A child’s occupations are centred around play and learning. Occupational therapists work with children with any condition, disability or impairment that affects their ability to perform the everyday activities of life, such as getting dressed, eating, going to school, making friends and being part of club or group.

This includes:

  • Neurological conditions (e.g. cerebral palsy)
  • Acute medical, surgical and orthopedic conditions
  • Physical disabilities (e.g. spina bifida)
  • Developmental delay and disabilities
  • Sensory and attention issues

Occupational therapists work in partnership with the child, their parents and other important people in the child’s life such as their doctor, teacher and other health professionals.

Occupational therapists can:

  • Help children achieve their developmental milestones such as fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination to help with play, school or independent skills (e.g throwing a ball, getting dressed, holding a pen or utensil)
  • Educate and involve parents, carers and others to facilitate the development and learning of children
  • Help children with developmental delays learn everyday tasks (such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and feeding themselves)
  • Help children with behavioural issues maintain positive behaviours in all environments (e.g., instead of hitting others or acting out, using positive ways to deal with anger, such as writing about feelings or participating in a physical activity)


7 year old Pandora was diagnosed with Austim and issues relating to her executive functioning, fine motor, fine motor, gross motor skills and general
development. She lives in a very remote part of the Northern Territory and access occupational therapy via tele-health. Read about her story here