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One of the most common presentations when I see a family for the first time is the distressed look on both the parents and child’s faces when I ask the question: “Do you know what an Occupational Therapist does?” 

Often families are unaware exactly why they have been sent to see me, and are lost for words as to where to begin. 

Truly, this question is always challenging to answer and is unique for each client that I see. However, my answer usually begins with: “We help children to be able to participate in their everyday activities.” See what I mean about the answer being different for each child? The specifics can depend on their age, grade, cultural expectations, family circumstances, if they are at school or not, and so much more. 

The most common areas which an Occupational Therapist works in are fine and gross motor skills, sensory integration, increasing independence in self-care, handwriting, pretend play, social cognition and skills and emotional regulation. As there are usually a variety of goals to work on, we try to assist the family to identify what their main concerns are and where we can help, using both client and family centred practice.

So, how do you really know if your child needs Occupational Therapy? 

Comments may have been raised by those who come into contact with your child such as their teacher, GP or a friend, and these concerns may relate to the above goals. 

Alternatively, and especially during these COVID-19 lockdown periods, parents might notice that their child is slightly delayed in certain areas of schooling, or perhaps need assistance with managing their emotions. 

As Occupational Therapists, we work with children to develop functional strategies to assist with both their learning and emotional wellbeing. Personally, I enjoy incorporating sensory strategies that can be explored via looking into your child’s sensory profile. For more information on the sensory profile, please visit Creative Minds Therapy Instagram @creativeminds_therapy along with posts via Medical on Miami. 

As a Paediatric Occupational Therapist I am passionate about providing services to both children and their families to enhance every child’s ability and overall performance both at school and at home. As a team, we can work together to improve their daily life experiences and help your child perform to the best of their ability. 

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact me via Medical on Miami.

 

More about Abigail …

Abby is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist graduating from the University of Queensland in Brisbane and registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). ⁠
Originally from the Gold Coast, Abby moved from Brisbane to Sydney to expand her knowledge and expertise in paediatrics as well as to ultimately provide Occupational Therapy services to children and their families. She has always had a passion for working with children in a creative, fun, motivating and positive way. Her values in healthcare and helping children has brought her to finding a role in Occupational Therapy. ⁠
Having worked with a variety of children with a range of diagnoses, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Cerebral Palsy Intellectual Disabilities, behavioural concerns, ADHD, OCD, ODD, learning and social skills delay and more. ⁠She is available for consultations at Medical on Miami and later this year at Medical on Burleigh.
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