What to look for in an Occupational Therapist for Kids in Brisbane

What to look for in an Occupational Therapist in Brisbane

Occupational Therapists help people undertake daily living activities by helping them to develop specific skills, offering alternative ways of performing tasks, and modifying the environment or suggesting the use of modified or specially designed equipment. Therapists who work with kids, often focus on helping them to develop skills for play, school and self-care. Some therapists will also assist with managing difficult behaviours, or improving social skills.

Occupational Therapists practicing in Queensland must be registered with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia. To be registered, OT’s must agree to participate in Ongoing Professional Development activities, and adhere to a strict set of guidelines that inform their practice. A university qualification must be obtained prior to being considered for registration. Many OT’s will undertake further training in specific treatment methods and become specialised in a particular field.

Occupational Therapists are specialised

Not all therapists have the same level of experience or specific training to meet your child’s needs, so you may need to ring around or ask for word of mouth referrals. When approaching an OT for help with your child, it’s important to ask questions up front about the service that will be provided and associated costs.

Questions to ask might include: 1. Are you registered with the OT Board of Australia? 2. What is your particular area of expertise or special interest area? 3. Do you have any training in specific interventions or strategies? 4. How long is an assessment and will more than one session be required to assess my child? 5. What is your assessment fee and does it include the cost of a comprehensive report? 6. How long are therapy sessions? 7. What will you be doing during therapy sessions? 8. What will the goals for therapy be and how will you monitor progress? 9. How often will therapy sessions occur? 10. What is the cost of each therapy session? 11. How will you be invoicing me and what are your payment terms? 12. Are you an approved provider for Medicare and any other funding schemes? 13. Do you know of any funding schemes we may be eligible for? 14. How will you decide when therapy sessions will be stopped? 15. Will you come to our home, and are you available to visit my child’s school or childcare centre? 16. Are you open to discussing my child’s progress and work collaboratively with my child’s teachers/ carers and other treating health professionals? 17. Can I be present during the assessment and subsequent therapy sessions? 18. Is it OK if my child’s siblings are present during sessions? 19. Will I be given ‘homework’ or exercises to undertake with my child between sessions? 20. What will you do if my child becomes upset or experiences a meltdown during sessions? 21. Are you able to be contacted in between sessions, and what is the best way to contact you?

To find a therapist practicing in Brisbane, visit Occupational Therapy Australia’s website and click on the Find an OT search option http://www.otaus.com.au/find-an-occupational-therapist. You can search for an OT by geographic location, field of expertise, and approved provider status, for example those therapists approved to provide services for the Helping Children With Autism package

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