Wednesday, 28 January 2015

SHOUT Presents Laura McQuillin - Paediatric Occupational Therapy
SHOUT were really lucky to have guest speaker Laura McQuillin deliver a talk last week on the role of paediatric occupational therapists, in particular relation to Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD). The talk began with a discussion around what DCD is in terms of subtypes, symptoms and the impact on the completing activities of daily living for children living with the condition. In order to explore the importance of vision and sensory skills in relation to coordination, Laura asked us all to shut our eyes and write our name on a piece of paper. The abilities of people in the room varied greatly, and this caused some amusement!

The importance of children receiving a diagnosis was also discussed, for example to enable children to receive support both at school and at home, to access relevant services such as occupational therapy and the importance of early intervention. We took part in a short quiz which revealed some interesting facts, 1 in 10 children receive a diagnosis of DCD, that's 10% of the population, 4% of the population require therapy. Interestingly in Scandinavia only 1-2% of the population receive a diagnosis of DCD, it was proposed that this is due to early schooling, meaning that interventions are put in place at an earlier age. Boys are more likely to receive a diagnosis of DCD, and the role of gender stereotyping and gender typical behaviours were discussed in relation to this.
Laura explained the service that she works in, and the importance of goal setting at the beginning of the therapy process, interestingly she explained that the children often have different goals to those of their parents, and also of the GP. Therefore as an occupational therapist she has to balance the wishes of a number of different people, but luckily she has time to address a number of goals as part of the therapy process. The interventions she discussed were focused around play, we were shown a video of a bike club intervention which is attached to this post.
Laura was a fantastic speaker, and we have received some really positive feedback from those who attended the talk, so thank you and we look forward to our next event!

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