Occupational Therapy FAQs

Paediatric occupational therapy focuses on helping children to perform various activities independently, including learning at school, managing and organising their belongings, playing and taking care of themselves (example: dressing/undressing, using utensils to eat or going to the toilet without help). Performing activities successfully during childhood is important for becoming an independent adult.
Paediatric occupational therapists are allied health professionals that specialise in working with children to carry out activities of daily living. They have advanced knowledge of child development and are experts in providing strategies for children to achieve success in mastering challenging skills and reaching developmental milestones.
A child may be referred for an occupational therapy assessment to assess the development of skills that they are observed to be finding challenging in the classroom (e.g. handwriting development). A healthcare professional may also refer a child for occupational therapy to further assess their development in certain areas (e.g. motor skill development or sensory processing). Parents may also observe their child experiencing difficulties with mastering certain age-appropriate tasks.
An occupational therapy assessment analyses skills that are needed for children to perform everyday activities. These skills may include fine motor, visual- motor integration, gross motor, sensory processing, visual perception and handwriting. The occupational therapist determines which skills should be assessed through discussion with parents or guardians during the initial consultation and from information gathered from the referral.
Performing activities requires a child to integrate many skills. For example, handwriting involves muscular coordination, fine motor control, visual motor integration skills, knowledge of letters, numbers or sentence organization as well as sufficient attention and ability to stay seated. Under-developed or weak skills results in poor task performance. Naturally this can be very frustrating for a child and eventually affect their self-confidence. Occupational therapists address many skills required for a child to perform age appropriate activities, as well as the underlying factors that are impeding skill development. Such skills include but are not limited to:

  • Handwriting
  • Motor Coordination (fine motor, gross motor and eye-hand coordination)
  • Sensory processing
  • Muscle strength and endurance
  • Visual perception
  • Visual motor integration
  • Self- regulation and focus
  • Self-organization
  • Executive Functioning skills such as – planning, organizing & time management
  • Feeding Challenges
  • Self- care skills
Sensory processing is a neurological process where sensory stimuli is filtered through the body and then reorganised by the nervous system to make sense of the sensory information received from our environment and within our own body. Some children experience difficulties with processing sensory stimuli and generating an appropriate adaptive response to this stimuli. Common behaviours that are observed in children with sensory processing difficulties include but are not limited to:

  • Over-reacts/upset by loud noises
  • Dislikes/upset by wearing certain clothes or fabrics (e.g. socks or underwear)
  • Dislikes/upset by having their hair cut, washed, brushed or tied up
  • Very fussy with food textures or temperatures. Many limit food intake to preferred foods and are very reluctant or unwilling to try new food.
  • Always ‘on the go’ and has trouble sitting still
  • Reluctant to perform motor tasks or try any new task
  • Difficulties with acquiring new motor skills (e.g. handwriting or sport skills)
  • Very strong preference for routine/order and is likely to become overly upset if routine/order is broken
  • Touches or fiddles with objects constantly, even when socially inappropriate
  • May complain that lights or sunlight to too bright
  • Difficulties with attending to tasks and becomes distracted easily by noise or visuals
  • Overly emotional or becomes frustrated very easily

Sensory processing difficulties are addressed through strategies and activities that are based upon your child’s unique sensory processing profile.

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Speech Language Therapy FAQs

Speech and language difficulties are those that affect a child’s communication skills. These may include:

  • Articulation difficulties such as a lisp
  • Difficulties with speech fluency, such as stammering
  • Difficulties with language development, including reduced vocabulary, word-finding and understanding of spoken language
  • Weak social communication and social problem solving, such as difficulties with understanding social situations, body language (for example eye contact), maintaining topic of conversation, understanding the perspective of others and resolving social conflicts effectively.
Paediatric speech and language therapy focuses on helping children to communicate effectively. Communication skills are important for academic success in school and social development. As such, children who find it difficult to develop these skills benefit from speech and language therapy. Paediatric speech and language therapy is holistic, meaning that the whole child is considered when planning therapy. For example, taking into consideration your child’s interests to make therapy fun and engaging.
Paediatric speech and language therapists are allied health professionals that specialise in working with children and have advanced knowledge of child development and communication skills. Speech and language therapists work directly with clients and their parents and caregivers and provide them with tailored support. They also work closely with teachers and other health professionals.
A child may be referred for a speech and language therapy assessment to assess skills that the child is observed to be finding challenging in the classroom (e.g. difficulty following instructions). A healthcare professional may also refer a child for speech and language therapy to further assess their development in certain areas (e.g. speech sound development). Parents may also observe their child experiencing difficulties with mastering certain age-appropriate communication milestones.
A speech and language therapy assessment helps therapists to gain insight into a child’s speech, language and communication skills. Assessment consists of a parent consultation to learn about their concerns and gain a developmental history, followed by a comprehensive assessment with the child to measure their strengths and areas of need. The assessment will consider the different areas of communication, including expressive language (use of language), receptive language (understanding), speech sounds and pragmatics (social use of language).
The aim of speech and language therapy is to address communication difficulties that a child is experiencing. We do this by prioritising goals according to developmental milestones and communication demands. The overall aim is to support a child communicate as effectively as possible. For example, a therapist may identify language concepts that a child has not yet acquired and work on these through fun, motivating activities to engage the child.
In some cases, speech and language difficulties may affect learning. Speech and language skills are essential to academic success and learning as language is the basis of communication. If a child has difficulty with understanding language, this may affect the child’s ability to access the curriculum in school. For example, if specific concepts are used in maths, a child with language difficulties may find understanding these maths problems difficult. A child may also have difficulties with reading and spelling if they have a speech sound disorder. Poorly developed social understanding may affect academic tasks that require flexible abstract thinking, for example, writing stories from another’s perspective.
Speech and language therapy can help you to understand the nature of the disorder or difficulty that your child is experiencing. A speech and language therapist will provide you with strategies that you can implement to support your child’s development at home and in environments outside therapy. At Asher-Solomon, our therapists actively communicate with parents and caregivers to provide education, advice and open discussion about your child’s development.

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General Therapy FAQs

Asher-Solomon believes in administering assessments in a manner that caters to the child’s needs, therefore our assessments are administered over 2-3 hours in separate 1 hour sessions. Following the assessment, parents are provided with a comprehensive written report, as well as an explanation of the report and assessment findings during the feedback session. Asher-Solomon therapists answer referrals directly and conduct an initial consultation to guide parents through the assessment process.
If the assessment report has been completed within the last 12 months, a new assessment at Asher-Solomon is not required. Therapists may administer selected standardised tests to compliment the previous assessment in order to gain further information regarding your child’s needs. The need for any further assessment will be discussed with parents during the initial consultation.
Children will undergo an assessment process before they join the programme in order for the team to gain a thorough understanding of their strengths and challenges. This assessment will be informal in nature and involve observations by the various professionals who run the programme.
Therapy is a gradual process and each child makes learning adaptations at different rates. Asher-Solomon therapists continually monitor your child’s progress and maintain consistent communication with parents regarding their child’s development and areas for improvement. The decision for a child to be discharged from therapy is often jointly made through therapist observations and assessment, parent and school feedback.
This is dependent on the child and family and is considered on a case by case basis. In some cases, it can be beneficial for parents or carers to observe and be part of the therapy sessions to ensure carry over to the home environment. Some children work better independently or children may at an age where they are expected to work autonomously, such as teenagers. In these cases the therapists will update parents at the end of therapy sessions.
Each child’s therapy needs are different. Usually children will come for one session per week (1 hour), however some children may require a different therapy schedule to better suit their needs.

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