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Karen Bensley

Specialist Children’s Occupational Therapist

Karen qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1993 with Bsc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy at Salford University. She started working with children in 1995 and instantly knew this was her passion, for delivering high quality Multi-disciplinary care and/ or individual occupational therapy collaboratively with children and families.

Karen has worked in a number of services, initially in Manchester on a rotational post covering acute mental health, adult acute medicine and adult orthopaedics, then she moved to Leeds to join a rotation offering acute paediatric experience in 1995. She became a community children’s Occupational Therapist in 2009.

Karen has over 20 years working with children 0-19 years, with a variety of conditions including cerebral palsy, autistic spectrum disorders, genetic conditions/ syndromes, acquired brain injuries and developmental delay. Karen works in a child and family-centred way to achieve goals that are set by the child and/or family.

Karen works using a ‘top down’ framework which focuses on adapting the environment and occupation/ task to enable the child to achieve success. It is therefore essential for Karen to understand the child and family’s everyday life and activities, as well as future aspirations. She concentrates on helping children and families participate in everyday life activities such as getting dressed, going to the park, completing school work.

Karen has an accreditation as an EarlyBird trainer which involves parental education to empower families of children with an autistic spectrum disorder by giving them useful knowledge and strategies to adapt their environments/ tasks to achieve more success in daily life.

Karen has gained significant experience working across mainstream and special schools/ nurseries, providing information and advice for teachers regarding inclusion in school life, access to the curriculum, use of ICT and manual handling advice. She has an extensive knowledge of specialist equipment available for children with complex physical needs, and has developed good working relationships with companies across Yorkshire to arrange demonstrations/ assessments in homes and schools.

Karen is a reliable and friendly Occupational Therapist who is passionate to do the very best for the children and families she works with so that they can reach their goals.

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