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What do occupational therapists do?

Occupational therapists are university-qualified allied health professionals who help people improve their everyday function.

Some occupational therapists focus on working with children, including children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

An occupational therapist may work with your child to improve their:

  • ability to perform daily activities such as eating, dressing and toileting
  • fine motor skills, such as handwriting and using cutlery
  • gross motor skills, such as crawling, walking and throwing a ball
  • readiness for school, such as their ability to sit at a desk and stay focused
  • mobility, including use of assistive technologies such as wheelchairs
  • posture, sensory processing, and spatial awareness.

The goal of occupational therapy is to help your child function better and become more independent so they can participate at home, school, and in the community.

You don’t need a doctor’s referral to see an occupational therapist, but it’s a good idea to see your GP or child and family health nurse if you have any concerns about your child’s development or wellbeing. You can also search for an occupational therapist in your area using Occupational Therapy Australia’s find an OT service, which includes various filters to look for one who focuses on specific areas of practice such as disability or paediatrics.

Helpful Links:

Occupational Therapists Australia