Occupational Therapy Toowong, North Brisbane

Occupational Therapy Toowong, North Brisbane2024-05-02T08:34:14+10:00

Occupational Therapy

At Beam Health Toowong, our team of Occupational Therapists strive to provide a range of quality, client centered 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 them and their family.

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 on a daily basis, including self-care, daily living, play, school, and social activities. Challenges with carrying out occupations may impact a 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 Therapists 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. You will be provided with opportunities to discuss strategies to promote your 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 your 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, and value the importance of providing client-centered 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. Some underlying factors that may impact your child’s ability to carry out these self-care routines and tasks independently may be challenges with following routines, reduced focus and attention, poor sleep, difficulties with executive functioning, challenges with motor skills (fine or gross motor), and sensory processing differences.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Your Occupational Therapist will assess your child’s current occupational performance with completing self-care tasks and assist by providing suitable intervention, as well as age-appropriate strategies to support your child’s independence with self-care activities.

Sound handwriting skills rely on a range of developmental skill areas including but not limited to motor, sensory, visual-perception, and cognitive skills. These skills develop and progress during a child’s early years as they master and integrate a range of skills. More specifically, important foundational handwriting skills include bilateral arm use, the ability to cross the midline, postural control and upper limb stability, development of pencil and pre-writing skills through drawing and colouring, and development of hand strength and precise, controlled finger movements.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Your Occupational Therapist can conduct a handwriting assessment to identify challenges and issues that may be impacting your child’s handwriting. Your therapist can work with your child to develop their handwriting skills and provide home/school activities aimed at promoting functional handwriting. Common areas of skill development include pencil grasp and pressure, legibility, letter formation, speed, spacing, and ideation.

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, management of fasteners (buttons and zips etc.), pinching, grasping and manipulating small objects such as pencils, and play items.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Your Occupational Therapist can help your child develop their fine motor skills through personalised therapeutic activities that will focus on areas of concerns. These activities will focus on developing fine motor skills to improve targeted functional abilities. These might include tying shoelaces, managing fasteners, opening containers, using cutlery, pencil grasp, cutting skills, building and construction.

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 skills enable a child to participate in sports, physical and play activities. They are also very important for daily activities (e.g. getting dressed), transfers (e.g. getting in and out of the bath/shower safely), and postural control.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Your Occupational Therapist can assist your child in developing their gross motor skills to increase their participation in meaningful activities. A motor assessment will allow your therapist to observe your child’s strengths and challenges to develop an individualised therapy plan.

Mealtimes are often a social time where families and/or peers come together. However, if your child displays challenges around feeding and eating, it can make mealtimes stressful. Common mealtime challenges children may experience include difficulties using cutlery, inability to remain seated or at the table, and aversions to food ranging from mild to strong.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Your Occupational Therapist can assist with supporting you and your family develop positive mealtime experiences. Depending on the challenge areas, your occupational therapist can:

  • Work with your child to develop their skills for using cutlery.
  • Assist with meal planning and cooking.
  • If your child displays difficulties staying seated during mealtimes, your Occupational Therapist can explore strategies with you and your child, for your child to eat their meal with the rest of the family in a reasonable timeframe.
  • Provide strategies to support your child who presents as a picky-eater and help reduce associated stress around mealtimes. Your therapist can also provide intervention to promote enhancing your child’s food repertoire. This is done through playful feeding activities to assist with expanding food interests, a positive view for foods and food chaining. Done in gentle and respectful manner.

Play is a child’s main occupation. 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, sensory play, exploratory play, and physical play. A child’s style of play may differ according to their interests and strengths.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Your Occupational Therapist can support your child to develop their individual style of play for solo play or play with their peers. Your Occupational Therapist can also assist you, your child’s educator(s) or teacher(s) to support your child in developing their play skills as well as enhance social opportunities through inclusive play.

Emotional and behavioural regulation is the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s emotional responses. A child may experience heightened emotions because of factors and incurrences in their everyday life. When a child has challenges with regulating their emotions, they may display behaviours such as outbursts, meltdowns, and tantrums. If a child experiences difficulties with managing their emotions, this can affect their participation and ability to complete everyday activities and impact relationships. Furthermore, heightened emotional responses can hinder a child’s learning.

How can an Occupational Therapist help?

Your Occupational Therapists will strive to understand the factors impacting your child’s regulation throughout the day. They will explore strategies with you and your child to assist with regulation. Your Occupational Therapist will also work with you to better understand your child’s regulation systems.

