Fenland boy, 12, with motor skills of six year old refused occupational therapy

A TWELVE-year-old boy has been refused occupational therapy support by Cambridgeshire County Council, despite tests showing he has the motor skills of a six year old.

The parents of Nathan Jones - who two years ago won a battle to get their son’s specialist education funded by the county council - are now set to renew their campaign.

Nathan’s mum Karen, of Charlemont Drive, Manea, said: “We have been told by a professional that Nathan needs occupational therapy. If he doesn’t he will struggle severely with the school curriculum.

“The county council is expecting the school to fund the programme within the existing funding, but that is not sufficient.”

Mrs Jones’ husband Steve said: “Staff at the school told us they have never known such an application to be turned down.”

An annual assessment carried out on Nathan at his school revealed he needed occupational therapy. A private assessment was organised carried out by occupational therapist Hazel Tuckfield in April.

It found that Nathan has the motor skills of a child aged six years and eight months.

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Ms Tuckfield said in her report: “Nathan’s difficulties are such that they will affect his ability to demonstrate his full potential within his school work.

“He has organisational and spatial awareness difficulties as well as proprioception difficulties, all of which impact on his ability to easily complete activities.

“I would recommend that Nathan receives weekly occupational therapy at school with each session lasting approximately 45 minutes.”

The county council’s resourcing panel agreed to fund an additional 10 hours support for Nathan during break and lunchtimes, but turned down the occupational therapy request.

Judith Davies, the county council’s head of commissioning enhanced services, said: “For pupils with ability levels such as Nathan occupational therapy provision would consist of advice to school, a visit from an occupational therapist and in the future a possible handwriting assessment. This did not require a programme in Nathan’s statement.”

The panel also noted that the school is “very receptive to training and support” provided around communication difficulties.

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