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Does Your Child Need Occupational Therapy

At Optimum Health Solutions we provide services to help children develop age appropriate self-care, play, leisure and school related skills. Through the use of play, Occupational Therapists will help children develop their skills and achieve the maximum level of independence in a fun and motivating environment.

As an NDIS registered provider the assessment may be covered under a NDIS plan. Alternately claiming can be done through Medicare and health funds if eligible.

But how do you know if your child needs Occupational Therapy?

Does your child:

  • Have difficulty hopping, skipping, and catching a ball?
  • Frequently trip and bump into things or are they clumsy?
  • Struggle to keep up with their peers in their sporting team?
  • Struggle to hold a pencil correctly or use scissors efficiently?
  • Have they got weak fingers and poor dexterity?
  • Have legible handwriting?
  • Use cutlery efficiently or are messy eaters?
  • Do up buttons and tie their shoelaces?
  • Have effective organisational skills?
  • Self-regulate their own behaviour?
  • Have strong sensory preferences or dislikes?
  • Transition between tasks and environments with ease?

Our Therapy Approach

At Optimum Health Solutions we adopt a ‘Cognitive Orientation to Daily Occupational Performance’ approach, or more commonly known as CO-OP. This is an evidence based ‘top down’ approach, which focuses directly on child-identified performance issues and engages the child as an active problem solver and active participant in the treatment process.

In CO-OP, the child is trained to monitor their own performance and self-evaluate the outcome. This approach generally is GOAL – PLAN – DO – CHECK.

  • Goal: Together, the child, parents and therapist determine goals or tasks that need to be accomplished. For example brushing teeth or riding a bike. The therapist then performs evaluations to see if this is feasible and what areas need to be broken down for successful task completion, i.e. balance, strength, motivation or sequencing.
  • Plan: Create a plan together to achieve the goal
  • Do: Carry out the plan with the child using planned strategies to accomplish the task
  • Check: Review the plan. How well did it all work? What was successful? What can we change? This evaluation can be through child self-monitoring, self-observation and self-evaluation.

The Initial Assessment

An assessment is 1.5 hours. The assessment involves discussing your concerns, assessing your child and providing preliminary feedback. Both standardised tests and observational based tests are used when assessing your child.

The areas that may be addressed include:

  • Fine motor skills – Pencil grip, strength, muscle tone, dexterity and handwriting
  • Written Expression – Punctuation, sentence and paragraph structure, planning and organisation, knowledge of text types.
  • Visual motor skills – Copying off of the blackboard in class.
  • Cognitive and perceptual skills – Problem solving.
  • Executive Functioning Skills – Organisation, working memory.
  • Gross Motor Skills – Muscle tone, core strength, ball skills.
  • Motor planning skills – Being able to complete steps of a task.
  • Bilateral co-ordination – Star jumps, scissor jumps.
  • Sensory processing – Auditory, visual, tactile, and vestibular processing.
  • Self-regulation – Managing their behaviour in a variety of environments.
  • Social-emotional skills – Separating from parent, playing with peers.
  • Play skills – Imaginary, parallel and cooperative play.

Ongoing sessions are individualised according to your child’s goals and tolerance of therapy sessions. You will receive a report outlining the results of the assessment, goals and future recommendations 2 weeks after the initial assessment.

If you have any questions about your child’s development and whether Occupational Therapy would be suitable for them please contact Optimum Health Solutions on 02 4810 0700.

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