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FAQs about our service

To give you insight into what you can expect from our Paediatric Occupational Therapy (OT's) services, we have answered some common questions.

 

These answers cover the topics of referrals, NDIS, appointments and how we will work with you and your child.  If your question is not answered here, please contact us.

We have also created a summary of the way we work, what to expect  and a checklist to help you prepare for the initial appointment.  You can find it here.  

  • How will I know what my OT will be working on?
    Your OT will work in partnership with you and your child’s team. It is really important that we have a shared purpose and goals for our work together – this is like a road map for what we will be doing together. It provides clarity and ensures we are on the same page.
  • What do you mean by ‘your child’s team’?
    Your child’s team includes you and may include other health professionals and your child’s educators - anyone who is involved in their care. Sharing strategies with other team members means everyone learns what strategies have worked well for your child and what areas may need further problem solving so that we can work on this together and offer consistency in our approach.
  • Is the frequency of therapy sessions important to my child’s progress?
    Therapy sessions make up a small part of your week, and we want you to be able to integrate therapy ideas and strategies into your everyday life.
  • How do I discuss my child’s challenges with an OT when my child is present?
    If you would like to consult your OT on matters that are best not discussed in front of your child, you can arrange a parent only session. This can be in person or over the phone. Both you and your OT can gain a deeper understanding of your child’s challenges during these open discussions and begin initial problem solving.
  • Is it necessary to provide documentation and reports from other health professionals?
    Any documentation or reports from your child’s team – past or present – helps our therapists build a more complete picture of what ideas have been explored. In partnership with you, we can expand upon this knowledge and develop goals and strategies that work to your child’s strengths.
  • Will I receive any written notes about sessions from my child’s therapist?
    At the end of each session, your OT will send you an email with a summary of your session and ideas to experiment with. With your consent, this information is shared with your child’s team including teachers and other allied health professional involved in your child’s care. This helps everyone weave the strategies into your child’s life.
  • How important is my feedback?
    Very! We value your open and honest feedback. If something isn’t working, please let us know so we can work together on a solution. This ensures we are on the same page and are working together towards a shared purpose. Please complete our website feedback form, talk to your OT, or alternatively you can contact our office manager Carolyn (admin@thesparkts.com.au) or Tina our Director (tina@thesparkts.com.au).
  • What happens at the initial consultation with my child’s therapist?
    Generally this is a parent only session to enable you and your child’s therapist to discuss your child’s needs openly. Your OT will read through the completed questionnaires and any other documentation you shared prior to this meeting. They will listen to your concerns and gain a deeper understanding of the focus for your child’s therapy. Together you can begin discussing goals and a shared purpose.
  • Will I have any practical ideas to work on with my child by the end of this session?
    These ideas may arise through the conversation you have with your child’s OT - you may discuss parenting strategies or other ideas to experiment with before your next appointment.
  • What should I expect from the follow-up session when my child will meet their therapist?
    At the end of the initial session, your OT will discuss the areas that she will be focused on when meeting your child in the following session. They will be completing assessments and observations through play, games, drawing or going for a walk outside.
  • How do I contact my child’s therapist?
    After your first session, you will have your OT’s phone number and email address to contact them for any matters related to your child’s therapy. Your OT’s contact details are also included in their sign-off information at the end of any email you have received from them.
  • When is my child’s follow-up session?
    The frequency of sessions will have been discussed with your OT at the initial session. Sometimes follow-up sessions will have been indicated in your initial appointment offer email. Sessions may be weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis depending on your child’s needs and what works for your family.
  • Do I contact Admin to book follow-up sessions?
    Therapists manage their own calendars following initial sessions. All follow-up sessions will be arranged directly with your child’s therapist.
  • Are parent only sessions available to me after the initial session?
    Yes, for any child who is seeing a therapist for ongoing service, we invite parents and caregivers to schedule parent only sessions to discuss their child’s therapy.
  • Do I get involved in my child’s sessions?
    ​Absolutely! You know your child best. We would like you to be actively involved in sessions, ask questions and let us know if something is or isn’t working. We want you to have fun and enjoy connecting with your child in our sessions - sit on the floor, join in and be playful! Sometimes, we will stand back and support you in practising newly learned skills with your child.
  • How do you know what strategies will work for my child?
    Child development is complex and each child is unique. Sometimes strategies can bring about change quickly and other skills take time to grow. This means we need to problem solve and experiment with ideas, be flexible and creative, and show patience. Children do well if they can and if they are not doing well, we need to appreciate they are learning. Try to view your child’s behaviour and challenges through the lens of their underlying difficulties and together we can explore the reasons for their challenges in a curious, empathetic and compassionate way.
