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Occupational Therapy for Children (Brighton and Hove Children and Families)

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapists help children and young people to achieve or maintain their independence at home, nursery or school. They assess and support the development of the skills children and young people need to carry out daily activities. These are called functional skills. Functional skill difficulties can significantly impact on a child’s ability to perform everyday activities. These difficulties can be due to physical, developmental or sensory difficulties.

We support children and young people to participate in everyday life in a number of ways:

  • Developing life skills such as getting dressed, eating independently, using the toilet.
  • Help in school, with activities such as handwriting, organising themselves and being better able to join in with play time games and PE.

Click here to view the Royal College of Occupational Therapy Children and Young People Leaflet

How is the children’s occupational therapy service delivered?

We recognise the importance of working in partnership with children’s parents and carers to maximise a child’s physical abilities and independence. Parents and carers can help their child by encouraging them to regularly carry out any activity programme that the service recommends or practice their exercises. Advice may include, examples of how to change everyday tasks so that they are easier for your child to do and suggestions of equipment that may make it easier for the child or young person to do something.

Universal service

This is the first stage of support. Families and professionals are able to access our advice packs and video series via our webpage. Please see our ‘resource’ on our webpage for more details.

Targeted service

Targeted interventions prevent difficulties from escalating and may reduce the need for more intense, specialist support in the future. Occupational therapists use targeted interventions, often delivered in partnership with others (such as BHISS, early years or schools) to optimise the development, health and wellbeing of children and young people. Targeted interventions include groups or workshops for young people, families, and professionals.

Specialist service

Families will require a referral to our service to access specialist support, this can be within the home, clinic or school setting. Please see ‘referrals’ for more details.

Click here to view more information on universal, targeted and specialist services.


The below resources and video series are designed to provide support and advice for problems a child may be facing with functional participation in their everyday tasks. The resources should be used as a pre-referral problem solving tool to ensure that all strategies have been tried before a referral to Occupational Therapy is made.

This resources packs and video series are intended as a guide only, and the Occupational Therapy service should always be consulted if:

  • The need appears more complex than the solutions offered or when all solutions offered are trailed and improvement is not seen
  • The child has a neurological condition which may impact upon the appropriateness of strategies given 
  • The child has a degenerative condition and their needs are changing rapidly 
  • There are safety concerns related to the activity or strategies provided

By providing advice and strategies at a universal level, a more specialised and targeted service can be provided for children who are presenting with complex difficulties.

Click here to download the Occupational Therapy Resource Pack for Primary Schools

Click here to download the Sensory Resource Booklet

Sensory videos

Please find below our sensory video series, made by our team, covering a range of practical advice.

There are 18 short videos on different topics:

  1. Introduction to Occupational Therapy
  2. What is Sensory Processing
  3. Sensory Modulation
  4. Is it Sensory?
  5. General Strategies
  6. Calming Strategies
  7. Alerting Strategies
  8. Feeding
  9. Sleep
  10. Toothbrushing
  11. Clothing
  12. Sitting Still
  13. Chewing
  14. Noise
  15. Bathing and Showering
  16. Hair Care
  17. Nail Care
  18. Smell

We recommend that the videos are watched in sequence. In total, it should take around an hour and a half to watch all the videos.


We accept referrals from healthcare and education professionals. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept referrals from parents and carers.

Families and Education should have accessed and implemented universal strategies prior to a referral, these can be found in our ‘resources’ section on our webpage. Evidence of input of strategies used should be detailed clearly on the referral form.

Once the universal support or advice has been accessed and there are still ongoing difficulties for the child or young person, a referral can be completed. These difficulties will be impacting significantly on their performance in at least three areas of daily activities.

If you are considering a re-referral into our service, please ensure you detail previous advice that has been implemented, or if this is a new concern or difficulty for the child or young person. 

Please click here for referral form.

We accept referrals for the following

  • Child/young person 0- 18 years (up to 19 if in special education) who lives in Brighton and Hove and/or is registered with a Brighton and Hove GP. Note Brighton and Hove (B&H) children who are looked after but reside outside of B&H may be considered in some circumstances.
  • Children who present with at least three functional difficulties that are significantly impacting on participation with everyday activities.

We are unable to accept referrals for the following:

  • Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) assessments.
  • Ayres Sensory Integration (ASI) Therapy.
  • For children and young people where the child’s primary need is related to social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Please consider a referral to BHISS Wellbeing Service, CAMHS or Front Door for Families, please click on links below for more information.

Support for Children & Young People (CYP) — Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service

Front Door for Families (brighton-hove.gov.uk)

Brighton & Hove Inclusion Support Service (BHISS) (brighton-hove.gov.uk)

Social Care OT

If you child needs an assessment for changes to be made at home to help them be safe and more independent, as well as to organise equipment, this is delivered by a different service. They need to be referred to the social care occupational therapy service for children.

What if we need an interpreter?       

We may be able to arrange an individual telephone consultation with an interpreter. Please contact the OT office to discuss.

  • Service Location:
    • Brighton
    • Hove
  • How To Access:

    Contact your GP or health visitor to discuss any concerns you have. If your child is at school, you could discuss your concerns with the SENCO. Any health or education professional can refer a child or young person to our service. All referrals go to the Seaside View Child Development Centre referrals panel. We aim to see children within 18 weeks.

  • Contact Details:

    Seaside View Child Development Centre
    Tel: 01273 265806
    Email: SC-TR.OTSeasideview@nhs.net

  • Opening Hours:

    Monday – Friday 09.00 - 17.00

  • How to find us:

    Seaside View Child Development Centre
    Brighton General Hospital
    Elm Grove
    BN2 3EW

    Car parking: Car parking charges will apply at Brighton General Hospital. Please use the patient/visitor car park on your right as you enter. Free parking is available on surrounding streets however restricted for permit holders between 11 - 12am and 6 - 7pm. There are disabled parking bays outside Seaside View if you are a Blue Badge holder.

    Buses for Brighton General Hospital: There are bus stops located nearby and around the Brighton General site. Buses: 2, 21, 22, 22A, 23, 37B

    Other information: Seaside View Child Development Service is wheelchair accessible. We have disabled toilets and baby changing facilities.  We have a water cooler in Reception and there are refreshments available from mobile coffee shop in the Patient and Visitor car park (8am - 3pm).  If you have any additional needs please contact us to see if these can be accommodated.

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