If you are new to the world of Occupational Therapy or your child has been referred to us and you are not sure what exactly happens next, then here’s a simple guide as to what to expect when your child joins the OTHC family. At OTHC our focus is on providing a range of services for your child while you are all on your therapy journey.
After contacting us by phone or email, you will speak to one of our lovely support service team, who will take down some details about your child and answer any questions about our service that you might have. They will then send out some paperwork to you, outlining how our service works and a parent questionnaire to fill in, so that we may learn more about your child. You will also be asked to send through any relevant reports that you have on your child and samples of drawing & writing, if relevant.
Once we have received all your paperwork back, our support staff will call you to set up a “Parent planning meeting” with one of our Occupational Therapists. The need for a parent planning meeting will depend upon the needs of your child. We will choose an Occupational Therapist who is the best match for your family and has lots of experience in your child’s specific areas of concern.
Parent Planning Meeting
At the parent planning meeting, which takes about 60 minutes, the OT will take a detailed history from you about your child’s family, early development, medical history, other professionals that you are working with, schooling, social skills and ask you to walk them through a “typical” day for your child. Typically, children do not attend this meeting, so you can have an open discussion about your child’s needs. The OT will coach you to identify and prioritise goals for your child. At this meeting, the OT may refer you to another allied health professional, send you some resources and will formulate a therapy plan with you for your child.
Individual Therapy Sessions
One of the pathways that the OT might suggest for your child is individual therapy. The first OT session your child attends will primarily be developing rapport using our Fun First Philosophy™ to help make sure your child’s sessions with us are enjoyable and engaging. Because we find when kids are having fun, they are more likely to make real progress. We also know how important it is that your child ‘clicks’ with their therapist so that they feel comfortable right from the get-go!
We track progress using the goals that have been set in the parent planning session and reviewed at the first treatment session. We are often asked, “How long will my child need OT for? “Each week your OT will review your child’s progress and provide feedback to you about how they are progressing. At the end of each term, the goals are formally reviewed and if the goals are met, individual therapy may cease. Alternatively, if your child has more long-term goals, the goals will be reset and therapy will continue on a weekly basis.
Alternative Therapy Programs
Paired Therapy Sessions
This is mainly used for children who are struggling with social skills and need a partner to work with to practise their skills.
Holiday Intensive Therapy Sessions
Holiday intensive sessions are when a child comes for 3-5 sessions a week. These sessions are good for children who need a short burst of intervention. In this model, there is a focus on parent coaching, so that therapy can continue in the home environment.
We run Sense Rugby at Wahroonga and Seaforth during Term time. Sense Rugby helps develop a child’s ability to regulate their emotions, gross and fine motor skills, social skills, focus and concentration and learning to be part of a team.
We employ OT assistants who provide therapy to our existing clients in the home environment. They work under the supervision of one of our OT’s. Clients move to home therapy when their OT feels that they would benefit on working on more functional skills at home.
Completing Your Therapy Journey
One of the privileges we have at OTHC is following our clients on their journey through their school years. We have many clients who start with us in their preschool years and we provide support for them until they complete their schooling. However, if your child no longer requires OT, you will be put on review and we will keep in touch to monitor their progress. You will always remain a part of our OTHC family, so if you have any further queries or would like to access one of our many services as mentioned above, we’re only an email or phone call away!