Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists at Novita help children participate in everyday activities, at home, school and in their communities. Occupational therapists work with children, families and their environments (eg kindergartens) to achieve greater independence, develop skills, and support participation in activities appropriate for their age, abilities and stage of development.

How do Novita occupational therapists assist children?

Children who face challenges in one or more of the following areas can benefit from occupational therapy:

  • arm and hand use
  • play
  • personal care - dressing, bathing, toileting, mealtimes, transfers
  • sleep
  • vision
  • sensory issues
  • transition to child care, preschool, school and post school options
  • participation at preschool or school
  • using technology
  • independent living skills eg shopping, handling money, leisure and transport.

Assessments

From assessments, Novita occupational therapists:

  • diagnose factors that may be contributing to a child’s challenges
  • identify a child’s strengths in their development of play skills, arm and hand movement, self-care, and understanding of and engagement with the world around them
  • recommend individual-tailored therapy to develop/maintain skills, or for some, compensating skills if those skills are not present.

Skill development

Novita occupational therapists provide therapy and advice to assist a child’s development.
Therapy can include one or more of the following:

  • individual and/or group therapy sessions
  • intensive, goal-directed skill training sessions
  • intensive therapy following medical interventions, eg ‘botox’ or surgery
  • information and training to other people important in a child’s life, including other family members, teachers and child care staff, so as to empower them to enable the child to discover their abilities and develop their potential every day
  • home and school programs and resource ideas
  • adaptation of activities and materials
  • assessment and prescription of equipment
  • assessment of the environment and recommendations for modifications.

Novita occupational therapists work together with the family and other members of the child’s therapy team to provide a holistic approach to meeting each child’s needs.

Through an assessment at Novita, an occupational therapist will be able to advise how occupational therapy can provide assistance to a child with a disability. Occupational therapy at Novita is always tailored to each child’s specific needs, and can be provided in one-to-one or group sessions.

It is recommended that occupational therapy be provided with greater frequency when a child:

  • is in a critical period of skill development
  • is experiencing, or has had, a recent period of growth or rapid body changes
  • has had a recent medical intervention, such as ‘botox’ injections or orthopaedic surgery, to their arms or hands
  • will soon be transitioning to child care, kindergarten, or school.

How do I see an occupational therapist?

Please call Novita Children’s Services on 1300 NOVITA (1300 668 482).
 

Glossary

Botulinum Toxin Type A

An injection, used for children with disability, to treat excessive muscle tone (more than usual tension in the muscle) - more pronounced when the child moves.

Environment

Physical surroundings and conditions.

Environmental Control Devices/Units

Electronic devices that can turn on and off a single appliance (for example, a light, TV or video) or control many appliances within the home or workplace.

Fine motor skills

The ability to use hands and fingers, for example, reaching for, picking up, holding and exploring objects with the hands, using a pencil or other writing tools, using scissors, managing zips, buttons and shoelaces.

Goals

Things that one aims to achieve.

Holistic

Taking into consideration all aspects that have a bearing on an issue or activity.

Interaction

The way things or people relate to each other.

Muscle tone

The level of tension in the muscle.

Physical disability

A restriction or lack of ability that limits the person’s physical functioning.

Recreation

Time spent doing things for enjoyment and relaxation.

Self-care

Regular things that are done to keep a person healthy and well, for example, eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, taking medicine.

Sensory processing

A complex set of actions that helps the brain to understand what is going on both inside your own body and in the world around you.

Splint

A special support worn on the hands or the feet to hold them in a correct position - they are usually made from materials such as special plastics, neoprene (used for wet suits) and lycra (often used in swimming suits).

Strategy

Plan of action.

Task

A job or activity that needs to be done.

Visual functioning

The way that the eyes assist a person in undertaking tasks.

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