Liz Knowles

Specialist Children’s Occupational Therapist

Liz Knowles has been a Paediatric Occupational Therapist for almost 29 years, and my passion to help all children, whatever their barriers, reach their full potential, continues to drive me every day!

I have had a great variety of experience over the years, working throughout all areas of Paediatric care from acute hospital management to social service multidisciplinary services. This has meant that I have encountered a wealth of genetic, acquired and developmental conditions, and have been humbled to work with children and their families to enable them to have the best quality and independent lives as possible.

I have particular interests in specialist equipment assessment, including all types of wheelchair and postural seating. I am also a qualified assessor and prescriber for Dynamic movement orthoses (Lycra garments) which I have experience in the use of a variety of conditions and needs. I have long-standing experience in assessing and remediating handwriting difficulties and am confident with liaising with schools regarding this for optimum performance at school. Splinting has always been a strong skill of mine, for joint protection, improvement in danger of movement, and to improve functional performance.

My latest experience has involved Paediatric orthopedics, in particular congenital Bone dysplasia and acquired bone diseases, being involved in facilitating every day life skills through modifications to environments or activities and through rehabilitation to develop strength and confidence, leading to greater independence and greater overall wellbeing.

I am very child and family focused and recognise that any effective goal setting has to be inclusive of all involved, for it to be meaningful and successful. Motivation is a huge factor in gaining engagement and a good therapeutic relationship, and I am proud to know that families have always felt listened to and important in the work that I do.

I have 29 years of experience in housing adaptations of a variety of complexity and have observed changes in legislation over that time. I am happy to work with families and planners and local authority services to advise on the most suitable facilities to ensure adaptations meet the needs of the child and their family, however small or large these may be. I attend exhibitions regularly to maintain an up to date awareness of equipment available.

Manual handling is a very important aspect in this age of legal weight limits for lifting. It has always been something I have shown interest in and have been involved in collaborative working with sling providers to ensure the most appropriate & safe design for each child, including customised design to accommodate individual needs of complex conditions.

Fine motor skills are so important in everyday life, to allow independence, and can be affected by so many body functions including neuromuscular, orthopedic, visual motor aspects as well as body awareness, the list continues. I enjoy unpicking the factors involved in difficulties and being able to plan a programme of activities to address these.

Posture impacts on everything we do, and I have been lucky enough to gain experience in working on improving posture, from therapy activity to seating, sleeping positioning and use of Lycra.

Where specialist reports are required, I have experience in justifying specialised equipment, requesting additional support and needs at schools and colleges, and have used standardised assessments to identify specific problems or needs. I have previously written impact reports to identify potential needs over a longer period.

Finally, I look forward to being involved with your child, and enabling you all to live the best lives you can.

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