Executive function skills consist of complex reasoning skills that enable us to plan, carryout tasks, pay attention, remember instructions, and problem solve. 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 the necessary steps to work towards these goals
    • Working in busy environments
    • Thinking before doing
    • Changes in their routine
    • Starting tasks and maintaining attention on the task
    • Managing time
    • Finding solutions to problems

Children who have difficulty with their executive functioning can appear disorganised or inattentive. These children often experience cognitive overload quicker than their peers and as a result, may have meltdowns.

How can an Occupational Therapist help?

Executive functioning skills develop through maturation and developmental processes. Some children require more time and support to develop these skills. Your Occupational Therapists will support your child with their executive functioning skills by providing guidance and strategies to support their executive functioning skills in the home and classroom. They will also offer skill-building opportunities through various therapeutic activities.

  • Sensory processing refers to how a child’s brain perceives, processes and organises information received through their senses. Efficient sensory processing allows a person to make sense of the world and have more adaptability in their responses to the environment around them. An example of this, is a child who is able to pay attention in a busy classroom environment and perform classroom tasks efficiently. Sensory processing differences can impact a child’s participation in their everyday activities and cause challenges with maintaining attention.
  • Children who have difficulties with processing sensory input can display hypersensitive (heightened sensitivity) or hyposensitive (reduced sensitivity or registration) reactions to sensory input. Children can experience hypersensitivity to environments that overstimulate their senses which can cause a disruption in their focus on 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 experiences challenges registering sensory input from the environment, therefore they may need increased sensory stimulation. A child who is hyposensitive may not notice that their hands or face are dirty, may miss their name being called, have poor body awareness, or enjoy high levels of movement.

How can an Occupational Therapist help?

Our Occupational Therapists can assess your child’s sensory processing skills 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 are important for many daily and academic tasks such as dressing, reading and writing, copying information, cutting, matching objects, construction and design, completing puzzles, being able to find certain objects amongst other objects (e.g. finding the red dinosaur in a container of toys), and many other skills.

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Your Occupational Therapists can assess your child’s visual perception skills and create a therapy program which include fun and creative activities for promoting visual perception skills.

Sleep is a foundational activity to health and wellbeing. Lack of sleep affects many cognitive aspects (e.g. reduced processing times, brain fog), decreases the ability to deal with stress, and can impact motor skills, leading to clumsiness. Occupational Therapists can address many factors that may be impeding sleep, such as:

    • Sensory processing difficulties
    • Needing a parent to fall asleep
    • Mismatched routine to the child’s needs
    • Difficulties with regulation or self-soothing
    • 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 overcome these barriers. Areas such as sleep hygiene, environmental measures, sensory strategies, and relational needs will be considered when developing these strategies.
  • It is important to note that Occupational Therapists do not directly 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 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 disabilities may avoid schoolwork, especially work involving read, writing, and maths. They may experience low self-esteem and mental fatigue, which can result in challenges coping with everyday demands and meltdowns.

Learning difficulties are different to specific learning disabilities. For a child with learning difficulties, their learning may be impacted by underlying factors such as sensory processing difficulties, handwriting challenges, 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?

  • Your Occupational therapist will assess the underlying causes of learning difficulties and assist your child to understand their challenges and reinforce their skills. Your Occupational Therapists can also provide recommendations for the use of assistive technology and/or methods to reduce and manage mental fatigue.
  • Your Occupational Therapists can also assist your child if they have motor-based dysgraphia to improve handwriting abilities.

Other disciplines may also be involved for specific learning disabilities and learning difficulties:

  • Specific learning disabilities are diagnosed by a psychologist with clinical experience in educational psychology.
  • Speech Pathologists can assist with literacy skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to see an Occupational Therapist in Toowong?2024-05-02T08:21:09+10:00

Our fees are $190 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.

How long are the sessions?2022-12-09T12:43:11+10:00

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

How involved are parents in sessions?2022-10-25T16:23:07+10:00

Our Occupational Therapist in Brisbane 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.

Does my child need to see a Occupational Therapist?2022-10-25T16:18:20+10:00

Children all develop differently and at a different rate. Beam Health Occupational Therapists in Toowong 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.

Do you work with children on the Autism spectrum?2022-10-25T16:13:02+10:00

Yes our Occupational Therapy team in Toowong, Brisbane 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.

Do I need a referral?2022-10-25T16:52:10+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.

How many sessions will my child or I need?2022-10-25T16:48:40+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.

What can I expect in the first session?2022-10-25T16:46:08+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.

Do you offer telehealth?2022-10-25T16:42:50+10:00

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

What if my child/teenager is nervous about seeing a Occupational Therapist?2022-10-25T16:40:03+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 in Toowong 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.

Are you a registered NDIS provider?2022-10-25T16:35:33+10:00

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

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