We are here to help
What is Occupational Therapy and how can it help my child?
Occupational Therapy (or ‘OT’) helps people to go about their day-to-day activities more easily. For children and teens struggling with any part of their development, this can range from their handwriting, to making new friends, to concentration, or the longer term challenges that go with a diagnosis or disability.
Whatever it is, Occupational Therapy aims to develop your child’s skills to help them live more enjoyably and independently.
How do I know if my child needs Occupational Therapy?
If you or anyone supporting your child’s health or education (e.g. teacher, speech pathologist, doctor, paediatrician) is concerned about your child’s development or they are struggling with their daily activities, Occupational Therapy sessions may be able to help them.
‘Daily activities’ can range from focusing and learning at school, tying their shoelaces, making new friends, participating in sports, toileting, doing their homework, eating dinner — any part of their daily life.
What happens during OT sessions?
After your child’s first OT consultation, their Occupational Therapist will develop goals with you and your child that will guide their sessions. Your child’s OT sessions are tailored to these goals by using a variety of activities to build their skills in the area they are working on.
This can often involve fun activities like jumping, obstacle courses or playing games. But every activity — including the fun ones — are all helping your child develop their skills.
Your child’s Occupational Therapist may also recommend they join one of our group programmes to help reach their goals.
How long will my child need OT sessions for?
Our long-term aim is for your child to not need our services, so we only ever recommend your child comes for the sessions they need.
How long we recommend your child comes for will vary on their goals and how quickly they are progressing.
However, the choice is always yours — you are not locked in to bringing your child for a set time as we believe you know what’s best for your family.
What happens before and during the initial session?
After we’ve organised your child’s initial appointment time, we’ll email you a confirmation letter and directions to our clinic. We will also advise you of the necessary documents to complete prior to the appointment. This will enable us to learn more about your child so the appointment runs efficiently.
If you have any other documents that may assist us in getting to know your child, please send them in as well.
ON THE DAY
When you arrive at your chosen clinic, your child’s Occupational Therapist will come and meet you both in the waiting room. From there, they’ll welcome you into the clinic room. Your child’s OT will then engage your child in fun activities, run a few different tests selected from a range of standardised and non-standardised assessments around your child’s needs. Parental input is required at this stage to clarify any concerns the Occupational Therapist may have.
For your child, this will probably just feel like doing some activities that are similar to those at school (e.g. drawing, hopping, catching a ball, writing etc.). During the Initial appointment it is preferred that you can stay with your child without any other siblings present.
At the end of your child’s Initial appointment, there will be standardised assessments to collate and a summary of strengths, challenges and individualised goals to compile. Usually a phone or Telehealth feedback is provided the following week. This will be the opportunity to share initial observations and discuss your child’s development and steps to move forward.
NDIS participants require a written summary and individual intervention plan which will occur instead of verbal feedback.
How long do sessions go for?
An initial consultation will be approximately 90 minutes. Our following Occupational Therapy sessions are usually 45 mins to 1 hour.
Telehealth sessions may be shorter but more frequent.
What kind of things can you help with?
Occupational Therapy is a treatment that supports your child and family when they experience difficulties in the following areas.
- Self Care
- Fine Motor and Handwriting
- Gross Motor
- Sensory Processing
- Behaviour and Family Support
- Social, Friendships and Play
- Specific Learning Difficulties
- Regulation and Managing Emotion
Referrals, Fees and Funding Questions
How much do sessions cost?
Initial consultation: The cost of an initial consultation varies depending on your child’s needs. During our intake phone call we will discuss the different treatment options for your child and associated costs with you.
One-on-one sessions: Session fees vary depending on the length of your child’s session.
Please call us on 0428 344 884 or email us at email@example.com to find out our current rates.
Does my child need a referral?
No, you don’t need a referral for Occupational Therapy. Please call us on to organise your initial appointment (alternatively, you can email us to organise a convenient call time).
You can share your concerns about your child’s development and we’ll explain the next steps and book a session time for you. Please call us on 0428 344 884.
Are there Medicare rebates?
Yes — there are two main Medicare plans that you can potentially access. Eligibility for these plans is determined by your doctor. A visit to your doctor is required for the plan to be written. All Medicare rebates are a partial subsidy of service fee and require a gap payment.
Enhanced Primary Care Plan
This entitles clients up to five treatment sessions per calendar year of which a rebate can be claimed through Medicare.
Better Access to Mental Health Plan
If your child has any mental health concerns that interferes with their cognitive, emotional or social functioning, you can request a Mental Health Care Plan and referral from your child’s GP, paediatrician or psychiatrist. The Mental Health Care Plan provides ten partially-subsidised OT sessions per calendar year. Occupational Therapy Whitsunday has specific registration to see children under a Mental Health Care Plan. If your child has a Mental Health Care Plan, please let us know when making their initial booking.
Please note, there are additional Medicare plans available for children with autism spectrum disorders and physical disabilities.
Are sessions covered by private health funds?
Whether your child’s sessions with us are covered by private health insurance will depend on your provider and your level of cover. All health funds are different, however, many of them do offer cover for Occupational Therapy. We recommend you check with your private health fund about what rebates you’re entitled to.
Are you registered for NDIS funding?
We are registered providers with NDIS including Early Childhood Intervention Support.