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Frequently Asked Questions

Occupational Therapists work with children to improve their independence within the school or work environments by addressing specific areas of skills developments including:

• Sensory-processing abilities
• Motor skills (fine & gross motor)
• Visual perceptual skills
• Self-care activities (eating, sleeping, toileting, dressing)
• Attention & concentration
• Play & social skills development

Occupational Therapy achieves this by providing individualised, fun, motivating and age appropriate activities to meet parent and child focused goals.
Happy Dots provides services to children with a range of difficulties and needs including:

• Autism Spectrum disorders
• Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorders (ADD/ADHD)
• Sensory Processing disorders
• Development delay
• Dyspraxia
• Learning and handwriting difficulties

Although most of our visits tend to be clinic based, home and school visits can also be arranged. This may be consultancy based or can be arranged on a regular basis. If you can’t make it to us, we are happy to come to you! We are also happy to provide parent/teacher workshops & presentations on topics that you think you might like to know more about. We are often booked ahead of time for staff development days, so get your request in early.

Does your child exhibit any of the following difficulties?

• Appear over or under responsive to sensory input (sights, sounds, movements, touch, tastes)
• Avoidance of messy play or doesn’t like to be touched or bumped
• Restricted diet & eats limited foods, is a fussy eater, or often gags on food
• Auditory Processing difficulties i.e. trouble following or remembering 2-3 step instructions
• Finds it hard to concentrate or attend to tasks (e.g. fidgets, can’t sit still)
• Is in constant motion or always ‘on the go’
• Low energy levels or alertness, appears to be tired/slow to respond
• Frequent mood swings or ‘meltdowns‘
• Low muscle tone
• Poor gross motor skills including coordination & balance (e.g. difficulty jumping, balancing, tires easily)
• Motor planning difficulties/dyspraxia
• Poor fine motor skills including using scissors & pencils, learning to write & drawing or copying from the blackboard
• Handwriting difficulties
• Difficulty completing self-care activities including toileting, sleeping, dressing and eating

If you have answered “yes” to more than one of these statements, your child may benefit from an Occupational Therapy Assessment.

Speech pathologists play a crucial role in supporting children’s communication, language, and social development. Here’s how they can help:

1. Speech Development: Assist children with articulation issues, helping them to produce sounds correctly and speak more clearly.
2. Language Skills: Support the development of both receptive (understanding) and expressive (speaking) language skills, crucial for effective communication.
3. Social Communication: Help children develop the skills needed for social interactions, such as understanding social cues, taking turns in conversation, and maintaining eye contact.
4. Fluency: Address stuttering or other fluency disorders, providing techniques and strategies to improve the flow of speech.
5. Voice Therapy: Work with children who have voice disorders, such as hoarseness or inappropriate pitch, to improve vocal quality.
6. Literacy Skills: Aid in developing pre-literacy and literacy skills, including phonological awareness, reading, and writing.
7. Feeding and Swallowing: Assist children who have difficulties with feeding and swallowing, ensuring they can eat and drink safely.
8. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): Provide solutions and training for children who need alternative methods of communication, such as sign language or communication devices.

Through personalised assessments and tailored therapy plans, speech pathologists help children overcome challenges, enhance their communication abilities, and improve their overall quality of life.

 
You might consider speech therapy for your child if they have difficulty with speaking, understanding, or social communication. Signs include not babbling or using words by 12-18 months, being difficult to understand by age 3-4, struggling with following directions, or showing frustration when trying to communicate. If you have concerns, consult a speech-language pathologist for an evaluation. Early intervention can be crucial for development.

If you are concerned about your child, or a child you know, you can phone our office on (02) 4959 8920 and speak with an Occupational Therapist who will be able to advise you on the best way to get started. We accept self-referrals, along with referrals from other professionals such as Speech Therapists, GP’s & Psychologists.

When you make a referral, you will be booked in for an initial assessment. Frequency/duration of therapy visits will also be decided on. Your child will then attend therapy appointments on a weekly or fortnightly basis for a certain period of time (this obviously varies depending on each child’s needs). Should we discover that OT is not the best fit for your child, we will use our clinical expertise to point you in the right direction.

Upon your initial therapy visit you will receive a home program folder for your child. This will contain activities to get you started on some basic therapy activities. You will be required to bring this folder to each session, so that your therapist can add activities that you will be required to complete in between sessions. The homework activities can be as intensive or as little as you would like, just speak to your therapist about what would work best for you. We also aim to incorporate as much therapy homework into your child’s already existing daily routine.

We run many different group programs, mostly during school holiday periods and sometimes during the school terms. Examples of group programs include:

Flying Start school readiness
• Lego Club
• Tricky Fingers
• Sensory Science

Speak to one of our lovely therapists about what group would suit your child best, or contact us to be added to our mailing list for all of the upcoming groups.