Information for Families
An Occupational Therapist is a university qualified and nationally registered health professional who works with people of all ages to help them function at their best across a range of situations & in different environments.
I am a Paediatric & Adolescent Occupational Therapist which means that I work with young people between 0-18 years of age.
If you’re not sure- you’re not alone!
It’s hard to describe, but once you know what an OT does, you can see how it may help your child.
The aim is to work with each child (together with the important people in their lives like parents, teachers and therapists) to find the roles/activities that are challenging.
These are called “occupations” and that’s where the terminology can be confusing. This sounds like it is to do with work or employment when it actually refers to the daily activities that we all need and want to do.
For children, the main roles are:
- play/school/preschool and all the things that entails - drawing,writing, socialising and concentrating etc.
- self-care - eating, bathing, dressing etc.
- leisure - the things we do for pure enjoyment.
All of these are the occupations of childhood.
Once identified we can then appraise the various factors that might be important, including:
- Child factors (physical, cognitive, emotional and social)
- Task (what skills are needed to perform this task)
- Environment (home/school/other).
Here are some examples of reasons why a child might come to therapy:
- A child:
- has a hard time with handwriting due to difficulty holding a pencil
- can’t keep up with handwriting as they are easily distracted by classroom noise
- has difficulty making and keeping friends
- has trouble managing the busy morning routine and becomes upset before school even starts!
So it can be very broad, e.g., difficulty with concentrating or in socializing, or, very specific like difficulty with handwriting.
By working together, we can figure out ways which might enable your child to confidently participate and achieve their potential.
I work with you and your child to determine what issues are posing difficulties and help you in prioritizing how we can address them. Sometimes a range of evaluations can help in pinpointing underlying challenges and sometimes none are required. You and your child can set goals and we work out achievable tasks in therapy and at home to achieve these.
I mostly work with children individually, with parents present in the session, but am happy to arrange small group sessions if required. I use a wide array of therapy interventions but have only one guiding principle, and that is that parents know their child better than anyone else. The greatest success is achieved with collaboration.
The kinds of interventions I use are as varied as the children I see.
I have experience with and use a wide range of techniques to achieve therapy goals. I love to make therapy a fun and motivating experience while working on important skills at the same time. I have experience in developing motor skills, dealing with sensory processing challenges and sensory integration issues and developing self-regulation skills. I am also familiar with and use many therapies for children who are on the autism spectrum. I enjoy using “visuals” and include the use of technology and apps where appropriate.
I am a qualified practitioner for Therapeutic Listening and the SOS approach for feeding challenges.
I work from my clinic based at my home in Allambie Heights (northern beaches of Sydney area).
The room is spacious, calm and safe with a large range of therapy equipment including fun things to swing, balance and climb on.
I am also happy to visit your child at home or school/preschool to ensure the benefits of therapy can be carried into other settings. This is often a great way to generalize the therapy gains made in the clinic.
Although I’m a sole practitioner I see myself as part of a very large team. I am always happy to work with the other therapists, doctors and teachers who work with your child in order to have a coordinated approach to therapy. I have found that a collaborative approach results in the most successful outcomes as skills can be practised and reinforced in different settings. This is always your choice.
Over three decades working in the area, I have a wide range of peers that I can work well with including speech therapists and many other health professionals. I also have great connections with many occupational therapists who I meet with regularly to share knowledge and skills. I am also happy to refer you to other therapists if I feel I do not have the skills to assist you.