Because we associate the word ‘Occupation’ with work or careers, the term can be confusing when applied to a young child. Occupational Therapists help children to function in their "occupations" or "life roles". This refers to the child’s ability to use their bodies to play and achieve milestones in the development of gross and fine motor skills. These skills are essential not just for academic readiness but for basic life functions such as dressing, climbing or writing.
A thorough Paediatric Occupational Therapy Assessment is a necessary and comprehensive evaluation that is designed specifically to discover areas of difficulty that may be creating obstacles for your child. For those wondering about costs, it is important to understand that not all assessments are equal. The assessment is written to provide information about your child, and the process has to be done by a qualified professional with years of broad experience. We have seen reports that mostly consist of material copied from one report to another and do not contain more than a few paragraphs written specifically for the child. Our fees remain very competitive but our reports are of the highest standard. Even if you choose in the end to use another clinic, please make sure that they have the experience and capability to provide you with what you really need.
The assessment consists of a range of standardised tests, each focusing on specific areas of performance, in an attempt to understand areas of weakness that can affect academic performance, home life and your child’s general wellbeing and self -confidence. This is of major importance, even if sometimes the delay in reaching a milestone can be slight. Within a school setting, having a delay that cannot be explained can cause a child to lose confidence and begin to affect many other areas of the child’s performance. Left undiscovered over the long term, this can have major implications in many areas as the child develops into adulthood.
Areas of concern / things to look out for include:
(any of / combination of)
- Low Muscle Tone (weak arms or legs)
- Appears clumsy
- Seems to have balance issues
- Play skills seem behind his peers
- Low overall strength
- Consistent high arousal levels
- Over reaction to touch
- Low attention span
- Unusual pencil grip
- Motor planning difficulty
- Messy handwriting
- Gross motor delays (major movements)
- Fine motor delays (minor movements)
- Sensory processing difficulty
- Sensory Integration difficulty
- Impaired bilateral Coordination
- Impaired eye-hand coordination
In addition to the above, if you notice your child tries to avoid tasks, seems agitated before tasks or becomes despondent whilst performing them, this may indicate an underlying problem that needs addressing. We cannot see or feel what the child is encountering, and there may be an obstacle or difficulty that means for your child to get the same results as the next child, they are having to work twice as hard. We provide additional information about many of these difficulties in the page links of our About us page and also have links to external sites that provide excellent sources of help and knowledge on the Our Links page.
The assessment works holistically, so it is not just about looking at the problem, but the whole picture. It is important for the parent to feel they can open up to the therapist, and we do ask that you tell us whatever is on your mind, as every little piece of information can help. This is why we begin the process with standardized questionnaires that the parent needs to fill in about how they view the child’s abilities.
Depending on the circumstances we can offer both formal and informal assessment situations; sometimes it is preferential to mix both. We believe it beneficial to conduct these assessments in surroundings that the child is comfortable with.
Whilst the assessment itself only takes a couple of hours, the process of analysing the results and building a professional report normally takes several weeks. The report we build is comprehensive, detailing all of the issues that came to light during the course of the assessment process. We go much further though, providing recommendations to help you moving forward and provide exercises created specifically for your child's needs.
These recommendations can assist in developing your child’s:
- Gross Motor Skills
- Fine Motor Skills
- Social Skills and Life Skills
Children can be referred for an assessment by their parents, doctors, paediatricians or other health professionals. Given your permission we can communicate with the school and help in providing guidance about your child’s specific needs.
Our reports are professionally recognised and can be used to guide future therapy or given to any other professional or professional body who interact with the child and their needs. We only work with children, so our experience and focus on paediatrics is total and complete.
If an assessment is required but the full report is not, then you can discuss different assessment packages with us. We try to accommodate wherever is possible and our fees are freely available on this website. To contact us about the need for an assessment for your child, or if you have any other query, then please click contact on the main menu for the form.