Meet Gabby – Our new Occupational Therapist in South Wales

Meet Gabby – Our new Occupational Therapist in South Wales

Meet Gabby, Skybound’s newest Occupational Therapist based in South Wales. In this exclusive interview, Gabby shares her journey, insights, and aspirations as she embarks on her role, bringing passion and expertise to enrich the lives of children and families in the region. Get to know Gabby and her dedication to making a difference through occupational therapy.

How long have you been with Skybound?

I started at Skybound in the first week of October, so it’s been about five months now.

What did you do before and what made you choose Skybound?

Before joining Skybound, I was studying Occupational Therapy and focusing on paediatric care. I actually graduated last year but, before that, I pursued a psychology degree with a focus on developmental disorders. It was during this time that I had this amazing OT lecturer, Sally Scott Roberts, who really opened my eyes to the profession. I volunteered with organisations like the Dyspraxia Foundation.  We did all sorts of great stuff, from artsy craft sessions to fun educational trips, all aimed at helping kids boost their skills and get more involved. I guess you could say those experiences were like a spark for me. They really lit up my passion for working with children and helping them grow.

When it came to Skybound, I was drawn to them because of their mission and values, which align with my own values of helping people, especially children, improve their lives and achieve independence. The collaborative approach and creative solutions at Skybound, bringing SLT, OT and ABA therapy together also really appealed to me.

Where are you based?

I am based in Newport, covering clients across South Wales. I also travel to Bristol and sometimes London. I also visit the Skybound Therapy Centre in Pembrokeshire to work on our Intensives quite regularly.

What’s a typical day like?

There isn’t really a typical day for me yet as I’m still building up my client base while taking advantage of all the specialist training on offer. However, my days usually involve a mix of home visits, school support, and Intensive therapy sessions at the centre.  I am usually carrying out assessments and observations, creating plans or programmes and working directly with children.

What’s it like working on an Intensive?

I really enjoy going down to the centre to do the Intensives and working collaboratively with the other team members. It’s quite a fun environment, filled with singing and playing and positive energy. Spending the day there is always enjoyable. During these sessions, I carry out observations and we all have a focus on what we want to achieve, whilst trying to make it fun and engaging for the clients. It’s great to spend a full day with a client rather than having to leave after an hour or two.

What can you help with as an OT? 

I typically focus on various areas of client functioning and address the barriers that hinder their ability to participate in daily activities and occupations. These include aspects such as fine motor skills, gross motor skills, balance and coordination, self-care skills, activity planning, visual perception, organisation skills, and sensory processing difficulties. These are the fundamental aspects of functioning that we target in order to facilitate clients’ engagement in meaningful activities and tasks.

What motivates you the most in your role at Skybound?

The best part of the role, and the thing that has really motivated me is seeing the improvements and the positive impact that the therapy has on my clients. Seeing that improvement has been priceless, especially when I’ve gone back to see clients for a second time and witnessed their progress.

I’ve been working with a student in a school who has some sensory needs, and we’ve implemented something called a sensory circuit which helps to get the student in the right zone for learning. Then, throughout the day, we set up sensory breaks so they can get the proprioceptive feedback they need.

The school staff have seen a big improvement in the student’s ability to sit still, focus, and get their work done ever since we started with these sensory supports. It’s really rewarding to witness first-hand how these interventions are making such a positive impact.

What kinds of resources have you taken advantage of so far?

I’ve been diving into some really great resources over the past few months. One of the big ones has been Sensory Processing Awareness training, which has been really beneficial. As an OT, it helps me to view the client holistically and identify if there are any sensory issues that need to be considered. It has deepened my understanding of the differences between sensory modulation and sensory discrimination and the many different strategies that can be used to support people with their sensory needs. It came with a great set of resources that I can refer back to whenever I need them.

Then there’s the Handwriting Without Tears course, which isn’t just about penmanship. It covers elements of sensory motor learning as well. So, we’re talking about everything from grip pressure to posture and how it all ties together to make writing easier and more fun for them. There are many different methods and techniques within the programme, including looking at core stability, that I am really excited about using with my clients.

Oh, and I can’t forget about the courses through OT Applied. I took one called Introduction to Occupational Therapy for Paediatrics, which covered all the latest evidence-based practices for working with children.

Any final thoughts?

I’ve had plenty of chances to be creative with clients, which I absolutely love. It’s all about thinking outside the box and bringing that playful energy to therapy sessions. Overall, it’s been a really fulfilling experience so far.

If you are looking for an Occupational Therapist in South Wales or the South West of England, then find out more here or compete an enquiry form here.

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