Occupational Therapy (OT) is a holistic approach to supporting clients to participate in all aspects of their lives.
Occupational Therapists provide support to enable individuals to participate in their daily experiences and activities which are meaningful to them. OT is focussed on person-centred outcomes and empowering every individual to help themselves during their therapy journey.
‘Occupation’ is not just about our working roles – occupation refers to how each person occupies and uses their time for the tasks and activities they need to do everyday, the experiences which they enjoy and the activities which are meaningful to them.
For children, this refers to play, learning, developing skills such as communication, writing, reading, self-care skills, dressing, movement skills and their emotional wellbeing.
Our occupational therapy sessions focus on giving you the tools to support your child in their daily lives and their daily activities.
Our therapy approach focuses on supporting:
• Body awareness
• Sensory processing
• Relationships & social connection
• Integration of primitive reflexes
A Bottom-up Approach
We provide strategies for working at the nervous system level and work with you to understand the root of the challenges your child may be experiencing.
Taking a child-led, holistic and whole-family approach and work with you to uncover any barriers to learning or participating in everyday activities, to support your child’s confidence and wellbeing.
We work with you to develop a plan based on your needs and offer you a range of strategies to support your child, through a strengths-based approach, so your child has opportunities to learn, grow and have fun!
Every occupational therapy session is child-led and unfolds in a unique and individualised way. A range of activities will be set up prior to your child’s appointment and will be targetted to your child’s goals. Often times activities will be focussed on gross motor movement, fine motor skills, social and communication skills, reflex integration, body awareness, sensory processing, body regulation and emotional regulation.
Parents are strongly encouraged to attend together where possible, however if one parent is unable to make it, you can refer to any resources which I provide following the sessions, including your child’s home program on the Theratrak phone app. Parent’s are strongly encouraged to be active participants within their child’s occupational therapy session, as I often emphasise the importance of whole-family approach where all family members are involved in the therapy process.
Reflex integration exercises support the neural networks of the brain and central nervous system to support the integration of primitive reflexes, control of posture, and processing our senses effectively.
Reflex integration exercises support the brain and nervous system from a bottom-up approach, to support the foundation of sensory processing skills, postural skills and to support self-regulation skills.
Reflexes develop in the first few weeks of life, while a child develops in-utero, in the womb.
As we grow and develop, several reflexes will emerge and integrate while we are still in the womb and before we are born. These reflex patterns create automatic movements (e.g baby kicking, moving around), so that when we are born, we already know how to start moving our body.
The central nervous system (CNS) controls our movement, thoughts/cognition, communication, social connections, processing our senses and connections between the brain and body.
Primitive reflexes are the blueprints for the development of our movement as an infant and a baby. These reflex patterns ‘disappear’ after around 2 years of age (although this is largely individual).
When primitive reflexes remain, children and adults might have difficulty with a range of skills related to reading, writing, movement, sensory processing, emotional wellbeing, cognition, self-care and learning.
Online occupational therapy can be effective and supportive for children and families who:
• Are unable to attend face-to-face sessions in the clinic
• Live a long distance away from nearby therapy services
• Require after-hours appointments after the school/work day
• Are interstate and would like to engage our online therapy services/online OT programs
Our online therapy approach focuses on supporting parents/families to feel empowered. Our supports include:
• Parent-coaching and support
• Individualised home program activities to best suit your child
• Education and information to support your family
• Relationships & social connection support
• Neuro-developmental movement program to integrate primitive reflexes
Whenever considering therapy sessions with a health practitioner/therapist for yourself or your child, it can be useful to chat with them prior to booking. This allows you to interview the therapist and enquire about the type of support you are looking for, so you have a clear understanding of how they can assist you.
> Make a list of the areas you would like support for your child/family (which could also be the goals you hope to achieve during therapy)
> Decide the qualities you want in the therapist & the service they provide
> Ask the therapist about their intervention approaches and decide whether this suits your values.
It is imperative that your child, yourself, your family and the therapist, establish and share a connection where a safe container can be held for your experiences to enable you to gain the most from your sessions.
I believe that every individual will find their preferred therapist, and sometimes this can be a process to find the person who best matches you & your family.
Occupational Therapy sessions are provided in-clinic and online to support parents to be present during the appointment. Our philosophy is that by supporting parents to be active in the therapy process, they can learn the tools to support their child in everyday life, reducing the need for long-term therapy sessions, for some individuals.
It is true that children spend most of their time in their home and school environments, and some Occupational Therapist’s solely work in the home/school setting. However, in the clinic, there are several ways I support you to take the information you’re learning home with you. I provide home-based programs and activities to continue with in between sessions at the clinic.
Realistically, 45 minutes is a very tiny window in your child’s whole week/fortnight. It’s strongly encouraged that families practice the prescribed home activities and exercises consistently, as the majority of therapy takes place in between our sessions, in everyday life. Giving you and your child the tools to help them achieve their goals and to best support your whole family.
Yes! We offer online sessions and provide Telehealth-based appointments for families via a secure online platform.