Occupational Therapy

“Occupation” means the things we all do during our day that occupy our time. This will be different for every person and could be play for a young child, getting dressed or doing school work for a student or work for an adult.

 

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists (OTs) can provide therapy and advice to support a child or young person’s developments so they can do the everyday things they want, need or are expected to do as easily and as independently as possible. Occupational Therapy is all about supporting participation.

Novita OTs work closely together with the child/ young person, their family or other carers to work out what are the most important things they want to work on and then how to go about it.

Therapy can include one or more of the following:

  • individual and/or group therapy sessions to learn new skills
  • Intensive therapy  such as specific goal directed training or 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 eg learning to do up shoelaces using one hand
  • Assessment and prescription of equipment and technology eg using a laptop, tablet or specialist software when writing is difficult or slow
  • Assessment of the environment (home and education setting) and recommendations for modifications.

 

How long does it go for and who will their child see?

As every person has their own needs and priorities, therapy can look different for each individual.  Occupational therapy at Novita is always tailored to each client’s specific needs. It can range from regular therapy (weekly or fortnightly) to a block of sessions with some time in between to consolidate new skills or just a few sessions to deal with a specific need.

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.

 

What are the different types of Occupational Therapy?

Novita OTs have expertise in a wide range of areas. Children, teenagers and young adults who face challenges in one or more of the following areas can benefit from occupational therapy:

  • arm and hand use(upper limb management) including skill development, splinting and casting as well as pre and post botox or surgery therapy
  • play and leisure such as indoor and outdoor play as well as participation in community activities like sport
  • personal care to support independence with dressing, bathing, toileting, mealtimes, transfers
  • sleep looking at sleep routines, sleep environment and specialist sleep systems if needed
  • vision – vision difficulties such as cortical visual impairments or visual processing difficulties
  • sensory issues such as sensory sensitivities and challenges with emotional regulation
  • transition to child care, preschool, school and post school options
  • participation at preschool or school
  • technology including assessment, prescription, trial and training of assistive technology
  • independent living skills eg shopping, handling money, leisure and transport.

 

Who would benefit from this therapy service?

People with a wide range of delays or disabilities can benefit from Occupational Therapy. This can include:

  • Developmental delay,
  • Intellectual disability,
  • Physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Genetic or chromosome disorders that result in functional participation issues

As children grow and develop, the focus for Occupational Therapy may evolve over time

  • Babies and toddlers: therapy will be mostly play based with a focus on supporting parents to help their child. Watch our ‘Play as Therapy’ videos to see how play can be used to achieve therapy goals
  • Preschool and primary school: therapy will focus on the skills children need to get ready for preschool or school as well as supporting their participation in the education setting eg using the playground, playing in the sandpit, using the bathroom or turning on the taps. Therapy can also include training for education staff
  • High school: Therapy is likely to focus on more specific needs, participation and independence rather than general development. Personal independence, independent living skills and transition to post school options will become more important as teenagers move through high school.
  • Adults: therapy can support participation in post school options of developing skills needed for employment eg using public transport, managing money or using technology

In addition to this, for children with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, a focus on physical management will be important on an ongoing basis. Regardless of age Occupational therapy at Novita continues to be tailored to address all areas of each individual client’s specific needs across all settings.

 

Why visit Novita for Occupational Therapy?

  • Novita employs a large group of highly skilled OTs, who are supported to continually learn and stay up to date with best practice through supervision and regular training events.
  • A number of Novita OTs are recognized experts in their field including Physical Management and Rehabilitation, Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology. These clinicians manage clients with highly complex needs, support other OTs as needed and are involved in research in their respective fields.
  • Novita occupational therapists work together with the family and other members of the client’s therapy team to provide a holistic approach to meeting individual needs.
  • Novita OTs have the flexibility to provide Therapy in whatever setting suits best inlcuding home, childcare, preschool, school or in the community.
  • Novita OTs and families have access to one of the largest toy and resource library in the state with a wide range of toys, books, DVDs etc.

 


Do you need a referral?

No referral needed, just call us on 1300 668 482 or email enquiries@novita.org.au

 

Cost, funding and your NDIS plan

The cost of a session is the standard NDIS rate. Our services are also offered as ‘fee for service’ or Medicare.

 

Preparing for an Occupational Therapy visit

Your Novita OT will talk with you about the sessions, where they will happen, what they can look like and what your child needs to make this a positive time. Some clients might need a quiet space or need a bit more time to get to know new people. Therapy might  not always be just about one on one time with your child but can also include some time to talk to you, problem solve together or give you information, so you feel confident to practice things at home when a therapist is not there.

 

Getting the most out of your visit

If you feel happy about it, we appreciate it if you can give us copies of any old reports or programs. This will help us to understand your child’s needs quicker and will avoid you having to tell your story all over again.

Your OT is likely to give you some ideas of things to practice at home in between visits.

It is great to share how things are going for you and your child, both what is working well, as well as the things that aren’t going so well or you are worried about.

 

Related services

Novita OTs can also provide training and consultancy services to other people who might be working with your child. This could include child care workers, SSOs, teachers and support workers

Novita OTs also run a number of groups both during term time and during school holidays that you might like your child to attend. These include:

Check out our groups page for more information.