The Occupational Therapist provides individualised therapy sessions to address the needs identified by GPs, Psychologists, Speech Pathologists and the parents and carers of the child.
These needs will be used to develop an occupational profile to gain knowledge about the child and ensure the appropriate approach and formal assessment tools are used during therapy sessions. The number of therapy sessions will vary depending on goals set and the progress made between each session.
The Occupational Therapist will acknowledge the child’s interests and strengths and incorporate these when addressing barriers that inhibit skill acquisition and development. Wherever possible the Occupational Therapist will seek the child’s perspective to ensure they have active role in the intervention process.
The therapy will teach children to learn to listen to their bodies and figure out what makes them feel comfortable, calm and ready to learn. The Occupational Therapist will plan functionally oriented and goal directed interventions to address delays or difficulties with fine motor skills, gross motor skills, play skills, sensory processing skills, attention or behaviour.
Processing sensation and creating movement are the foundations for reaching developmental milestones and skills. Sensory and motor systems require efficient interaction to enable success in activities of daily living. This interaction can be inhibited if the body cannot organise and process the sensory information, which may cause the physical responses to be intense, unexpected, exaggerated, substituted or non-existent. Sensory based techniques will be applied to help the children modulate arousal levels and respond appropriately when feeling like there is too much or too little sensation.
A test of visual motor integration will identify potential difficulties that some children have integrating or coordinating their visual, perceptual and motor abilities. It may demonstrate difficulties with planning, organising, prioritising or problem solving. The particular assessment tool can also identify difficulties with handwriting and postural control. Therapy sessions will involve engaging the child in a range of active tasks to improve strength, accuracy, coordination and control and address broader difficulties with planning, organising and problem solving.
To maximise the potential for reaching goals, the children and families will be given strategies to use in the home and school environment. These strategies will be implemented within normal daily routines so there is minimal disruption to daily family activities.