About us

Due to additional investment into Hertfordshire’s Children and Young People’s Integrated Therapy Service (CYPT), we have an exciting new three - tiered sensory service to support neurodivergent children and young people (CYP).

This is an exciting time for Hertfordshire as we grow our support offer to provide specialist services to meet the sensory needs of CYP.. As a team we are aligned to the CYP specialist services directorate and work closely with our CYPT service and system partners including voluntary sector organisations, mental health services, social care and education.

Sensory differences are life long and and may change and develop over time. The most effective way to make a difference in CYP’s participation is to practise the skill in context of the activity in their everyday life/routine.  The sensory service is time limited, with the aim of empowering and coaching parents, carers, families and schools to self- manage sensory differences of children and young people.  Once families and schools have learnt the skills needed, it is anticipated that the sensory differences can be managed within the family and school unit.

How the service is provided

The service is being launched in a phased rollout. Initially we are offering the universal level service for Parents/Carers and schools and the Targeted offer for Parents.  Following on we will launch targeted offer for schools, and children and young people.  Finally, we will be launching our specialist offer.

Universal: For everyone

Support at this level aims to increase an adult’s understanding and awareness of sensory processing and sensory preferences as well as providing advice on everyday strategies that can support children and young people.

This is the first level of provision for families and school and is provided virtually.  A referral is not needed to access the universal workshop.  We are working in partnership with a number of number of voluntary sector organisation/charities in Hertfordshire who also offer sensory training. Anyone can access universal training from HCT or these organisations. Click on the following links to find a training course that suits your availability:

Targeted: For some

After three months of implementing recommendations from universal training, some CYP may need more support . In this case, and the CYP presents with:

  • difficulties in two or more sensory areas that are evident in two different environments.
  • sensory difficulties which impact upon the child’s function and ability to participate in daily activities

The aim of this offer is to further develop knowledge on how to support and manage identified sensory processing differences which impact on functioning, using a goal-orientated and coaching approach.

This targeted provision for families is provided virtually and focuses on seven key areas, which include workshops for:

  • Self regulation
  • Eating and drinking
  • Toileting
  • Sleep
  • Self-care
  • Transitions
  • Interoception (our bodies internal sense)

If accepted to the service, the parent/carer will receive a letter with further details.  A link will be sent to book a phone call with one of the CYP sensory service team to discuss sensory differences and which workshop/s meet their CYP’s need. This phone call will need to be booked within four weeks of receiving the text message, or the CYP will be discharged.  Following the workshop, strategies will need to be implemented at home/school.  A follow up call with be arranged six weeks later to discuss progress using the strategies. 

Following this call strategies are to be implemented at home/school for another six week period.  This 12 week period is important to enable strategies to be embedded into everyday life for self-management of sensory differences. If strategies are not consistently implemented, the CYP’s ability to participate in everyday activities to their potential will be impacted.

After six months of attending the workshop, if the service does not hear back from parents/carers, we will assume all is going well and the CYP will be discharged from the service.

The service is developing targeted workshops for education settings focusing on:

  • Transitions (within schools)
  • How to create a sensory classrooms/school environments.
  • Sensory needs within schools
  • Self-regulation in schools
  • Sensory circuits in schools

Specialist: For few

This level of need will be identified as necessary in collaboration with parents/carers in conversations at targeted level support.   This will involve individual assessment and intervention, which may result in advice, sensory strategies and/or specific recommendations in up to six sessions of direct and indirect support to the CYP, family and school.

Intervention at specialist level will establish person-centered goals and outcomes related to functional skills and participation in activities in everyday life. Intervention will be time limited and evidence based.

Here you can find the position statement relating to the service Sensory Position statement

Click here to see this information in a Targeted flow chart format.


Who is eligible for the service

The children’s sensory service supports children and young peoole (CYP) from birth to 18-years-old. CYP should be registered with a Hertfordshire GP or be resident in Hertfordshire, as well as attending a Hertfordshire school, college or early years setting. 

Useful information

Click on the resources below for more support and ideas on how to support a child’s sensory processing.

Making a referral

The first level of provision for families and school is provided virtually.  A referral is not needed to access the universal workshop.

A referral can be made to the CYP sensory service to access the targeted offer.  Anyone can make a referral for this service via the HCT website. The referral criteria to access the sensory service and referral form are linked here.

Patient experience

If you would like to share your story, please contact the Patient Experience team on 01707 388036 or email hct.patientexperienceteam@nhs.net

We would also love to hear about your experience on our service, please complete a survey by clicking here