WHAT IS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY AND HOW CAN IT HELP MY CHILD?
Occupational Therapy (or ‘OT’) helps people to go about their day-to-day activities more easily. For children and teens struggling with any part of their development, this can range from their handwriting to making new friends, to concentration, to longer-term challenges such as being on the autism spectrum. Whatever it is, Occupational Therapy aims to develop your child’s skills to help them live more enjoyable and independently.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD NEEDS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY?
If you or anyone supporting your child’s health or education (e.g. teacher, speech and language therapist, public health nurse, doctor, paediatrician) is concerned about your child’s development.
If your child is struggling with any of their daily activities, call us to see how we can help.
‘Daily activities’ can range from focusing and learning at school, tying their shoelaces, making new friends, participating in sports, toileting, doing their homework, eating dinner without having a meltdown — any normal part of their daily life.
Things to look out for:
• Movement: Clumsy, trips often, seems a bit uncoordinated, finds it hard to throw and catch a ball or participate in organised sports activities
• Writing: Finding it hard to form letters or numbers or write sentences
• Hand skills: Struggling to cut basic shapes, draw simple figures or play with small objects (like beads, LEGO® or marbles)
• Behaviour: Meltdowns, finds it hard to cope with change
• Social skills: Finding it hard to make new friends, pick up on body language or understanding social settings
• Independence and self-care: Struggling to get dressed by themselves, use cutlery correctly or organise themselves
• Eating: Fussy Eater
WHAT KINDS OF THINGS DO YOU HELP WITH?
We help children with a whole range of developmental challenges. Here are just some of the things we help with:
• Autism Spectrum Disorders
• ADD / ADHD
• Sensory Processing Disorders
• Handwriting and fine motor skills
• Body and movement coordination
• Social skills and self-regulation
• Self-care skills
• Feeding skills
Please see What We Can Help With for more detail. Please contact us to see how we can help your child.
DOES MY CHILD NEED A REFERRAL?
No, you don’t need a referral for us to help you. Please call us on 02 9913 3823 to organise your child’s Initial Assessment or first session. Alternatively, you can email us to organise a convenient time to call. When you talk to us, you can share your concerns about your child’s development and we’ll explain the next steps and book an appointment time for you.
WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE AND DURING THE ASSESSMENT?
After we’ve organised your child’s Assessment time, we’ll email you a confirmation and directions for finding us, along with some forms and questionnaires about your child’s development. Please complete these forms before your child’s Initial Assessment and send them back by email or bring them with you. If your child is at school, we’ll email you the teachers questionnaire as well. It needs to be completed by his/her teachers. Please bring samples of their school work with you.
ON THE DAY
The Assessment will take approximately 1.5 hours. When you arrive at the clinic, the Occupational Therapist will come and meet you both in the waiting room. From there, they’ll welcome you into the clinic room. Your child’s OT will then run about five different tests (selected from a range of standardised and non-standardised tests around your child’s needs). For your child, this will probably just feel like doing some activities that are similar to those at school (e.g. drawing, hopping, catching a ball, writing etc.). During the Assessment, you can choose to stay in the room during this time, sit in our waiting room or wait elsewhere.
At the end of your child’s Assessment, you’ll be able to book in your child’s first session with OT. There is also the opportunity to share some of her initial observations and discuss your child’s development with you. After the Assessment, an Occupational Therapist will evaluate all of the test results and details in the personalised Assessment Report, which will be provided to you approximately two weeks after your Initial Assessment.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING O.T. SESSIONS?
At your child’s first OT session after their Initial Assessment, Occupational Therapist will develop goals with you and your child that will guide their sessions. OT sessions are tailored to these goals by using a variety of activities to build their skills in the area they are working on.
This can often involve fun activities like jumping, obstacle courses or playing games. But every activity — including the fun ones — are all helping your child develop their skills.
Occupational Therapist may also recommend they join our group programmes to help reach their goals.
HOW MUCH DO SESSIONS COST?
Assessment: The cost of your child’s Assessment is a fixed fee that covers the preparation, 1.5-hour assessment session, test analysis and reporting.
One-on-one sessions: Session fees vary depending on the length of your child’s session.
Please call us at 087-7960526 to find out our current rates.
HOW LONG WILL MY CHILD NEED O.T. SESSIONS FOR?
Our long-term aim is for your child to not need our services, so we only ever recommend your child comes for the sessions they need.
How long we recommend your child comes for sessions will vary on their goals and how quickly they are progressing. However, the choice is always yours — you are not locked into bringing your child for a set time as we believe you know what’s best for your family.
HOW LONG DO O.T. SESSIONS GO FOR?
Our Occupational Therapy sessions are either 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your child’s needs.
ARE SESSIONS COVERED BY PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE?
Whether your child’s sessions with us are covered by private health insurance will depend on your provider and your level of cover. All health funds are different, however, many of them do offer cover for Occupational Therapy. We recommend you check with your private health fund about what rebates you’re entitled to.