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What is Occupational Therapy?

A pediatric occupational therapist is a healthcare professional who supports children and young people in doing all their meaningful activities as effectively as possible. Occupations are not just paid jobs but also the daily tasks people engage in. For children, these tasks involve taking care of themselves, interacting with others, forming friendships, and playing. Occupational therapists in practice need to be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and should offer interventions based on evidence.

What can occupational therapists help with?

child facing camera eyes looking down at two round card he is holding, he has a sad face. The child is holding up two round cards with sad faces on them. Occupational Therapy - Able kids Therapy North Lakes

Behaviour & Regulation

  • Understanding appropriate behaviour
  • Ability to control response to emotional or sensory reasoning to behaviour
  • Understanding emotions
  • Recognising emotions
  • Knowing what emotions feel and look like on themselves
  • Knowing what emotions feel and look like on others
  • Understanding different perspectives in emotions
  • Ability to control own emotions and their response
  • Understanding appropriate response to scenarios
  • Body regulation
  • Cognitive regulation (e.g. attention or task completion)
  • Sitting tolerance
A therapist is watching/supporting two young children walk across a soft balance beam. Occupational Therapy - Able Kids Therapy

Gross & Fine Motor Skills

  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Running and agility
  • Ability to cross midline (imaginary line that runs through middle of our body)
  • Throwing objects or balls
  • Kicking objects or balls
  • Endurance
  • Core strength
  • Handwriting
  • Ability to use cutlery
  • Ability to control small objects (i.e. buttons, Lego)
  • Hand strength
  • Finger strength
  • Hand and finger precision
  • Coordination of fingers
  • Toileting
  • Dressing
  • Brush teeth
  • Brushing or managing hair
  • Eating
  • Sleep
  • Showering or bathing
A Occupational Therapist is sitting at a table with a young child pointing to a game sheet with her pointer finger. The child is looking down at what the therapist is pointing at. Occupational Therapy - Able Kids Therapy

Visual Perception, Memory & Executive Functioning

  • Ability to scan
  • Capability to find objects in a busy background
  • Ability to see differences in different objects or environments
  • Working memory
  • Short-term memory
  • Long-term memory
  • Planning skills
  • Organization skills
  • Time management
A child with glasses sits at a table while they carefully cut paper using scissors. Occupational Therapy - Able Kids Therapy

Attention, Play & Sensory

  • Attention to task
  • Attention to an activity
  • Awareness of their environment and those around them
  • Distraction level
  • Age appropriate play
  • Sharing
  • Game play
  • Sportsmanship
  • Waiting
  • Ability to sense and respond appropriately to sensory stimuli in their environment
  • Auditory, touch, smell, visual, oral processing, movement, body positioning etc.


  • Social appropriateness
  • Interaction with peers
  • Interaction with adults
  • Personal safety (i.e. stranger danger and circle of trust)


  • Ability to feed and drink on their own
  • Posture and positioning at table
  • Routine around feeding
  • Understanding when and where they eat
  • Ability to eat different textures and types of food

Community Access

  • Gaining independence in the community
  • Ability to shop on their own
  • Ability to use public transport
  • Street awareness
  • Personal safety

Assessment and Provision of Assistive Technology

  • Low tech items such as altered cutlery, sensory items, self-care supports and skill support resources
  • High tech items such as wheelchairs, seating support, prams, bikes and scooters

Financial support for accessing speech pathology and occupational therapy services can be provided by:

  • The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) – We offer NDIS funded services under the Early childhood and Therapeutic Supports – Capacity Building category. We can accept clients who are plan managed or self-managed.
  • Private health insurance – All of our professionals have Medicare provider numbers, which means you may be able claim for eligible services, depending on your level of cover.
  • Medicare Chronic Disease Management Plans (CDMP) – You can claim a rebate on up to five allied health sessions per year with a referral from your GP. Please note that the rebate does not cover the full cost of sessions.
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