of language
  • Acclimation to new experiences
  • Enhance concentration and discipline
  • Reading is fun!

Lego based therapy is a social development programme which helps children and young people with Autism spectrum disorders and related social communication difficulties.

Playing with lego is a multi-sensory and versatile experience, which means it can be tailored to suit each child’s individual needs. The therapist customises the programme according to the abilities and skills of each individual learner.

Much more than just playing with LEGO bricks, the Lego therapist guides and encourages learners to address and resolve problems. Through Lego therapy, children can learn to communicate with others, express their feelings, change behavior, develop problem-solving skills and develop a relationship with the world around them.