Accessing private therapy – Tom’s story
After finishing college at National Star Tom started accessing private therapy at National Star.
Having made significant progress during his time he still had a huge amount of potential and required ongoing specialist input from Physiotherapy, Aquatic Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy to enable him to maximise his potential, whilst also managing his complex health needs.
For Tom improving his upper limb function has enabled him to access the community more effectively with one of his biggest achievements being him being able to drive his chair with less support due to the joint working of therapy areas and Occupational Therapy supporting him with accessing the community.
‘It’s important to me that I can improve my driving so I could drive myself everywhere without carers,’ explains Tom, who has an acquired brain injury.
Through Occupational Therapy, Tom is also developing skills and strategies so that he can access IT independently. He can now type himself and play computer games.
‘The private therapy has also led to me doing some advocacy for wheelchair access because the pavements into Cheltenham had big bumps on the way,’ says Tom. ‘When Highways repaired the pavements, it made me feel great.’
Tom will continue to need input long term and finds Aquatic Therapy particularly effective in managing his health needs and enabling him to progress his active movement.
‘Hydrotherapy is the one session I enjoy most because it makes me feel weightless in the pool so I can stand on my two feet,’ explains Tom.
National Star can offer a range of private therapies which are simply not available in the community. We do not see our job as being done when a learner leaves Star as their health needs will remain a priority for them throughout their life. Effective therapy can not only enhance their quality of life but also enable them to become more independent in the future.