Occupational Therapy Toowong & Brisbane2022-06-17T13:25:20+10:00

Occupational Therapy

At Beam Toowong, our professional team of Occupational Therapists strive to provide a range of quality, client centred services. The Occupational Therapy team value the importance of tuning into and listening to children and their families, to develop therapy plans that focus on enabling children to achieve goals that are meaningful and important to the individual.

Our Occupational Therapists can assist with providing therapy and tailored intervention strategies that can be implemented across a range of settings (including clinic, home, telehealth, school, and community).

Children are provided with opportunities to engage in many occupations and activities throughout the day, including self-care, daily living, play, school, and social activities. Challenges with carrying out occupations may impact on your child’s self-esteem, ability to socialise, develop positive relationships, focus and attend to tasks, motivation, and engagement. Our Occupational Therapists will work with you, to identify areas of concern and assist with promoting independence, performance, participation, and engagement in completing activities and occupations.

Occupational Therapists assist with providing experiences to develop skills for maintaining and promoting goal achievement and participation of meaningful activities.

Beam’s team of Occupational Therapists value the importance of delivering a comprehensive and holistic approach to maximise the best possible outcomes. This approach typically encompasses an initial assessment appointment to determine your child’s strengths, interests, learning styles and whether your child’s challenges are related to motor, sensory processing, learning, social, or emotional and behavioural domains. Our Occupational Therapist use this collaboratively gathered information to discuss and develop agreed individualised therapy plans and family-centred goals.

Occupational Therapy services are delivered in a fun, creative, nurturing and safe space. Parents/caregivers are provided with opportunities to discuss strategies to promote their child’s skill-development during therapy sessions or outside therapy sessions such as in the home, school, or community settings. Our Occupational Therapists further value the importance and benefits of collaborating with your child’s other relevant health and education professionals to support your child to achieve their goals. The overall focus of these professional services is to promote a child’s ability to undertake day to day occupations, achieve their goals and enhance quality of life.

How can we help?

Beam’s Occupational Therapy team are experienced and dedicated Occupational Therapists, who value the importance of providing client-centred and evidence-based practices. This approach assists with promoting your child’s ability to play, learn, and develop skills identified as areas of concern along with their strengths through assessment and intervention.

We are NDIS and Medicare registered and offer support in our clinic, the home, at-school, in the community (where appropriate to do so) and online through telehealth. NDIS and Medicare funding may be available to eligible participants accessing therapy services.

We can help in the following areas:

Self-care activities include routine activities such as dressing, bathing, toileting, personal cares (for example, teeth brushing, hair washing and brushing), feeding and sleeping. Dependent on your child’s age, they will be able to perform these self-care tasks with varied levels of independence. Many factors can influence your child’s ability to carry out these self-care routines and tasks. These factors might present as challenges with following routines, focusing and attending to a task, sleep, executive functioning, motor skills (fine or gross motor), and sensory processing.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Beams Occupational Therapy team will assess your child’s current occupational performance with completing self-care tasks and assist by providing therapy, if necessary, and recommending age-appropriate strategies to support your child’s independence with self-care activities.

Handwriting incorporates a range of developmental skill areas including motor, coordination, visual, and cognitive skills. These skills develop and progress during a child’s early years as they master a range of skills progressively. Foundational handwriting skills include a range of skills, some examples are bilateral arm use, the ability to cross the midline, development of pencil skills through drawing and colouring, and development of hand strength and precise, controlled finger movements.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Beam’s Occupational Therapy team can conduct handwriting assessments and screening to identify challenges and issues that may be impacting your child’s handwriting. Our therapists can work with your child to develop individualised handwriting therapy and/or school/home programs aimed at promoting functional handwriting targeting areas of concerns. For example, pencil grasp and pressure, legibility, letter formation, speed, spacing, and sentence structure.

