I can provide
- Initial parent consultations/interviews
- Therapy sessions for child and parent
- Sibling sessions with parent present and where each child’s needs and feelings are treated equally
- Separate parent consultations to present specific techniques e.g. Wilbarger Therapressure © Brushing Protocol for Sensory Defensiveness and/or to look at and work with parents around specific issues that they may be having. Assisting the family map out a daily or weekly schedule of appropriate sensorimotor activities that best meets the regulatory needs of the child and family may be another reason for a separate consultation. Not having the child present allows for open discussion of issues and provides an environment where adults can solely focus on issue at hand and not be distracted or diverted by child’s presence, feelings and/or activities.
- Consultations with extended members of family to increase their understanding of the child’s needs
- Separate consultations with parents are required when a child commences a home based listening program.
I am open to
- Working with Interpreters in sessions where clients are non english speaking
- Visiting the child’s child care, kindy or school to observe, share information with staff about child in that setting, and assist the support staff and family with any particular issues that may benefit from my skills and working knowledge of the child
- Having interested support staff sit in on therapy sessions to learn more about how to support and work with children
- Sharing my skills and knowledge with other Occupational Therapists keen to learn more about the approaches I use
PARENT INITIAL CONSULTATION
My involvement with a family typically commences with a meeting with the parent(s) to establish what their main concerns are for their child and family, and to find out what their understanding is of what an Occupational Therapist might offer.
In the first meeting I will often introduce the importance of our sensory systems and discuss how the various sensory systems work and influence our daily functioning, our abilities to be calm and attentive, to feel settled and secure, to give and receive affection, to engage and interact with others, to play with and learn from others, and to live happily and harmoniously within a family unit. Through these discussions families can immediately usually start to identify and understand why their child might be having some challenges in their daily life and why sometimes even the littlest of things can make the child’s and their family life more complicated than it needs to be. They begin to see that the child’s behaviour may be the result of the child’s sensory systems being ‘out of wack ‘ – their behaviours may be reactions to a sensory trigger or a combination of sensory triggers within their environment that the child may be struggling to make sense out of or process. Families begin to appreciate that the child by behaving in these ways may have little control over these reactions and that it is not something they are wanting to do or to intentionally cause others grief or distress.
From the feedback received from families this initial consultation with parent(s) continues to be a valuable starting point for them and one they truly appreciate.
IN THERAPY – HOW DO I WORK
I aim to work closely with the family of children with special needs and/or sensory processing challenges to deepen their understanding of their child’s unique needs so that interactions with their child are better matched and supportive of their profile and developmental needs.
It is acknowledged that in many situations families are desperate, trying so hard to connect, be available for their child and support them but despite their best efforts and good intentions, things aren’t working. There can be a mismatch. Often when a child has sensory processing challenges and may be super sensitive: families can feel that, despite their best efforts to manage their child’s sensitivities, they still feel like they are treading on eggshells 24/7, not knowing when the next distressing moment or meltdown might occur.
In therapy through meaningful interactions and sensorimotor play, the focus is to work with the parent and child keeping in mind the child’s sensory profile and developmental needs, so that the core social emotional capacities are strengthened and the child/parent relationship can be enriched and deepen. Parents have the opportunity in a safe and supportive environment to trial and practice sensorimotor affective strategies with their child, knowing that they have the back up of the therapist and no judgements will be made. Similarly, if the focus is on sibling interactions then each sibling’s needs, ideas and feelings are considered and supported so that their interactions become more meaningful and pleasurable for both children.