“An Oak tree is a daily reminder that great things often have small beginnings.”
― Matshona Dhliwayo
Only About Kids (OAK) Occupational Therapy is an Occupational Therapy service for children aged 0-12 years of age with developmental delays, learning difficulties, Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD. We are a mobile and clinic-based service located in Caroline Springs and surrounding suburbs in Melbourne.
The Only About Kids Occupational Therapy name can be shortened to OAK OT which symbolises the amazing process in which a seedling inside an acorn flourishes into a grand oak tree. At OAK OT, we aim to partner with parents and caregivers to nurture our little acorns and provide them with the life skills and knowledge to grow up to be big and strong.
At OAK we work collaboratively with children, their families, their significant others such as school teachers and any health professionals involved. We provide assessment, intervention, education and coaching to encourage children to maximise their potential and support their development.
We deliver individualised programs, have a strong focus on family-centred practice and strongly encourage family participation and engagement. We incorporate fun and playful activities to encourage children’s engagement in therapy, whilst using practical tools that you can utilise at home and out in the community. Parents are the experts in their child’s life, and we want to empower families to continue following on with strategies outside of sessions.
An initial appointment is completed prior to starting their individualised therapy program to establish areas where your child requires support and develop collaborative goals.
At OAK we are able to provide services for clients who have NDIS (Self-managed or Plan-managed), Private Health and Medicare funding (Mental Health Care Plan or Enhanced Primary Care Plan).
WHAT IS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY?
An Occupational Therapist can support your child to be as independent as possible in all areas of their lives. This means helping with those everyday tasks such as dressing, drawing and eating. For children, the term ‘occupation’ includes learning, socialising and most of all – playing and having fun! As children grow, they learn to make sense of the world around them and develop new skills including physical coordination, social skills, emotional maturity and the confidence to try new things.
Occupational Therapists working in paediatrics are experts in evaluating children’s strengths and development, and then create a plan to help them meet their goals. OTs work on skills that children need every day, from writing and typing to being able to zip up their jacket. The earlier a child starts OT, the more effective or beneficial it tends to be. Being able to do daily basic tasks helps to build up kids’ self-esteem and confidence, leading them to feel accomplished and happier!
OAK OT, we can help children with:
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Sensory Processing Challenges
Attention and concentration challenges
Behaviour and emotional regulation challenges
Motor Coordination delays
Fine and Gross Motor delays
Self-care skills such as dressing, feeding and toileting
FINE MOTOR SKILLS
These refer to the use of small muscles in the fingers and hands that are responsible for exploring and manipulating objects. These skills are essential for helping kids eat, drink, dress themselves, draw, write, build and play. Activities include doing up buttons, using scissors, brushing their teeth and opening lunchboxes. As children grow, they will develop strength and dexterity to perform more complex tasks.
Children with fine motor difficulties may present with:
Avoidance of fine motor tasks
No identified dominant hand
Reduced strength and poor control in the hands
Poor coordination or unable to use both hands together
Reduced independence with self-care tasks and requesting others to help them constantly
Poor prewriting, drawing and writing skills
MEET THE TEAM
Director and Occupational Therapist
Jess received her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from Deakin University in 2013. Jess has worked across a number of settings including specialist and mainstream schools, community-based services, private practice and early intervention.
Jess has always been inspired to work in Paediatrics based on experiences with supporting family members with additional needs and has experience in working with children aged 0-16. Jess has great knowledge in working with children on their fine and gross motor skills, handwriting skills, sensory integration, emotional regulation and increasing their independence with self-care tasks including dressing, toileting, sleep and play. Approaches may include targeting the development of a specific skill and/or adapting the task or environment to encourage independence or success!
Jess is largely experienced with working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Global Developmental Delay, sensory processing challenges, ADHD and motor planning and coordination difficulties.
Jess is passionate about working with not only the child, but their families as well. By working alongside parents, carers and teachers, Jess aims to upskill and coach them, so they are able to be their own therapist. After all, they are the experts in their child’s life!
Vanessa is currently studying Occupational Therapy and is in her 4th and final year. She has a passion for working with children and helping them reach their goals.