Fine motor skills refer to the precision, dexterity and coordination of the fingers and hands. Fine motor skills are used for everyday activities including feeding self, manipulate materials such as fasteners (buttons and zips etc.), and pinch and grasp objects such as pencils and smaller items.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

At Beam, our Occupational Therapists can help children with developing their fine motor skills using personalised therapy plans and activities that will focus on areas of concerns. These activities will focus on developing fine motor skills and improving targeted functional abilities. These might include tying shoelaces, doing up fasteners, opening containers, using cutlery, pencil grip, cutting skills, building and construction, depending on identified challenge areas for your child.

Gross motor skills involve the bigger movements that we do with our larger muscle groups, (legs, arms, core musculature) such as walking, running, jumping, standing, sitting. Gross motor difficulties can be seen in challenges with physical activities, sports, and poor coordination during play. Gross motor difficulties may also impact self-care skills (for example balancing when getting dressed or washing in the shower) and daily activities.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Beam’s Occupational Therapists can conduct assessments to identify areas that a child can find challenging and compare their strengths and weakness to children the same age. With the assessment findings, an individualised therapy program can be created to further develop these skills.

Mealtimes can be a social activity where families and or peers come together. Eating is a multisensory experience; for families whose children present with challenges associated with mealtimes and feeding, considerable stresses can be present. For example, challenges operating cutlery or food aversions.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Our Occupational Therapists can assist with supporting children and their families develop positive mealtime experiences. Depending on the child, this may include developing skills for using cutlery, planning, cooking, developing playful feeding activities to assist with expanding food interests, a positive view for foods and food chaining.

Play is the main occupation of children: it is an important area of a child’s development as it provides opportunities to develop and learn skills in a fun, creative and imaginative way. Through play we use all our senses to explore and navigate environments and objects. Play lends opportunities for children to express emotions, develop self-regulation, strengthen social skills and relationships with others, communicate, learn and practice motor skills. As children develop, they engage in different types and levels of play at different stages. These stages of play include solitary, parallel, associate and cooperative play. Types of play may include role play, pretend/fantasy play, constructive/creative play, and physical play. Furthermore, styles of play may differ according to a child’s interests and strengths.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Our Occupational Therapists can assess a child’s levels of play skills and provide children and families with therapy sessions focusing on developing age-appropriate play skills. Your Occupational Therapist can coach parents/caregivers to develop these skills in the home environment to further enhance social participation.

Emotional and behavioural regulation is the ability to regulate emotions and behave appropriately. A child may experience difficulties with controlling their emotions because of factors and incurrences in their everyday life. When a child has difficulties with managing their emotions, they may display behaviours such as outbursts, tantrums and meltdowns. If a child experiences difficulties with managing their emotions, this can affect their participation and ability to complete everyday activities. Furthermore, tantrums, meltdowns and outbursts can hinder a child’s learning, and participation.

How can an Occupational Therapist help?

Our Occupational Therapists can explore appropriate and suitable sensory strategies that will help the child to manage their emotions. Through the use of assessments, discussions and observations, our Occupational Therapists can have a better understanding of how to assist the child with their emotional regulation and develop individualised strategies. Education and guidance will also be provided to parents and the child on the importance of self-management and the benefits of decreasing meltdowns.

Executive functions help children control their emotions, words, thoughts and actions. These skills help children plan, carryout tasks, organise, and regulate their emotions. When a child experiences difficulties with their executive functioning they may struggle with:

    • Planning and organising
    • Following step by step instructions
    • Dealing with challenging situations
    • Creating goals and identifying steps for goals
    • Working in stressful environments
    • Completing actions before thinking of the outcomes
    • Changes in their routine
    • Understanding different points of view
    • Starting tasks and maintaining attention on the task
    • Managing time
    • Finding solutions to problems

Children who have difficulty with their executive functioning can be seen as disorganised and as a result, may display meltdowns and tantrums when stressed or frustrated.

How can an Occupational Therapist help?

Our Occupational Therapists use multisensory, skill-building approaches to assist children to overcome difficulties in executive functioning. Parent and teacher involvement is encouraged to help support and address the child’s needs. Thus, parents and teachers are provided with recommendations from the occupational therapist on ways to adapt the environment to make it suitable and accommodate for the child’s needs.

