About me

I am a registered Occupational Therapist who specialises in working with children, young people and their families. I have more than 25 years’ experience as an Occupational Therapist both in the UK and America in a number of different clinical settings as well as managing services and training junior therapists. I currently work as a consultant occupational therapist and am the clinical lead for a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service specialising in attachment difficulties and developmental trauma.

As Professional Lead for Occupational Therapy in mental health and learning disabilities services I have been responsible for the development and delivery of OT services across the life span, and for the professional management and clinical supervision of the OTs within the services. I also spent 2 years as Associate Director of Therapies for Children and Young People’s Services which involved working closely with therapists from many professions and specialities.

I regularly deliver training and provided consultation to GPs, parents and carers (including adoptive and foster parents and Special Guardians), teachers, physiotherapists, school nurses and Social Care staff.

I am a Practice Placement Educator training pre-registration student OTs.

I also provide specialist supervision on behalf of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Advisory Service.

About Occupational Therapy

What does Occupational Therapy mean for children and young people?

Daily life is made up of many activities, or “occupations”. Occupations are all of the things we want, need or obliged to do; they include self-care (getting dressed, eating a meal), being productive (learning, engaging in school work) and having fun (playing with friends, hobbies). Everybody needs a balance between these areas of their lives in order to feel happy and confident – imagine how little energy you might have left for learning if it takes all your concentration to get dressed and organised to get out of the door.

Occupational therapists support children and young people to get the most from their lives and achieve their potential to participate as fully as possible in everyday activities where emotional, psychological or physical difficulties might hinder their ability to grow, learn, socialise and play.

Occupational Therapy (OT) is a way of working together with children and young people, their families and people who support them to develop skills, strategies and practical solutions to be able to achieve their goals.

Occupational Therapists can also assess for specialised equipment and recommend technology and adaptations to the child’s home, school or community in order to boost independence.

For more information click HERE and HERE.

Things I can help with:

  • Sensory Integration (also known as Sensory Processing)
  • Development of fine and gross motor skills
  • Visual motor perception
  • Hand -eye co-ordination
  • Developing independence
    • Personal Activity skills e.g. using the toilet, washing, grooming
    • Domestic Activity skills e.g. washing clothes, managing money
    • Community and Social interests
  • Dyspraxia (Developmental Co-ordination Disorder)
  • Feeding and eating difficulties
  • Handwriting
  • Access to learning
  • Transition planning (for instance, between schools or into college)
  • Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders – Occupational and sensory aspects
  • Mental health difficulties related to occupation.
  • Training design and delivery
  • Parent/carer support


I have successfully undertaken the following training and have experience to offer assessments and interventions using:

  • Theraplay® Informed Practice
  • Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) informed practice
  • Sensory Attachment Intervention techniques in practice including the Just Right State protocols for parents and children
  • Sensory Integration practitioner – post graduate certificate in sensory integration
  • Foundation level family therapy
  • Introduction to Therapeutic Life Story Work


In addition to the standardised and non-standardised assessments I am qualified to offer as an Occupational Therapist, I have undertaken further training and assessment to offer the following:

  • The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)
  • Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT)
PGCert Sensory Integration (Modules 1-3) SIPT accredited (University of Ulster)2012 – 13
MSc Occupational Therapy (Brunel University)2010 – 12
Best Interest Assessor MCA (Kingston University)2008
Occupational Therapist , Registered Florida USA 1997
Diploma of Occupational Therapy – (Exeter University) 1990 – 93

Professional Accreditation and Affiliation

I am an Occupational Therapist registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) my registration number is OT.22078. Only those registered with the HCPC are permitted to use the title Occupational Therapist. This ensures that those registered meet the required standards of training, maintain a good level of Continuing Professional Development and uphold high standards of professionalism.
In addition I hold the following memberships to support a high quality of evidence based practice .

British Association of Occupational Therapists0206886 Full time practicing
RCOT Specialist Section – Children, Young People, & Families5819 Full time practicing
RCOT Specialist Section – Independent Practice 8711 Full time practicing
Sensory Integration Network55005004 Full time practicing

My way of working

I believe that it is through the things we do in life that we learn about ourselves, connect with other people and engage in the world around us. Most of us are lucky enough not to even stop to think about this but when something gets in the way, or we find things more difficult than our peers, life can become very frustrating or sad. I am committed to working in partnership with people to discover their strengths, understand their difficulties and work towards their goals. I believe in helping young people and their families develop skills and expertise so that they can continue to find creative solutions to challenges as they grow.


Initial Consultation Session – to discuss key concerns, goals and priorities. Identify need for specialist assessments. Plan intervention (up to 90 minutes): £130

Specialist assessment – according to need this may include an assessment of sensory processing, clinical observations, standardised assessment of motor skills, specific handwriting assessment (up to 90 minutes plus summary report): £360

Full report – Usually a summary report will be provided as part of the assessment package. However, if a detailed report is required – for instance to support an Education and Health Care Plan – this can be discussed and fees set according to time required to produce the report.

Treatment sessions in clinic (up to 50 minutes): £90

School or home observations, attendance at professionals meetings and bespoke training for carers or school staff are all available and costed on a basis to reflect time and resources required.

On requesting an appointment via our online booking system, the practitioner may well call you to confirm details before you meet. This initial telephone discussion of up to 10 minutes is free of charge, and is designed to confirm that it is indeed appropriate to proceed to a full consultation and is not designed to replace a consultation.


Payment must be made prior to each session. This can be done by bank transfer, cheque or cash.

Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel or to reschedule an appointment early notice is appreciated. If an appointment is missed or cancelled with less than 24 hours prior notice the full session fee will be charged.


Email: jpennell@healthcareondemand.org.uk

Telephone: 01483 33 88 50