Children and young adults up to age 25:
- Cerebral Palsy.
- Brain injury.
- Global Developmental Delay.
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
- Neurological conditions including Muscular Dystrophy.
- Orthopaedic injuries including amputation.
- Brachial Plexus Lesions including Erb’s Palsy.
- Life-limiting conditions and syndromes.
- Childhood trauma and anxiety.
- Sensory integration.
- Posture management with complex conditions.
- Manual handling.
Clinical Currency Statement
As at August 2021, I am engaged in the role of Independent Occupational Therapist for an average of 80 hours per month.
Specific Injuries Experience
Deborah has worked for many years in the field of brain injury, including injuries at birth and acquired brain injury in childhood. These difficulties may manifest themselves across a spectrum of severity, from those requiring 24-hour posture management and a full regime of care, through to those who have subtle yet still life-limiting restrictions affecting many aspects of daily living.
Deborah has experience of working with children who have undergone multiple amputations, advising on equipment, property adaptations, enabling access to education, leisure and play.
She is also experienced in supporting children (and their families) with burns, cancer, terminal illnesses, and life-limiting conditions and syndromes.
Deborah qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1990, and has worked in hospitals and social care, both with an adult and child population. Since 2015, she has worked as an independent practitioner, with a wide and varied caseload.
She is experienced in managing housing adaptations, both in conjunction with Disabled Facilities Grants, and with private funding from case settlements. She has widespread experience of equipment provision.
Deborah is a qualified Manual Handling Trainer and Advisor, receiving regular updates from Edge Services. She regularly trains and works with support staff, and reviews moving and handling equipment for clients on her own caseload.
Deborah undertook Sensory integration training via University of Southern California, and has regularly updated her knowledge with refresher courses. She is also trained in autism, trauma and attachment, which is essential when working with children who have experienced the trauma of long periods of hospitalisation.
Deborah is an ICF accredited qualified Transformational Life Coach, having trained with Animas Coaching, and she uses this approach with some of her clients, and with parents who may find themselves at a crossroads as their child’s care team and housing needs are addressed.
Deborah has widespread experience at working in collaboration with statutory sector professionals to achieve the best joined-up service and outcome for her clients. In particular, she works with children who have an Education Health and Care Plan both in mainstream and special schools, and regularly follows her clients through transition to adult services, incorporating college and university, and forwards to work placement.
Deborah works closely with Case Management colleagues and is regularly part of a large Multi-Disciplinary Team, providing goal-oriented care plans and reviews. She also attends hospital appointments with clients where required, and provides clinical supervision to junior colleagues on a bi-monthly basis.
Since qualifying as an Occupational Therapist in 1990, Deborah has worked across a number of settings within the NHS, Social Services, and in the private industry, both with children and adults. From October 2001 until July 2015, Deborah worked for the Children’s Services Directorate of a Local Authority as a Senior Practitioner Occupational Therapist within Children’s Services, supporting a number of families. Deborah’s work included assessing for provision of equipment, working with architects and environmental health professionals to carry out property adaptations via a Disabled Facilities Grant, reviews under Child in Need and Child Protection criteria, and working collaboratively with health and education professionals.
Deborah now works as an independent practitioner and has extensive experience working with families and deputies to implement equipment and adaptation packages required, carry out treatment to outline goals, and work on independent living skills both at home and in the community. As a qualified Manual Handling Trainer, she has carried out training for support staff and carried out risk assessments to meet CQC requirements. Further to this, Deborah also has a caseload of children with a diagnosis of Development Co-ordination Disorder and handwriting difficulties, and visit schools and homes to carry out therapy programmes to improve fine and gross motor skills.
Deborah is a qualified Transformational Life Coach, which is an essential skill in goal-setting for both clients, and parents and carers. This can assist parents in setting new goals in the light of changes at home caused by disability or by the implementation of a professional care package.
She has extensive training and experience in working with children who present with autism-type behaviours, including those who have been subject to trauma in their early years including lengthy periods of hospitalisation or abuse.
Deborah is able to offer several standardised and non-standardised assessments (Movement ABC, Beery’s Visual Motor Integration, Sensory Processing Measure, Ayres Clinical Observations, Sensory Integration and Praxis Test). She works in client’s homes, respite units, mainstream and special schools and nurseries. Deborah uses a blend of sensory-integration based therapeutic interventions and relaxation techniques when carrying out treatment, and regularly provides home and school programmes to be carried out between appointments. She also provides training to parents and carers on how to manage autism-linked behaviours. Deborah is also a qualified trainer for manual handling.
Deborah has worked as an independent Expert Witness since 2007, having attended Court, numerous case conferences and meetings of experts. She has worked on many complex cases, including those which have required 24-hour nursing care, rehousing, equipment, and large care packages.
Qualifications and Membership
- Diploma of the College of Occupational Therapists (DipCOT).
- British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT).
- Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
- Sensory Integration Network of UK and Ireland.
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