All you should know about OT Assistants

Wouldn’t it be great if your child had someone other than you to help them reach their goals?

If you’re answering ‘yes’ to this question, a skilled Therapy Assistant could make a big difference to your child’s life (and yours too!) 

Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps children to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy is done by a certified Occupational Therapist (OT) and Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA).

What is an Occupational Therapy Assistant?

An occupational therapy assistant (OTA) is experienced in providing Occupational Therapy interventions and treatments but is overseen or supervised by a qualified and experienced Paediatric Occupational Therapist. The qualified Occupational Therapist would first assess the child and outline a detailed plan to improve the addressed difficulties. It is the role of the OT assistant to implement the treatment plan outlined by the qualified Occupational Therapist.

The great thing about Therapy Assistants is that they offer an extra layer of support to children in familiar environments such as their home, preschool, or school.

What are the benefits of seeing an OTA?

  • Enhance therapy outcomes– visit an OT Assistant in between your OT sessions to further improve skills.
  • More “bang for buck”– OT Assistant sessions are more affordable than an OT session. All of our OT Assistant therapy programs here at Happy Dots are still written and monitored by an OT, but facilitated by an OT Assistant.
  • Schedule some community visits– Our OT Assistants are fun, creative and love community visits. You can book some OT Assistant sessions to develop skills out in the community, such as going shopping, catching public transport or improving social skills at the park.
  • Intensive blocks– school holidays are a fantastic opportunity to book some more intensive holidays sessions e.g. come to the clinic for 1 session each day for 1-2 weeks. This is particularly useful if you have missed a few sessions and want to get back on track.
  • Master a particular skill– is there something your child is just not quite mastering yet? Tying shoe laces is a popular one! Book one of our therapists to help your child master a skill.
  • Bridging the Gap– Occupational therapy assistants “bridge the gap” between formal therapy sessions and ‘real life’ by helping children practice and master the skills taught in clinical occupational therapy sessions.
  • Extra layer of support– OTAs offer an extra layer of support to children in a familiar environment such as their home, preschool, or school to build confidence in skills such as reading, writing, fine motor skills, behaviour, and attention.
  • Ace those routines– If you want your child to ace their morning or afternoon routines an OTA can guide your child to practice and master them.
  • Practice through purposeful play– OTAs engage children in purposeful play in a variety of settings so that each child gets specific practice to help them reach their communication, motor coordination or emotional/social skills goals

Essentially an occupational therapy assistant’s role is not to assess your child or devise your child’s therapy plan. Instead, they are under the direct supervision of a certified OT, ensuring your child gets opportunities to apply their developing skills in their natural environments.

Can I see an OT Assistant at Happy Dots?

You sure can. Please call our admin team on (02) 4959 8920 who will assess your child for suitability. Should your child be suitable, a time will be made for you to see an OT regarding goals / therapy outcomes prior to seeing the OT Assistant.

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