WHAT IS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY AND HOW CAN IT ASSIST MY CHILD?
Occupational Therapy (OT) focuses on developing and maintaining people’s skills to carry out their everyday occupations such as work/school, self care, leisure and play (Occupational Therapy Australia NSW). Occupational Therapists are health professionals trained in neurology, anatomy, kinesiology, psychology, and psychiatry.
Paediatric Occupational Therapists assess and provide treatment for a child if they are having difficulty in any of their “occupational roles”, as a player, student, peer, friend or family member. Occupational Therapy involves the use of therapeutic activities, to improve self care, play and school activities to improve the child’s sensory, physical, academic, social and emotional abilities.
WHEN SHOULD I REFER MY CHILD TO AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST?
If you or anyone involved in the care of your child (e.g. paediatrician, teacher, speech pathologist) is concerned about your child’s development or if your child is struggling performing daily activities, you should contact an Occupational Therapist.
Early intervention is the key. Please refer to our ‘services’ for more details about Occupational Therapy interventions.
HOW DO I REFER MY CHILD TO OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY HELPING CHILDREN?
Please call us on 02 9913 3823 to make a booking. Booking for our clinics are made through this centralised number. We will talk with you about your child’s development and the concerns you have. An appointment time for an assessment will be arranged.
WHAT HAPPENS FOLLOWING REFERRAL?
We will email you a confirmation letter for your appointment, a map of the clinic location and a questionnaire to fill out and bring to the assessment. If your child is at school, work samples are also requested.
The assessment lasts for approximately 1½ hours. It will include testing using standardised tools as well as clinical observations.
Following the assessment, the therapist will run through the results of testing highlighting your child’s strengths and any areas of concern. The therapist will outline how Occupational Therapy could help your child and the type of intervention plan they would recommend. A formal report will be written outlining the assessment results and therapy plans. This can be forwarded (at your request) to other professionals involved in your child’s care.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A TREATMENT SESSION?
Treatment sessions range from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Formal goals for your child are set up by the Occupational Therapist in collaboration with you. Each child’s therapy is ‘individualised’ and ‘tailored’ to meet their own specific goals; activities will be made easier or harder depending on your child’s success level. Different treatment modalities are used depending on your child’s needs. We may also recommend that your child attend one of our group programs as part of their treatment.
HOW MUCH DOES THERAPY COST?
There is a set cost for an assessment which always includes a report. Treatment costs vary depending on the length of treatment. Please phone us on 9913 3823 for current prices for treatment and group programs.
HOW LONG WILL TREATMENT LAST?
Treatment continues until the child’s therapy goals are met and everyone involved is happy with their progress. The Occupational Therapist will collaborate with your child’s teacher to ensure that there is a carryover of skills from therapy to home and school.
IS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY COVERED BY PRIVATE HEALTH FUNDS?
This depends upon your level of cover. We recommend that you check with your private health fund about what rebate you are entitled to. All health funds are different.
CAN WE CLAIM OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY UNDER MEDICARE?
There are two plans that some clients are able to access under medicare. Eligibility for these plans is determined by your doctor. A visit to the doctor is required for the plan to be written.
Enhanced Primary Care plan.
This entitles clients to up to 5 treatment sessions which can be claimed through medicare.
Better Access to Mental Health Plan
Clients with mental health issues are able to access this plan. OT’s with specific experience in this area are able to treat clients under this plan. An OT can see a child for six sessions, and then they need to be reviewed by their GP/Paediatrician/Psychiatrist. Following this an additional 4 sessions may be granted.
There are additional medicare plans available for children with autism and physical disabilities.
ARE YOU REGISTERED FOR NDIS FUNDING ?
Occupational Therapy Helping Children are registered providers for both the Helping Children with Autism Package and Better Start for Children with a Disability package. We have been providers of these packages since their inception, so we have a thorough working knowledge of them. We are happy to advise you on what resources to purchase for your child that will support their Occupational Therapy needs.
I’M INTERESTED IN WORKING AT OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY HELPING CHILDREN. ARE YOU HIRING AND HOW CAN I APPLY?
We’re always on the lookout for talented, passionate paediatric Occupational Therapists to join our team. Click here to find out more about careers with us, our current vacancies and how to apply.