Experts in hearing technology and highly specialised speech therapy

What is an occupational therapist?

All children develop at different rates, with some gaining skills and reaching milestones at different ages. Some children may need additional time and support to develop skills such as crawling, jumping, climbing, colouring, drawing, following directions or socialising with peers.

Our occupational therapists monitor development, identifying any potential issues early and support children to reach their gross and fine motor milestones.

Child In Ot Appointment
Occupational Therapist Appointment With Child

Why might your child see an occupational therapist?

Children with hearing loss may also experience other sensory or motor difficulties. This may be due to the vestibular system, which is responsible for our sense of balance and movement, as it is located in the inner ear and may also be impacted when there is hearing loss.

It’s the vestibular system that plays a critical role in a child’s motor skill development including balance, core stability, muscle tone and coordination of both sides of the body.

“We have attended lots of other services including the LEAP playgroup where Aubree loves getting involved in crafts and other fun activities. She has also had a couple of occupational therapy appointments through Hear and Say, and seen their audiology team for a hearing test.”

Aubree's mum, Lacey

How can our occupational therapists help?

Our team will work closely with you to develop goals for your child, and guide you through strategies to use in everyday situations.

We will help your child build critical foundation skills including:

  • Postural stability
  • Gross motor coordination
  • Fine motor skills
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Visual processing skills (visual perception)
  • Cognitive skills
  • Handwriting development
  • School readiness skills
  • Self-care skills (e.g. dressing, feeding, toileting)
  • Social skills
  • Sensory supports (such as food/clothing texture concerns, suitable seating options, situational anxiety strategies)

How to know if my child needs assistance?

Our occupational therapist aims to identify any potential issues as early as possible and provide strategies to help children thrive each day. Families may be concerned if they notice their child has been slower to reach gross and fine motor milestones. Examples include when a child is taking longer to learn how to crawl, walk, jump or climb the playground equipment, struggles in some types of environments, is a fussy eater, has difficulty sitting still for even short periods of time.

Child With Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapy FAQs

A GP referral is not required to see Hear and Say’s occupational therapist.

Occupational therapists help with barriers that affect emotional, social and physical needs, holistically monitoring the development of children. Potential issues are identified as early as possible through everyday activities and then targeted strategies to meet the child’s goals are developed.

If your child finds any of the following challenging, you may wish to consider occupational therapy: is taking longer to learn how to crawl, walk, jump or climb on playground equipment or has trouble when trying to use their hands for activities like holding cutlery at dinner, holding a pencil for drawing and writing activities or learning to cut with scissors. OT’s also consult regarding concerns such as anxiety in certain situations, lack of concentration, sensitivity to touch.

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Parent information webinar

Learn more about the development of children’s motor skills from birth through to five years old.

2020-21 Annual Report

Read about the 300 babies born with hearing loss in Australia each year, and how Hear and Say continued to change lives this year.

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