What is Occupational Therapy for Children?
Occupational Therapy for children relates to the participation in activities they find meaningful. It is a client-centred health profession involving ongoing assessments to understand what activities a child can do or wants to do and any limitations they may face. Occupational Therapy helps parents/ carers achieve the goals they want to see their child achieve and also to offer advice and techniques about how they can do day to day things easily and safely.
Occupational Therapists are trained to help people of all ages from children to adolescents, better perform everyday activities (or occupations) that they need to, want to or are expected to perform. For children, this means playing, learning and being a part of a family and friendships.
Occupational Therapists often form part of a team including doctors, psychologists, speech pathologists, teachers, parents and in many cases, children themselves. Their objectives are to find out the best possible way to improve skills, find other ways of doing tasks and using other tools to make performing activities easier.
OTFC Group therapists always strive to empower young people to help themselves – this is the true core of Ayres Sensory Integration®. This specifically relates to children’s ability to work toward their potential and in doing so, maintain a positive perspective of themselves at home, at kindy, school and in play situations with other children.
The OTFC Group adopts a Neurodevelopmental approach in working from the “bottom up”. This means that many skills that develop for children at various ages like riding a bike, writing their name, tying shoelaces, getting dressed or climbing monkey bars, develop in an organised sequence based on skills that have developed at an earlier stage.
For some children these stages or core foundation skills are underdeveloped, missing or inefficient having a “domino” effect on many other areas. Occupational Therapists at OTFC Group aim to help “re-wire” these connections so that these skills can develop naturally.
The most enjoyable aspect of this is the use of “play” as a vehicle for facilitating change. Children are highly motivated when they are playing and having fun and we often see skills improve when this combination is achieved. The skill of the therapist is to disguise therapy as play whilst working on the areas of difficulty identified in the Initial consultation/ observations, Assessment or Review Assessment.
Producing positive results for your child
We maintain a strong client-focused approach to occupational therapy, where children and families feel validated in their concerns, supported in difficult times and encouraged to be proactive and inspired to facilitate change.
Why Choose Us?
OTFC Group is the longest-standing private paediatric Occupational Therapy Clinic in South Australia. We have provided private clinical services to children all the way through to adulthood in Adelaide for over 30 years. The brainchild of Veronica Steer, it was entrusted to Dino Mennillo in 2005.
We are located across multiple locations in the CBD as well as close surrounding suburbs, and service our clients not only within metropolitan Adelaide but also in rural regions of South Australia, nationwide across Australia and exploring our options globally.
Our dynamic facilities and teaching practices are what set us apart where our skills and techniques are shared amongst therapists, students, parents, carers, teachers, government and non-government organisations. Our aim is to ensure, through our occupational therapy for children, that everyone working with young people feel empowered, as well as the clients themselves.
OTFC Group does not provide other allied health or medical services. Our autonomy and specialisation ensure we can continue to provide families and clients with the options tailored to their needs.
OTFC Group Best Practice
What is best practice for Occupational Therapy for Children?
Evidence-based practice is an approach to clinical decision making that has gained momentum both within occupational therapy and externally in the allied health profession. For occupational therapists, evidence-based practice is essential to ensuring the credibility and consistency of therapies offered. There are increasing demands placed on health professionals to ensure their practice is based on sound evidence which is something that we at OTFC Group feel strongly about.
As government initiatives such as Medicare and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) aim to extend opportunities to all clients, evidence-based practice has ensured that these practices meet the needs of clients within a specific framework.
Through the 90’ and early 2000’s Ayres Sensory Integration® Therapy was considered by many, both within Occupational Therapy and externally, to lack evidence-based research. In truth, the research and literature at the time fell short in quantity when compared to other occupational therapy-based approaches. Many research articles and literature searches that base their findings on the effectiveness of Sensory Integration Therapy failed to properly understand the specific framework and guidelines that must be adhered to in order for therapy to be considered ‘Sensory Integration Therapy.’ In fact, true “Ayres’ Sensory Integration Therapy” or “Ayres’ SI” incorporates a clear and stringent set of guidelines that must be met, otherwise a therapist and indeed a practice cannot use the trademarked term in any information or advertising.
In brief, in order to achieve fidelity measures to meet the criteria for Sensory Integration an Occupational Therapist must obtain the following:
In a period following 2018, the International Council for Education in Ayres Sensory Integration® (ICEASI®) formed and many OT’s worldwide collaborated to not only deliver research that was robust and expansive, but subsidiaries such as CLASI® – the Collaborative for Leadership in Ayres Sensory Integration® , headed by Dr. Suzanne Smith Roley and Dr. Zoe Mailloux (both of who worked alongside and did research under Jean Ayres), formed to deliver training, research and support for OT’s worldwide specialising in ASI®.
At OTFC Group, we have embraced evidence-based research and Ayres’ Sensory Integration to ensure that our services meet the needs of our clients and families. We have used the ‘Fidelity Measures in Sensory Integration’ to guide the training of staff at OTFC Group and the redevelopment of the OTFC Group state of art clinics across South Australia.
This process has been inspiring and has given our clients the opportunity to reach their potential with a therapeutic approach that measures up to very clear and strict guidelines of best practice.
In understanding how evidence-based research has influenced Occupational Therapy for children working within the framework of Sensory Integration, our aim is to be transparent and open. In doing so, we empower our clients to make informed, educated decisions regarding the therapy they choose for their child.
All Occupational Therapists within the OTFC Group have experience and are committed to working with young people with a range of behaviours and diagnoses including, but not limited to: