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Project success for our Occupational Therapy students

5 August 2019

Project success - OT students working with young people
Head of the School of Healthcare Sciences, David Whitaker with the students and young people involved in the project

Occupational Therapy (OT) students from Cardiff University have recently taken part in a week-long domestic life skills project, funded by BBC Cymru Children in Need and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

The project, which was based out of the OT Clinic at Heath Campus and led by Sally Scott-Roberts and supported by Dr Catherine Purcell, involved students working collaboratively with young people with neurodevelopmental disorders including; Developmental Coordination Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyslexia and Developmental Language Disorder.

The young people, aged between 11 and 19 years, are in mainstream education across South East Wales and had recognised that they needed support to develop the skills required to become more independent at home and in the community.

At the beginning of the project, the OT students supported each young person to identify three goals for the week. Goals included knowing how to budget money and how to use a knife safely when cooking, as well as being more confident when using the bus or when out shopping.The students then used a person-centred approach when helping the young people to meet their goals.

The week culminated in a ‘big cook’ where the young people, who had budgeted and shopped for the ingredients of their chosen recipe, cooked lunch for everyone.

The project was a huge success for all involved. At the end of the week, the young people had met their individual goals and felt that they could continue practising their new learnt skills in every-day life.

The OT students also hugely benefited from the experience, which allowed them to apply theory to practice, with one student stating; "The week has allowed me to really consolidate my understanding of approaches to intervention…"

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