Occupational Therapy

Our Paediatric Occupational Therapists (OT), Leah Gencheff and Wendy Noble, provide services to clients both within our clinic and the community. "Mobile therapy” means they can provide services from the client's home, school, day-care, clinic, or in the community.

Leah and Wendy are experienced Paediatric OTs who have worked with children and adolescents of all levels of ability, including working with those with disabilities and trauma histories. 

Leah’s approach is individualised to each clients specific strengths and needs, enabling them to feel empowered and reach their goals. Wendy's mission is to help children establish their confidence and independence in everyday activities that they need or want to do and to focus on their strengths and goals to help them optimise their health and well-being. 

Occupational Therapy can help with:

  • Daily living activities
  • Fine motor difficulties
  • Gross motor difficulties
  • Handwriting assessments and treatment
  • Social skills
  • Attention and concentration
  • Play skills
  • Emotion regulation and relaxation
  • Anxiety treatment
  • Trauma treatment
  • Behaviour management strategies
  • NDIS Assessments
  • Clinical Observations
  • Movement Facilitation
  • Custom Equipment

What are Fine Motor Skills?

  • Challenges with grasping and manipulating smaller objects such as fastenings on clothing, opening containers and packets etc (may avoid or dislike these activities)
  • Difficulties with eye-hand coordination, strength and manipulation skills impact on fine motor abilities.
  • Difficulties with pencil grasp, drawing and handwriting (eg poor legibility or endurance)
  • Scissor skills
  • Cutlery skills
  • Delayed hand dominance development
  • Tying shoelaces
  • Using utensils and tools
  • Managing buttons and zips independently.

What are Gross Motor Skills problems?

  • Challenges with postural control, balance and coordination skills.
  • Difficulty copying movements, recognising left and right correctly and using both sides of the body
  • May appear clumsy, bump into things, trip over frequently or lack smooth movements
  • May be unsure of how much force to use to throw, catch, kick a ball
  • Appears floppy or lacks strength/endurance for activities (low muscle tone)
  • Difficulty with or avoidance of balancing, swinging, climbing on play equipment, scooter or bike riding.

Sensory Processing Skills

Our sensory systems help us constantly to receive incoming sensory information, understand, react and interact appropriately with the world around us. Many children experience sensory sensitivities, where they will tend to avoid certain sensations that don’t feel pleasant to them, or they may also seek out additional sensory input to help them feel calm, alert and sustain attention. At other times, children may seem oblivious to sensory input that others are finding overwhelming, as they may be under-responsive to this stimuli. These variations in perception and response to sensory information both inside and outside of their bodies can cause many children to experience significant disruption and challenges in daily activities (eg difficulty eating certain textures, tolerating certain clothing, or sitting still during group time in the classroom). Having a carefully developed sensory schedule of activities can help these children to manage in their environment more effectively. These activities are customised for each child by the OT with input from the family and child.

What are Self Care Skills?

  • dressing and undressing, including selecting appropriate clothing and organising self and belongings in various settings (may be slow to perform tasks, avoidant, confused or needing frequent prompts to complete each step)
  • eating and meal preparation (including poor diet, messy eater, limited texture or flavour or smell tolerances)
  • bathing, toileting, grooming and brushing teeth
  • sleep hygiene and ability to follow a routine independently.

What are Play / Leisure Skills?

Play skills include parallel play, imaginative play, dramatic play, construction type building play, etc. These skills rely on good motor skills, sensory processing, language and cognitive skills and helps children develop the skills needed for smooth transition into school.

Emotional Regulation, Social Skills and Behaviour

  • Understanding emotions and expected behaviours in different contexts
  • Conversation skills with peers
  • self esteem
  • anxiety
  • concentration and organisational skills

How OT can help your child

  • Assessment of areas of concern and then provide recommendations/strategies to help develop skills in those areas;
  • Advise to preschools / schools on how they can help improve skills areas in your child, including adaptive equipment, activities scheduled throughout the day and modifications to what is expected of your child;
  • Occupational Therapy intervention focussing on goals that are developed with you as the parent to help implement activity ideas at home and in the environment

Funding

Medicare schemes have been established that provide rebates for some Occupational Therapy services. 
We can also assist NDIS participants who are Self-managed or Plan Managed (not Agency Managed).

Page Last Updated: 09 November 2020

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