Occupational therapy supports you to grow your everyday life skills.
Our team is here to support you to overcome the barriers that are getting in the way of you participating in all aspects of everyday life and living with more independence.
This can include activities at home such as cooking, self-care, shopping, enjoying time with friends and family, getting out and about in the community, making friends, studying, or working.
To make a referral, click the button below to complete our online referral form and one of our team members will contact you shortly to discuss the next steps.
Alternatively, if you would like to talk to us about your child’s therapy needs, please call 1300 179 131 to speak to a member of our Intake team.
Occupational Therapy– the Everyday Way
Our Occupational Therapists come to you and provide therapy in the places you spend your time. For some that may be at your home, school, or workplace. For others, that may be the gym, park, beach or local shopping centre.
The places that matter most to you, matter most to us and are best to build your everyday skills and confidence.
Our Occupational Therapists provide tailored therapy that meets your unique needs, situation and supports you to achieve meaningful outcomes.
Our therapists are full of creative ideas that make therapy fun and engaging, especially when it comes to children!
Occupational Therapist Kristy certainly achieved this when she staged a dinosaur photoshoot at a recent therapy session.
Kirsty is supporting Max, a 7-year-old boy with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), to enable him to become more independent getting himself to bed at night and establishing good sleep routines.
So that Max can learn the steps to follow, Kristy prepared a night-time visual schedule using cartoon pictures and words. However, Max wasn’t overly interested in this. So she got creative and knowing that Max loves dinosaurs, she suggested they create a new visual schedule using photos of his toy dinosaurs showing each of the steps in his routine.
Our Occupational Therapy Supports
When you first begin using occupational therapy we generally start with a meeting in your home, a suitable place in your community or at our location. This first session is all about getting on the same page as you and your family, having a good understanding of what is working and not working for you and what a vision of success looks like.
This may include seeing you doing some of your essential daily tasks or conducting specific assessments of your abilities and needs. Some of the types of assessments we can conduct for you are:
- Independent Living Abilities assessment
- Support Needs assessment
- Sensory processing assessment
- Functional behavioural assessment
An OT will gain an understanding of the reasons activities can be challenging for you, for example, strength, movement, memory, concentration or mood.
Investing time in gathering and sharing information with you and your family is important. After the first meeting, we will provide you with a report or recommendations and then we can plan your sessions.
Children and adults with disabilities can often take in and use sensory information differently from other people. For example, a child may miss seeing detail in their environment, take longer to register a sound or react more quickly to bright lights, people, and noise. The way we take in and register, or make sense of sensory information, strongly influences our ability to learn new information, perform activities and participate in activities with other people.
We’ll support you and your family to understand more about how you take in and use sensory information and the influence that sensory processing has on your behavior, learning, and participation.
We can assist you and your family to better understand and communicate your likes or the senses you are seeking out and your dislikes or senses you wish to avoid.
We’ll help you to understand how you can create a sensory-friendly environment that supports you to learn and participate, how to create the “just right challenge” for you and how to notice if you are not coping in your environment and what to do.
Getting along with others is a valuable ability. Sometimes people need extra help to develop the skills and confidence to make friends and interact with others.
We work with you to identify your specific social goals and support you to build on the skills you already have, and develop new social skills to help you reach your goal.
For a child this might include learning how to take turns, asking someone to play, getting along better with classmates and friends, or respectful listening.
For an adult it might be learning how to understand non-verbal communication, adjusting to new social situations, improving relationships with others, or accepting feedback.
We also run social skills groups for children and adults online and at many of our therapy hubs.
Children and adults living with a disability often need additional support to learn new skills. Our team will work with you to understand how you learn, and what supports and strategies would help you to learn. For example this may include using pictures or words.
Generally developing routines or approaching a task the same way each time can improve learning. We can assist you to make changes to your environment to help you to learn by reducing distractions and creating logical flows.
We will provide support to your teachers and your family to assist everybody to use the same strategies to assist you to learn.
Home modifications are changes to the structure, layout or fittings in your home to enable you to access and move around your home. This can be simple and low cost such as a grab rail next to the front step for you to get into the home safely, or a modification to the bathroom which requires a bath to be removed and a level shower base installed.
We have a team of experienced occupational therapists who can meet with you to understand your goals and how your home environment is influencing your independence and safety. The therapist will assess you doing activities in your home and work with you to come up with different options. We understand what information different funders need in order to make a decision about paying for home modification. We work closely with project managers and builders to get a great outcome for you.
We come back when the home modifications are complete to get your feedback about whether the modifications have assisted you to achieve your goals. If there are further changes that need to be made we can make sure that the process does not stop until you are satisfied.
We can provide advice to help make the environments you spend time in, safe and accessible, enabling you to engage in everyday activities safely with maximum independence.
If access around home, school, work or social environments is potentially difficult or unsafe we can assist with:
- Assessments of home, school or work environments
- Recommendations about modification specifications, examples include the prescription of ramps, rails, or lower benches and cupboards
- Liaison with builders, architects and suppliers
- Provision of drawings/diagrams detailing specific requirements
We can also prepare reports for relevant funding bodies (providing clinical justification for making environmental amendments or arrangements), and connect you with trained professionals who can help make the modifications that are needed.
We can provide you with professional advice on wheelchair and seating prescription to ensure that you obtain a wheelchair or seating system that is comfortable and appropriate to your specific needs and will allow you to access the different environments and perform the roles that are important to you.
We also provide advice on specialised wheelchair adaptions to allow you to take part in specific recreational or work activities.
Assistive technology can be a part of an individualised solution to assist you to achieve greater independence, reduce support needs, increase participation and be more connected to your community.
It is all about getting the right fit for you, your activities and environments. To achieve the right fit we will assess your abilities and challenges, trial different assistive technology options with you, write a report to request the required funding. We will also offer training and support to ensure that the items are the right fit for you, and you can use them safely and appropriately.
At Everyday Independence we have adopted the term assistive technology to include products, systems, devices and technologies used by people with a disability to enhance independence and participation.
We’ll provide tailored support to help you build your skills and confidence to live with greater independence, make your own decisions, and have more autonomy to live the life you want to live.
We start with understanding where you want to be, what you can do now, and what supports you need to reach your independence goals.
Becoming more independent will involve a change in the way you are supported. We'll also work closely with your support network so they can assist you as your independence grows.
We assist people to achieve their potential through inclusion in work. Our Occupational Therapists can support you to:
- prepare for work, including developing skills and accessing training
ongoing support to stay at work
- change work roles
- we can also support you to return to work after illness or injury. This can involve working with you, your employer or your colleagues or changing the environment to make it easier and safer at work.
Challenging behaviours are often a person’s way of telling us that something is wrong or missing and they need help to make it better. We take a positive behavioural support approach that focuses on helping you and those supporting you to meet your needs.
Some of the ways we do this are:
- Creating routines so that you can anticipate what is going to happen in the day
- Helping you to discover more enjoyable things to do in a day
- Helping you to communicate what you like and dislike without using challenging behaviours
- Changing the environment where you live or work to be more “sensory-friendly” and predictable such as dimming the lighting or having quiet areas