The Making Sense process
The initial consultation
Everything begins with an initial conversation with you to gather relevant background information and determine if Emma is the right person to work with you.
Occupational Therapy Assessment for children
Emma uses a range of standardised assessments, clinical observations, developmental screening and conversation with the individual and parent to gather information about sensory motor development and to ensure an intervention plan is developed to meet the individual's needs.
The assessment takes between 90 - 120 minutes and includes the time with the individual and the written report.
Areas assessed include:
Visual motor skills (eye hand co-ordination, visual processing and movement)
Gross motor skills (movement, balance, ball skills, spatial and body awareness)
Fine motor skills (manual dexterity, development of handwriting)
Early childhood reflexes / retained primitive and postural reflexes
Sensory processing / sensory integration
Visual perceptual skills
Screening for Auditory processing
Handwriting (development of pencil grip, speed and legibility of writing, writing for exams)
Sensory Processing Disorder
- For younger children, this is done as part of the Occupational Therapy Assessment.
- For intermediate and high school students, a stand alone Handwriting Assessment can be completed to support application for Special Assessment Conditions (SAC), to determine if a handwriting therapy program would be helpful to develop handwriting skills.
Feedback with parents
Following the assessment, Emma meets with parents / caregivers to provide feedback from the assessment. A written report is completed, outlining the findings of the assessment and recommendations.
Feedback with school
A school meeting can be organised as needed. This meeting provides the opportunity for parents, teachers, teacher's aide, Senco, RTLB and Occupational Therapist to meet and discuss the findings of the report, areas of strengths and challenges in the classroom, and to develop further recommendations to support the individual child's learning needs. These recommendations are developed with full consideration of the teacher's role with other children, and where possible will be relevant to other children's learning needs as well.
Occupational Therapy Sessions
The aim of Occupational Therapy sessions is to improve co-ordination, sensory processing, self-regulation, self-esteem and confidence. Occupational Therapy sessions follow the recommendations in the report and can be carried out a number of ways.
- 1:1 Occupational Therapy sessions conducted weekly, fortnightly, or as required. These sessions use a play-based approach to provide sensory-motor activities to support the child's development as identified in the assessment.
- A home program of movement exercises is provided with each therapy session. The exercises are designed to support the development and integration of sensory and movement development and can help to stimulate and integrate neural processing for better co-ordination, self-regulation and body awareness. This includes working with early childhood reflexes, sensory processing and general co-ordination and strength.
- School meetings. These are tailored to provide information, education and support for teachers, parents and occupational therapist to pool information and develop strategies, understanding and a team approach to supporting the child in the school environment.
- Handwriting program. For older students, a handwriting program can be undertaken to support the movement skills, strength and dexterity needed for easier handwriting. The program consists of intermittent 1:1 sessions with a home program component.
- Distance work and home program. It is not always practicable to attend 1:1 therapy sessions due to distance and time restraints. When this is the case, a consultative approach is used to work with parents to understand 'how their child works' and provide activities to support sensory-motor development.
- 1:1 Occupational Therapy for Adults with sensory processing difficulties and Dyspraxia is tailored to support education (etc), understanding and practical solutions for individual needs.