Who do you see?

Infants, toddlers, children, adolescents and teenagers.

What do you do?

Assist children and young people to grow, learn, have fun and socialise enabling them to reach their full potential. Occupational therapists work with children and families to meet developmental milestones of self-care, school work and education, and play and leisure. With older children and adolescents occupational therapists can assist with promoting and developing independence and also working around psychosocial issues that affect teenagers. An occupational therapist would use a variety of assessments to develop an understanding of the child or young person’s current function and work with them and their families to reach the goals identified.

Where do you do it?

  • private practices
  • paediatric hospitals
  • community organisations
  • schools
  • developmental centres

Case Example

An occupational therapist receives a referral for a 6-year-old girl, Katie, who is having trouble concentrating in the classroom and because of this is not keeping up with the other children in her class and has become disruptive in the classroom setting. The occupational therapists completes a development assessment identifying Katie is having difficulty with her fine motor coordination which is effecting her handwriting. The occupational therapist also completes a sensory screen to get a better understanding of Katie’s sensory preferences. Because this has become tricky for Katie she easily becomes frustrated with the task and gives up, feeling she cant complete it. The occupational therapists develops a program for at home and completes a term of therapy sessions with Katie to improve her fine motor coordination and sensory regulation in the classroom. After meeting with Katie’s teacher strategies are also used in the classroom to help Katie cope and be less disruptive. Katie is reassessed by the occupational therapist at the end of the term to establish improvements and change therapy plan as needed.

How can I find out more?

Please contact the WA Occupational Therapy Association if you would like further information. The WAOTA is also affiliated with the Developmental Occupational Therapy interest group (DOT)- http://dotwa.org.au/