  • Sensory processing refers to how a child’s brain perceives, processes and organises information received through their senses. Children who have difficulty with processing sensory input can experience a decrease and limitation in their participation in their everyday activities and a disruption of maintaining attention.
  • Having efficient sensory processing is the ability to have appropriate behaviour responses to the environment around them. This can be seen by a child paying attention in a busy classroom environment and performing classroom tasks efficiently.
  • Children who have difficulties with processing sensory input can display hypersensitive or hyposensitive reactions to certain input. Children can experience hypersensitivity to environments that overstimulate their senses which can cause a disruption in their focus of a task. Some examples of children displaying sensory sensitivities include:
    • A child that covers their ears with loud noise or startles easily at loud or unexpected sounds.
    • A child that refuses to wear certain items of clothing or complains that certain items of clothing ‘feel scratchy’ or ‘hurt their skin’.
    • A child that will only eat a limited number of different foods (a ‘picky eater’).
    • A child that prefers darkness or complains of headaches with bright light.
  • Hyposensitivity is when a child is experiences difficulty registering information from the sensory input from the environment such as not noticing their hands or face are dirty, missing their name being called, or preferring constant movement.

How can an Occupational Therapist help?

Our Occupational Therapists can assess a child to determine how they register and process sensory information. Recommendations are then provided to assist the child with sensory processing, completing daily tasks, and optimizing their classroom engagement.

The term visual perception relates to our brains ability to receive and interpret the information we see in our surrounds. This may include one’s ability to differentiate visual information such as colours, dimensions, and shapes. Visual perceptual skills can be considered an important skill. For example, visual perception assists with being able to find certain objects amongst other objects such as the red dinosaur in a container of animals, construction and design, completing puzzles, colouring, matching objects and following text on a page or computer.

Your child may potentially benefit from occupational therapy to develop their visual perception skills if they present with challenges within one or more of the following: completing and tracking the direction of mazes, dot to dots, pattern sequences, puzzles, matching/sorting and grouping objects in relation to size or shape, academics, locating where they are up to on a page when writing/reading, copying from a board, writing (letter formation/reversals), and mathematics.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

At Beam, our Occupational Therapists can assist you and your child by completing visual perception assessments and create a therapy program which include fun and creative ideas and activities for promoting visual perception skills

Sleep is an everyday activity that helps individuals with their health and wellbeing. Having a lack of sleep affects many cognitive aspects such as slow thinking, reduced processing times, brain fog and clumsiness. Occupational Therapists can help assist children overcome numerous barriers from sleeping which include:

    • Sensory difficulties
    • Needing a parent to fall asleep
    • Difficulties self-soothing
    • ‘Behavioural’ issues
    • Anxiety (note: in certain cases, it may be best to see a psychologist. If unsure, we can guide you to the best service).

How Can an Occupational Therapist help?

  • Our Occupational Therapists can identify what barriers a child is experiencing in relation to sleep and provide strategies to the child and parents to help improve sleep patterns. Areas such as sleep hygiene, environmental measures and sensory and behavioural strategies will be considered when developing these strategies.
  • It is important to note that Occupational Therapists do not treat sleep disorders. The best course of action for children with a suspected sleep disorder is a consultation with your GP and/or a sleep specialist.
  • Learning difficulties and specific learning disabilities may hinder a child’s self-confidence, academic achievement and classroom engagement. Specific learning disabilities is an umbrella term to describe numerous learning issues such as:
    • Dyslexia – difficulties with decoding, spelling and word recognition.
    • Dysgraphia – difficulties with handwriting, spelling and written expression.
    • Dyscalculia – difficulties with understanding numbers and learning number facts and procedures.
  • Children who experience these disorders can experience difficulties such as a dislike to reading and writing, completing math problems and understanding grammar and vocabulary, mental fatigue and struggle to cope with everyday demands which may result in meltdowns.
  • Children with learning difficulties may find it challenging to academically achieve due to underlying factors such as sensory processing difficulties, handwriting challengers, emotional/behavioural regulation difficulties and poor visual perception. It should be noted that children with learning difficulties have great potential to achieve at age-appropriate expectations.

