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Occupational therapy

Help your child complete everyday tasks to the best of their ability by developing skills to overcome emotional, social and physical challenges.

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Occupational Therapy helps your child to overcome physical, social or emotional barriers to live an independent and successful life.

Occupational Therapy (OT) for kids helps them do the things they need to do to the best of their ability. And some of the most important things a child needs is to be able to be part of the family, play with friends, go to school, find a hobby, and participate in other activities and sport.

Our Occupational Therapists will work with your child to build their independence by focussing on important and necessary daily living activities. These include:

  • Gross and fine motor skills (sitting, crawling, throwing a ball, handwriting)
  • Self- care skills (dressing, eating, toileting)
  • Self-management skills (emotional regulation, sensory processing)
  • Learning skills (attention, concentration, executive functioning)
  • Social skills (engaging with others, play, making friends)

Ultimately the end goals are participation in meaningful activity, developing the skills that are important for success at school, and achieving a quality of life by reaching their full potential.

To learn more about Occupational Therapy or to book an appointment contact your nearest Early Start Australia clinic.


Benefits of Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy helps your child develop essential life skills. For them to achieve independence in life, OT will enhance their ability to play and engage with others, improve their performance at school, participate in group activities, and increase their abilities to go about their daily activities.

Each individual child is different and will have specific areas that need therapy and have different goals, but in general, the benefits of Occupational Therapy will see your child:

  • Develop fine motor skills so they can grip and release toys and develop good handwriting or computer skills.
  • Improve their hand-eye coordination so they can play, do sport and work in the classroom effectively.
  • Master basic life skills such as washing and dressing themselves, and self-feeding.
  • Learn positive behaviors and social skills by practicing how they manage emotions like frustration and anger.
  • Get the right equipment they need to give them independence, such as, wheelchairs, splints, bathroom equipment, dressing devices, and communication aids.

Most importantly, when your child develops these skills and abilities, it boosts their self-esteem, increases their confidence which helps them go out and get the best out of life.

How Occupational Therapy works

Your child starts Occupational Therapy with an initial consultation. This appointment is a chance for you to get to know your therapist and your therapist to get to know your child to understand their strengths, weakness and needs.

Your OT will ask you some background details, like what you are hoping to achieve with occupational therapy intervention, get a developmental history and any relevant information about kindy or school. And they’ll talk to you about your child’s skill development.

Your child’s Occupational Therapist may identify an area for formal assessment, or they may wish to complete some observations as part of the information gathering phase.

From here, they’ll develop a set of goals in collaboration with you and your child and set an individually tailored plan for therapy. Your child’s therapy can be seen as ‘short-term’ intervention or longer-term support, depending on your goals and priorities for support. And it can be from one
hour a fortnight through to several times a week, depending on your circumstances.

It’s important to remember that therapy doesn’t just happen in the clinic rooms. We’ll work with you and your child’s carers to provide support and strategies for their day-to-day life.

At regular intervals, we’ll sit down together and review your child’s progress, to ensure they have
the right program in place to achieve their goals.


Occupational Therapy Programs

As part of your therapy journey your Occupational Therapist may recommend some therapy programs to assist in achieving your goals including:

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Assistive Technology Equipment Prescription
Accessing assistive technology to improve the functioning of children can be a powerful tool to increase a child's independence and improve their participation.
Learn more
Feeding Therapy
Research indicates that children rarely ‘grow out’ of picky eating. They need help to work out what aspects of eating are hard for them and then to work on the skills they need to overcome these difficult aspects.
Learn more
Stabilising Pressure Input Orthoses (SPIO) Suiting
SPIO Suiting (wearable therapy products) provide sensory feedback and awareness. Suiting comes in tops, pants and vests.
Learn more
Home Exercise Programs (HEP)
Home Exercise Programs (HEP) are developed by our therapists and designed specifically to match your child’s identified goals.
Learn more
Handwriting Therapy
Developing functional handwriting is vital for success at school. We can provide tailored handwriting therapy and remediation programs to assist your child to become a more confident and efficient writer.
Learn more
LEGO therapy
LEGO Therapy is a ‘play based’ therapy method for children and applies the therapeutic benefits of play.
Learn more
Little Oaks
Little Oaks is for children under five years of age, particularly toddlers, with known developmental delays, Autism or disabilities.
Learn more
Toilet training
Out of all the skills that a child develops during their childhood, the independent use of the toilet is perhaps the most appreciated by parents!
Learn more
DIR / floortime
We use a developmental, relationship-based model or approach referred to as DIR.
Learn more

Program delivery varies between clinics so check with your local clinic about their programs.

Contact our clinic

834 Canterbury Road
Box Hill South VIC 3128


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We have clinics in every state and territory providing assessments, early childhood intervention therapies, and support to help you thrive.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The earlier a child begins therapy, the better it is for their physical and behavioral development. If you have concerns about your child’s behaviour, or their ability to do things compared to other kids, or you notice that your child is doing things differently to other kids or isn’t reaching early milestones, you should think about getting an assessment.

Sometimes you may not realise or notice there is anything to worry about, however your child’s teacher, GP, Specialist or Child Health Nurse may recommend an assessment.

Children without a specific diagnosis can access our services. We can work on specific issues that may have arisen, such as toileting.

Some common conditions we can help with include:

  • Autism
  • Asperger’s disorder
  • Down syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • ADHD
  • ODD
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Muscular dystrophy/ Spina bifida
  • EDS – Ehlers Danez Syndrome
  • Acquired Brain injury
  • Pathological Demand Avoidance
  • Dyspraxia
  • Developmental Delay
  • Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy can both help your child’s physical abilities and quality of life, but they do differ. OT is functional based, looking at function of meaningful movement and general performance.

Physiotherapy addresses issues with biomechanics, acute injury treatment and rehabilitation and maintenance. Sometimes your child may need the services of both, and our Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists will work together to get the best outcomes.

The ESA difference

esa difference

Our dedicated teams of Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Speech Pathologists and Physiotherapists work with our clients to help them meet their growth and development goals.

We focus on supporting clients (and their families) to develop language, motor, cognitive, social and emotional skills, and provide therapy supports for children with developmental delay or disability, including autism spectrum disorder.

Why choose Early Start Australia

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Multi-disciplinary team

Our multi-disciplinary teams work together with you to understand your needs and develop a plan using evidence-based strategies to help you achieve your goals and aspirations.

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Australian wide network of centres

We have clinics in every state and territory creating a strong community of allied health professionals with the collective knowledge and expertise to deliver you the best outcomes.

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Registered NDIS provider

We are a registered NDIS provider and are here to help you on your NDIS journey.

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Early intervention for all ages

Early intervention is not just for the kids. We offer therapies to cater for all ages, needs and abilities,
and we know the sooner you start your therapy journey the better.

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