Occupational Therapists

What do Occupational Therapists do?

The term “occupational” in Occupational Therapy refers to the ‘occupations’ of our daily life; work/school, self-care and play.  Paediatric Occupational Therapists work with teaching staff, Physiotherapists, Speech Pathologists and families to integrate the development of the student’s skills in these areas into their daily school program, by setting achievable and functional goals.  Occupational Therapists will assess the students’ skills in conjunction with the school and families.

Occupational Therapists provide support for children who are integrated into local schools, with support provided primarily through phone contact, via email. They may provide assistance in the following areas and advise the school on how best to integrate development of these skills in order for them to participate fully in their educational program.


Areas that the OT may assess include:

Fine Motor:  Grasp, release, control and manipulation eye hand co-ordination, two handed skills, and dominance.
Sensory Motor:  Movement planning, clumsiness, awareness of body positions, sensation, co-ordination, muscle tone.
Visual Perception:  Understanding / interpreting what is seen (necessary for formal learning of writing / reading).
Cognition:  Attention, problem solving.



The OT will look at how this affects function in areas such as:

Recording of School Work- e.g. writing difficulties, grasp of pencil, copying from board
Play and Fine Motor Skills- e.g. scissor use, puzzles, play skills
Gross Motor Skills- e.g. playground skills, hopping, skipping
Self Help Skills- e.g. dressing, eating, toileting, tying shoelaces
Seating and Positioning- e.g. supported seating to promote use of hands
Community Skills- e.g. accessing public transport, shopping, using money
Peer Relationships / Self Esteem- e.g. confidence, forming and maintaining friendships
Environment – e.g. accessing classroom, reducing distractions, simplifying activities
Equipment- e.g. adaptation of tools pencils, paintbrushes
Home Management- Equipment or modifications may be needed at home to optimize independence in self care e.g. modified toilet seats.  Equipment may be required to assist parents to care for their child e.g. hoists, specialised bath seats.


  Glenroy Specialist School, 208 Hilton Street, Glenroy, Melbourne, 3046 Ph: 03 9304 2263