Early Start Occupational Therapy is play based and fun. After an initial assessment we will focus on your child's specific needs and your family goals. Sue will work with your child's therapists, teachers or carers to ensure goals are carried over and generalised. Sue is a registered provider for HCWA and Better Start funding initiatives, medicare rebates and private health fund rebates.
Most children with autism have difficulties paying attention to other people, taking turns and engaging in social play, using gestures and language, imitating others and playing in typical ways with toys. After some initial assessment and time to get to know your child and how they play, together we will identify goals and strategies to work on in order to build on your child's strengths.
If your child has had an early diagnosis of autism and is between the ages of 12 months to 4 years, the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) may be appropriate for your child. This is a play based relationship model that focuses on imitation, communication, social, cognitive, and motor skills, adaptive behaviour and play. Clinicians providing this type of therapy must have specific training and be certified.
Fine Motor: Small muscle movements involving the wrists, hands, and fingers; used for eating, dressing, manipulation, drawing, craft or writing. Using a variety of grasps correctly, using a dominant hand or learning to use a pencil or scissors correctly.
Gross Motor: Coordination, posture, balance, strength and ball skills. Learning skills for the playground or riding a bike.
Play skills: Playing imaginatively with toys and people; learning to play structured or unstructured games successfully.
Attention and learning: Children often have difficulty paying attention to the tasks they find difficult or they are unfamiliar with. We can identify various ways, specific to your child that will help them learn to pay attention to new activities.
Self-Care: Learning to organise belongings, participate in dressing or toileting routines, learning how to use utensils to feed themselves. Fussy feeding and restrictive eating patterns.
Social skills: Learning to play a with others and developing coping strategies.
Children with atypical sensory processing may present with a variety of challenges effecting everyday life. The child may experience discomfort with sensory experiences that other children usually find enjoyable such as messy play, movement games, or tolerating noisy environments. Behaviours such as avoidance, poor attention or being resistant to change may result.
Other children may be more under reactive to sensory experiences and crave movement or touch experiences. They may be clumsy or have poor discrimination skills.
Occupational therapy can assist you to discover how your child's sensory system may be impacting on their behaviour and daily activities and provide some specific strategies to encourage participation.
Japara Living and Learning Centre
Early Start OT operates from the Early Years Building of the newly built community centre, Japara Living and Learning Centre. The centre has ample on-site parking and is directly across the road from Elizabeth Bridge Reserve with a playground.
Japara House is a brand new facility for the Kilsyth and Montrose communities offering accessible and affordable educational, recreational and family services.
Community based services
Early Start OT can offer community-based visits at childcare, home, kinder or school if required.
To coordinate care and goals across multiple settings, community visits to your home, kinder, childcare or school can be an important part of the therapy process. This can be arranged as either a one off service or as an ongoing service.
Other Useful Links
Latrobe University: Victorian Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre
Amaze (formerly Autism Victoria): www.amaze.org.au
Resources & equipment
The Therapy Store: www.thetherapystore.com.au
Sensory Tools: shopau.sensorytools.net
Other useful links