Occupational Therapy Assessments
Occupational Therapy Assessments may include assessment of fine and gross motor skills, handwriting or pre-writing skills, visual perceptual skills, sensory processing skills, self-care skills (e.g. dressing or self- feeding) and organisation skills. Depending on the child’s age and ability, the full assessment usually involves a combination of standardised assessments, clinical observations and feedback of the child’s performance at home and, with parental permission, at school. Assessment results are used to create an individualised occupational therapy programme, including targeted intervention goals.
Occupational Therapy Assessments for Specific Needs:
Handwriting assessments analyse foundation skill components of writing (e.g. letter/number formation, fine motor skills, visual motor skills, upper limb stability and postural stability) and more complex skills (e.g. spatial organisation of sentences, sequencing and planning written work, handwriting speed and endurance).
Often, students are referred for handwriting assessments by their teachers. Our therapists also conduct handwriting assessments to gain permission for students to use alternate means of communication for written tasks (e.g. laptop or scribe) at school, university or in controlled exams (e.g. HSC and GCSE).
Children are typically referred for a feeding therapy assessment by their parents, upon recognising that their child’s diet has a limited variety of foods. Restricted diet may be unhealthy for the child and become worrisome and frustrating for parents. It can also limit the social and cultural experiences of sharing meals with family and friends.
Trained Asher-Solomon therapists perform feeding assessments to provide an analysis of the many different skills required for the successful intake of foods. The therapist will assess the oral cavity and upper body structure and function, and also take a behavioural approach to assessing any sensitivities, aversions to, or preferences for types of touch/ textures, smells or tastes and any behaviours that may be impacting upon feeding. Based on the assessment, recommendations are made for individual or group feeding treatment or use of feeding strategies through parent consultation.
Feeding therapy at Asher-Solomon provides intervention for children with no known medical issues impacting upon their feeding, but whose difficulties are related to sensory and behavioural factors.
Pre-school assessments aim to evaluate the development of foundation skills that children typically acquire between the ages of 2 and 6. Development of strong foundation skills is necessary for children to leap successfully between pre-academic learning (pre-school) to the academic classroom. Foundation skills include the development of pre- writing or handwriting, self-care skills (e.g. dressing or self-feeding with utensils), following classroom routines, gross motor play, visual perception, sensory processing and self-regulation skills.
Teachers, healthcare professionals or parents may refer a child for a pre-school evaluation. Asher-Solomon recommends that children who are transitioning into an academic setting from pre-school are assessed at least six months before commencing formal schooling to allow sufficient time for therapy gains to take place.
To find out more about our occupational therapy services and how we can help, click here.