Connect the dOTs has been providing Occupational Therapy services to children and their families in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne since 2014. As Occupational Therapists, our aim is to work with children to help them perform and participate in their daily occupations or activities across the areas of self-care, productivity, and leisure. Our focus is to promote independence and improve your child’s capacity to fully engage in the activities they do everyday. Our Occupational Therapists are passionate about using a family-centred, strengths-based approach when working with children and their families to reach their full potential.
Our Occupational Therapists can work on:
Connect the dOTs provides service to children aged 0-12 years. We are predominantly clinic-based but are flexible and can work with your child in the home, childcare, kindergarten, or school. Our Occupational Therapists work with a range of children who may have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Intellectual Disability (ID), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Global Developmental Delay (GDD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), Down Syndrome or experience challenges in any area that impact their ability to engage in their daily activities.
Our Occupational Therapists are able to complete formal assessments to assist with goal setting as well as for funding bodies such as NDIS and school funding. We offer assessments in the areas of:
We are a Family-Centred Practice….
This means that we work alongside the families of the child to set and prioritise goals. After an assessment we develop Family Support Plans, which are an agreement between the therapist and the child stating what goals we are working on and which order. We try to involve the family in using intervention strategies in everyday routines, increasing the family’s capacity to improve the outcome of therapy. One day per fortnight of therapy with a clinician is a lot less effective than therapy being implemented into the child’s everyday life.
At Connect the dOTs, we offer Occupational Therapy services through individual, external, Telehealth and group sessions.
Individual Occupational Therapy –
Individual sessions are usually 30 to 45 minutes and are scheduled on a fortnightly basis. The duration and frequency of these sessions are flexible. Individual sessions can be scheduled in the clinic, home, childcare, kindergarten, or school.
External Occupational Therapy -
Our Occupational Therapists understand that for the generalisation of skills, completing sessions within your child’s natural environments is highly important. This service is based on discussions with your child’s educational setting. If you would like external sessions for your child, your child’s Occupational Therapist will contact their childcare, kindergarten or school to organise sessions.
Group Occupational Therapy –
Group sessions are usually 45 to 60 minutes in duration with each group targeting goals. These can include:
Telehealth Occupational Therapy -
Where individual clinic-based or external sessions are not possible, our Occupational Therapists can offer Telehealth sessions via Zoom. These sessions can be 30, 45 or 60 minutes in duration and can be scheduled on a fortnightly basis.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a condition that impacts how a person thinks, feels, interacts with others, and experiences their environment. Children living with a diagnosis of ASD can experience a range of challenges impacting their engagement and performance in activities they want or need to do every day.
A diagnosis of ASD generally involves many specialists and professionals, which is referred to as a multidisciplinary team. This team can include a Paediatrician, Psychologist, Speech Pathologist and on some occasions, a Child Psychiatrist. Occupational Therapists may be involved in this process. Our Occupational Therapists do not complete ASD Assessments, however, will liaise with your child’s multidisciplinary team if an ASD Assessment is being completed.
Our Occupational Therapists understand that not all children living with a diagnosis of ASD present the same and we will work with you to set individualised goals and provide intervention that incorporate your child’s strengths.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The duration of a formal assessment can vary depending on the assessment being completed as well as the child’s level of engagement. Generally, assessments can be completed within one to two 1:1 sessions.
After the assessment, your child’s Occupational Therapist will complete the scoring and develop a report. This report will include information about the assessment, outcomes, observations, and recommendations/strategies. Our Occupational Therapists aim to complete reports within one to two weeks after the assessment has been completed. The outcomes from the assessment also assist with identifying and setting Occupational Therapy goals.
An initial assessment with one of our Occupational Therapists involves getting to know your child and gathering information about their strengths and what they are finding challenging. We do not generally write a report after an initial assessment, however, we do put together a document that contains the goals identified that can be provided to you.
We understand that a formal assessment is not always the most appropriate option when assessing children. In these cases, our Occupational Therapists can complete informal assessments through completion of observations within the clinic, home, childcare, kindergarten, or school. We will also gather in-depth information from you about your child as well as from their educators. Our Occupational Therapists will also focus on developing rapport with your child by creating structure and consistency within their sessions to work towards completing a formal assessment.
In the first five years of a child’s life, their experiences and relationships stimulate their development and millions of connections are formed in their brain. Our Occupational Therapists can provide service for children as young as 18 months old, however early intervention can start as soon as your child’s needs are identified. These needs can be identified by yourself, or your child’s Paediatrician, GP, educators, or allied health professionals involved in their care. Early intervention has been shown to be effective towards a child’s developmental path and improve outcomes for the child and their family. Our Occupational Therapists work closely with the families they work with as research has shown that parent partnerships during Occupational Therapy intervention is effective to achieve the best outcomes.
Group sessions provide our Occupational Therapists with additional opportunities to observe your child in a group setting. This allows us to observe how children engage and interact with other children and provides more opportunities for our therapists to monitor and support the development of their social skills in a practical setting. Group sessions can be very useful for developing cooperative play and social skills such as turn-taking, sharing, and winning and losing. They can also be beneficial for encouraging children to grow in confidence to develop the skills to initiate interactions with their peers. As well, many children enjoy the fun element of playing games and interacting with other children.
Sensory processing refers to the way in which the brain receives, organises and responds to information from the environment. The human body is very complex with eight sensory systems. The body interprets and responds to the following types of sensory information:
● Visual (vision)
● Auditory (sound)
● Olfactory (smell)
● Gustatory (taste)
● Tactile (touch)
● Vestibular (balance)
● Proprioceptive (position of the body in space)
● Interoception (internal state of the body)
Children may experience sensory dysfunction when the flow of sensation is disorganised, inefficient and not integrated. Our Occupational Therapists can work with you and your child to assess their sensory processing skills and provide recommendations to help manage their specific needs. These typically involve exploring Assistive Technology (AT) and modifying their environment and daily routines.
Selfcare skills are those that require the child to take care of themselves. These skills commonly include getting dressed, grooming, eating, toileting, bathing, sleeping and personal hygiene. Our Occupational Therapists have experience working with children to develop independence in these areas, by assessing their current abilities and working with them to expand on their abilities so they are less reliant on support from their parents to perform these tasks. Interventions commonly include remedial skill building as well as establishing daily routines and healthy habits to support positive self-care practices.
Occupational Therapists can help to develop your child’s motor skills, and their overall physical abilities. These motor skills are typically divided into fine and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills involve use of smaller muscles, such as grasping, object manipulation