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Jan 12, 2024

When to seek support from an Occupational Therapist

News Occupational Therapy

An Occupational Therapist can support you to build skills and confidence to take part in everyday activities. They can support you to develop independent living skills and participation in school. Northcott Occupational Therapists also support children and young people living with a disability to play and participate to their full potential and reach their goals. As well as pediatric Occupational Therapy, we can also work with adults.

Northcott Occupational Therapists work with children and young people living with neuromuscular disability, physical disability, developmental delay, Intellectual disability and ASD.

Speak to our Occupational Therapists for assistance with:

  • Improving fine motor skills including handwriting (legibility and speed), threading, and classroom adjustments
  • Personal care (washing, dressing and toileting)
  • Healthy sleep routines and positioning for sleep
  • Social skills and interactions
  • Developing skills in following a routine and coping with changes to routines
  • Understanding and managing emotions
  • Sensory regulation issues
  • Play development – imaginative play, playing skills (linked with fine motor skills)
  • Prescribing equipment  within home, e.g. Shower commode, hoist, pressure mattress, continence aids (nappies), ramps, activity chairs, wheelchair attachments (Mounting systems for Ipad and Eye Gaze), aids for dressing, aids for feeding
  • Prescribing equipment for vehicles, e.g. specialised car seats, Wheelchair accessible vehicles, ramps, hoist
  • Daily living task – catching bus, money management, self care, cooking, planning
  • Minor home modifications

Our Occupational Therapists can assist you with:

  • Daily Living – Developing or modifying daily living skills such as washing, dressing & toileting. This can include mealtime management and support.
  • Equipment – Selection, assessment and prescription of Assistive Technology (equipment). For example: wheelchair assessments and prescriptions, eating aids, hoists, shower commodes, pressure mattresses.
  • Modifications – Home, vehicle and environment modifications to help you live as independently as possible.
  • Reaching Age-Appropriate Milestones for Children – Improving fine motor skills and strength to help with “small activities” i.e. buttons, writing, earrings. Support can be provided for handwriting goals, using scissors and playing with toys.
  • Training Programs – We can provide education and training for parents, guardians, carers, support workers and educational staff. This may relate to a client’s specific needs or condition and can be provided in home, community and school settings.
  • Getting the Sensory Regulation Right – Your senses include auditory (hearing), visual (sight), proprioception (touch) and vestibular (balance). A balanced  sensory diet aims to find the best balance between not enough and too much sensory stimulation. This balance is different for every individual and can be identified with the support of an Occupational Therapist. Specific sensory experiences, that are tailored to your child, and properly balanced throughout the day can  help them feel calm, and alert more of the time.
  • Transitions – Transitions to kindergarten or school for children with a disability can be made smoother with the help of an Occupational Therapist.
  • Assessments and Reports – Our team will assess you and provide you with comprehensive reports. These reports will help to demonstrate a clear course of action that will most benefit you when it comes to your occupational therapy.

Therapy Assistants

You may need additional, intensive support to achieve a specific goal. At Northcott we can help you with this through our Therapy Assistant service.

Your Northcott therapy programs can be supported by a Therapy Assistant under the supervision of a Speech Pathologist, Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist.

Your Northcott therapist will design a program that targets specific goals to be delivered by your Therapy Assistant. This could involve intensive focus on an important goal, ongoing practice to achieve an outcome or resource development.

Therapy Assistant programs usually include 6-10 sessions and case notes will be completed following each session by the Therapy Assistant.

In some cases, programs can be developed for delivery by your own Disability Support Worker. This has the same benefits as delivery by a Northcott Therapy Assistant but can allow delivery at home or in the community, and as part of your existing support plan.

Occupational Therapy

Accessibility and Inclusivity

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If you have any questions, please speak to your Service Manager, Service Coordinator or call us on 1800 818 286.