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Frequently Asked Questions

Occupational therapists (OT’s) are concerned with the skills of living. They aim to promote each individual’s ability to participate in what they want, need and wish to do in their daily lives.

A child’s ‘occupation’ include activities around personal/self care, play, school, sleep, work and recreation/leisure.

We can assess areas of concern and then provide recommendations/strategies to help develop skills in personal/self care, play, school, sleep work and recreation/leisure;

We can liaise with preschools and schools on how they can help improve skills areas in your child, including adaptive equipment, activities scheduled throughout the day and modifications to what is expected of your child;

By focusing on goals that are developed with you, the parent, we can help implement activity ideas that work for your family. Occupational Therapy is not a one size fits all approach.

We can use a variety of methods to assess your child depending on the purpose of the assessment. We can use standardised and/or norm references testing tools which basically means we can test where certain aspects of your child’s development is at compared to other children their age.

We can also do non standardised testing which is less demanding on your child and still gives us information about where their strengths are and where there might be some areas for therapy to help with.

Main areas which we would look at include your child’s:

  • Gross motor (balance, generally movement, strength, coordination)
  • Fine motor (how they use their hands for activities, strength, manipulation, pencil grip, scissor skills, writing skills, ability to do up shoe laces, using cutlery and dress themselves)
  • Sensory processing (are there some sensory aspects impacting your child’s ability to engage in their everyday activities)
  • Feeding and eating
  • Self-care skills (including toileting and sleep issues)
  • Play skills

Yes we are registered to provide Occupational Therapy under the Capacity Building category. This includes Individual Therapy, Group Therapy and Early Intervention. As we were in the original pilot site area we have been a part of the NDIS from the very beginning so we well equipped to help answer any questions you may have regarding funding.

No, you do not require a GP referral to book an appointment. However, there are some Medicare schemes that you or your child may be eligible for to receive a Medicare rebate. Please see our Funding page for more information.

The Ability Focus Occupational Therapy clinic is located in Georgetown, Newcastle.

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Our COVID-Safe practices

It is our priority to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all families, visitors and staff, and as such we continue to operate according to social distancing, hand hygiene, sterilising, mask-wearing and symptom screening guidelines (which are informed by advice provided by the NSW Department of Health).

This is especially vital in the event that we have positive cases confirmed in the Newcastle/Hunter region. Additionally, as an allied health facility, we provide services to many families with children or other relatives who have significant underlying health vulnerabilities. It is essential that we all work together to ensure that all individuals we are in contact with are protected from potential exposure to the very best of our ability.

We highly recommend that all families talk to their child about what to expect, and check out our Resources page for social stories to help prepare your child for their next appointment.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the NSW Government Department of Health website.

Attending appointments

  • If you or your child are experiencing cold/flu like symptoms please call ahead to cancel, reschedule or change your appointment to Telehealth. Your clinician can also use your appointment time to conduct other tasks relating to your child’s therapy like consulting with your child’s teacher or other providers, developing resources or completing a report
  • Upon arrival to the clinic, please phone 4048 1420, and wait  in your car until we come and get you
  • Before entering the clinic (or before our clinician enters your home for an outreach session), you will be asked a few brief COVID-19 screening questions
  • Please thoroughly sanitise hands upon arrival, and wash/sanitise regularly throughout the session and prior to leaving
  • We kindly ask that all adults participating in a clinic or outreach appointment with their child please wear a mask during session (your clinician will also continue to wear a mask during sessions). We understand that masks may be a little confronting for some children, and we will be doing our best to help them adjust. Our staff can develop social stories and provide other supports to help make them feel more comfortable

Thank you for your continued vigilance in helping us protect our staff and clients.

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