Occupational Therapy

To make an appointment with our OT, or to find out more about how Occupational Therapy can benefit your child, please phone or email the practice.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy is client-centred health profession that enables children and adolescents to participate in activities, also known as “occupations,” of everyday life. This includes self-care tasks, learning, play and social skills, fine and gross motor activities. Occupational Therapists enable children and adolescents to participate in occupations that they need, want or are expected to do. It is goal orientated where occupations that are meaningful are taken into account as well as what challenges a child or adolescent might have in completing the task successfully. Occupational Therapists then work to develop skills, adjust the environment or modify the occupation to help your child or adolescent achieve success.

 

Your child

Your child’s main occupation is to play and learn. An Occupational Therapist can evaluate children/adolescents skills for playing, school performance, and daily activities and compare them with what is developmentally appropriate for that age group. Your child may need assistance to improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills and improve their confidence as they grow and develop.

How we can help your child

Our skilled and experienced Occupational Therapist works across a broad case load with a variety of children and adolescents with different needs and backgrounds.

Our Occupational Therapist work with:

  • Attention
  • Self-Care Skills
  • Sensory Processing
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Movement and coordination difficulties
  • Social Skills
  • School readiness

Occupational Therapists can address all of the above concerns and work with children and adolescent who find it difficult to participate in every day life. The Occupational Therapist works to develop skills and maximise participation so that your child can reach their full potential.

Does my child need to see an Occupational Therapist?

All children are different but if you, your child’s teacher or GP are concerned with the following, it might indicate that your child can benefit from Occupational Therapy.

  • Difficulty concentrating or following instructions
  • Fidgeting or always on the move
  • Challenging behaviours or becoming easily overwhelmed
  • Poor postural control or difficulty sitting at a table
  • Dislike of messy or dirty play (e.g. playing with sand, food textures)
  • Withdrawing from social situations and/or difficulty making friends
  • Reduced confidence or task avoidance
  • Difficulty with self-care skills, including toileting, dressing, eating, sleeping, tying shoe-laces
  • Difficulty in or showing poor hand-writing
  • Challenges with gross motor skills including clumsiness, muscle control and coordination in physical activities
  • Challenges with planning and organisation

You do not need a referral to see an Occupational Therapist.

 

New clients and assessments

For children joining us at the practice for the first time, an assessment is usually required.

We feel it is essential to gain a holistic picture of your child so we can identify underlying causes of development and learning difficulties.

To do this we:

  • Seek information from you about your child’s development, health and family history and how you see your child
  • Gain your permission to talk to other professionals, carers and teachers involved with your child
  • Conduct scientifically researched assessments (psychometric assessments) and clinical observations of your child.

Getting to know your child in this way can take between one to three sessions with the Occupational Therapist depending on the complexity of the information that needs to be gathered. The first session usually occurs in the clinic where the child/family and Occupational Therapist will determine the goals that will be addressed through therapy. Subsequent sessions may be in the clinic, at home, at childcare or at school.

Once we have collected information about your child from this range of perspectives, then we collate the information into ‘your child’s story’; a written report.

With consideration of what is relevant for each child this report documents the family, health and developmental history and how you see your child. It also summarises information from doctors, other health professionals, teachers and carers and discusses the clinical observations and results of the scientifically researched assessment measures, if an assessment has been completed.

Understanding your child at this detailed level we can then make recommendations for ways you can help your child at home and how your child can be helped at childcare, pre-school or school.
We can then create an individual therapy program for your child to improve their ability to perform daily activities and reach their goals.

 

Therapy

Therapy is then tailored specifically to your child’s individual needs, and we coach you so that you can understand and can support this therapy.

We help you to make progress faster by creating the therapy around the interests of the children and adolescents, whether it be through play, topic interests, computers or the school curriculum for older students.

We provide therapy for individuals and coaching for families, teachers and assistants where it is most effective, including at pre-school, childcare, home, and school.  We work closely with other professionals involved with your child in order to develop a comprehensive therapy program.

 

To find out how Occupational Therapy can help your child, please contact the practice via phone or email, and make a time to speak to our OT, Taly Rink.