How can an Occupational Therapist help?

  • Our Occupational therapists will assess the underlying causes of learning difficulties and assist children to understand their challenges and reinforce skills. The strategies that will be provided by the Occupational Therapists may also include recommendations for the use of assistive technology and/or methods to reduce and manage mental fatigue.
  • Learning difficulties would require intervention from other disciplines, as Occupational Therapists are unable to provide a diagnosis, this may include a consultation and assessment with a psychologist or a paediatrician.
  • Speech Pathologists may also assist with literacy skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you work with children on the Autism spectrum?2021-05-03T17:54:31+10:00

Yes our Occupational Therapy team has a lot of experience and training supporting children on the Autism spectrum. Beam Health has a multidisciplinary team of Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologists, Clinical Psychologists and Behaviour Specialists that can provide highly effective, integrated support and intervention through a multidisciplinary approach.

Does my child need to see a Occupational Therapist?2021-03-25T14:01:25+10:00

Children all develop differently and at a different rate. Occupational Therapists can help determine if your concerns about your child are something that would benefit from further assessment or support or whether they are to be expected for their age. Your child might benefit from seeing an occupational therapist if they have trouble doing everyday things because of physical, psychological or emotional problems, developmental delay or intellectual disability.

The earlier you seek professional advice, the more effective intervention and support can be.

How involved are parents in sessions?2021-03-25T13:32:22+10:00

Our Occupational Therapist will involve parents and carers as much as possible in the sessions to ensure the best possible outcomes. It is beneficial to be present during your child’s session as you can learn about specific strategies which will help the at home and in the community. Your child may prefer to work individually in the session which is ok and we can chat to you at the end of the session.

How long are the sessions?2021-03-25T13:25:11+10:00

Appointment times can vary but usually a session will  last from 30-60mins.

How much does it cost to see an Occupational Therapist?2021-08-24T10:05:08+10:00

Our fees are $180 for 50 minutes (+ 10 minutes for notes and preparation) to see an Occupational Therapist or as per the NDIS Price Guide. Medicare rebates or NDIS funding may be available.

Are you a registered NDIS provider?2021-03-25T13:39:37+10:00

Yes we are registered as a service provider for many categories of support including Improved Daily Living and Improved Relationships.

What if my child/teenager is nervous about seeing a Occupational Therapist?2021-03-25T13:38:56+10:00

It is normal for kids to be nervous about coming to see a Occupational Therapist because they don’t know what to expect and may worry there is something ‘wrong’ with them. It may be helpful to explain that coming to see a Occupational Therapist can be fun and an Occupational Therapist can help improve our skills in doing important tasks. We see lots of children for all sorts of reasons.

Do you offer telehealth?2021-03-25T13:33:54+10:00

Yes we do. We use a reliable and secure telehealth platform and set this up very easily if preferred.

What can I expect in the first session?2021-03-25T13:31:05+10:00

At the beginning of the session your Occupational Therapist will briefly run through important paperwork and some of our key policies with you.

The remainder of the session will be talking about what your child is in need of support, your concerns, personal circumstances, challenges and what you would like to get from sessions. Sometimes people are worried about what to say but rest assured your Occupational Therapist will know what questions to ask to get the relevant information to help you.

There is no “typical” session as there are different methods of support for different problems.

How many sessions will my child or I need?2021-03-25T13:27:41+10:00

The number of sessions you have with your Occupational Therapist will vary for each individual. Some issues may only require brief interventions while others may be more complex and require more time. As you work with your Occupational Therapist over the first three to four sessions you will develop a plan with them to give you a better idea of what to expect.

Do I need a referral?2021-03-25T13:23:05+10:00

You don’t need a GP/specialist referral to see an Occupational Therapist. However, Medicare rebates are only available to those clients with a GP referral. Talk to your GP to find out if you are eligible.

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