  • How do I make the most of the strategies and ideas explored in the sessions?
    To help your child learn and grow, you need to incorporate and weave the skills and ideas explored in OT sessions into your child’s everyday life. We want you to feel confident and capable doing this, which means we will sometimes have sessions without your child so we can talk, problem solve and develop practical plans. Be open to exploring new ideas and different ways of seeing things - this also includes understanding yourself and your own needs, and how this may influence your parenting.
  • Will I receive a reminder prior to appointments?
    Yes, you will receive email reminders 48 hours prior to your session to confirm the day and time of your appointment.
  • What should I do if I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment?
    If you need to cancel or reschedule, please contact your OT as soon as possible. A cancellation fee may apply for late cancellations. www.thesparkts.com.au/cancellation-policy
  • What should I do if I am running late for a session?
    If you are running late for your session, please contact your OT directly, either via their email address or phone number which can be found in the sign-off information at the end of any email you have received from them.
  • Will my child need a GP or paediatrician referral to access your service?
    No! You are able to access occupational therapy services without a referral. Your child may be eligible for a Medicare plan, which entitles you to a rebate. You will need to discuss this with your GP. Please visit our Medicare page for details about the plans availabl. www.thesparkts.com.au/medicare.
  • We are waiting for my child’s NDIS plan to be approved.  Can we use a Medicare referral while we wait for the NDIS funding to come through?
    Yes! You are able to use a Medicare referral while you wait for your NDIS funding to be approved.
  • Do you need a copy of my child’s NDIS plan?
    We do ask if you can provide this for the purpose of aligning our OT goals to the NDIS goals assigned. In order to prepare for the yearly NDIS review meeting, we also require the dates of the plan. A meeting can occur up to 3 months prior to the end of your plan, so we like to be prepared early.
  • Will I receive a document that outlines the therapy my child will be receiving?
    Yes, after a few sessions, your child’s therapist will write an NDIS Service Plan outlining your child’s OT goals, which is used to guide your child’s intervention. This document is prepared in partnership with you.
  • Do you charge travel for NDIS community visits?
    We don't charge for the initial 10 minutes of travel and aim to group community visits by location whenever possible to reduce travel costs. For full details of our travel charges, please refer to our NDIS Travel Factsheet.
  • Do I pay for the session straight after my appointment?
    We don’t take payments onsite. When you finish your session, our office manager Carolyn will send you an invoice for payment. We ask that payment is made within 7 days of receiving the invoice.
  • Who do I contact if I have a query about payment?
    If you have any questions regarding payment, please contact Carolyn (admin@thesparkts.com.au)
  • My child has a referral that enables me to get a Medicare rebate.  Can you process this?
    We don't have the facility to process Medicare claims on a client's behalf. The invoice needs to be paid in full and a receipt will be issued to your family, you can then process the claim via the Medicare Express app or the Medicare website (via myGov).
  • My child has been having regular therapy sessions and now we would like to take a break in service. How do I go about this?
    We understand that there are many reasons for needing to take a break in service and that a child’s needs – and a family’s needs - change over time. Reasons for pausing service may include needing to prioritise other therapies or reducing commitments to ongoing therapy. We ask that you contact your therapist directly to advise of this decision.
  • I have informed my child’s therapist that we would like to take a break from service and that I will be in contact if service is needed at a later date. Do I contact them directly to arrange an appointment?
    When a client takes a break from service for 8 weeks or more, your child’s therapist will advise our Office Manager so that your child can be placed on the therapist’s waiting list. We ask that you follow up with Carolyn, our Office Manager, by emailing admin@thesparkts.com.au or by calling 0490 802 175 when you wish to resume appointments rather than contacting therapists directly.
  • Will my child be prioritised for service if they have worked with a Spark therapist in the past?
    While your child may previously have worked with one of our therapists, please be aware that there may be a wait before appointments can be offered if you have taken a break from service. We need to be considerate of our therapists’ existing caseloads as well as the needs of families higher up the waiting list who will have been waiting for service for a long time.
  • Is it possible to keep my child’s existing timeslot when we start service again?
    Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that an existing timeslot will automatically become available. We will ensure that we have noted any preferred times you have indicated for appointments and will let you know when we have availability. Please note that more popular time slots, e.g. at 9am and from 3pm are likely to lead to longer wait times.
  • I’m not looking to resume ongoing therapy for my child, however, their NDIS review is coming up and I need a report. What should I do?
    Our therapists are happy to assist in providing a report for your child’s NDIS review and we ask that you give at least 4 weeks’ notice if a review report is required. This will enable therapists to set aside time in their schedule for report writing and sending the report to you for approval before it is finalised. If you have had a long break in service, we would also recommend a one-off parent consult ahead of writing the report in order that you can share updates on your child’s goals. If you contact one of our therapists directly regarding the need for a report, we recommend you cc Admin (admin@thesparkts.com.au) into the email.
  • I’m only having short-term appointments and may need further short-term service again at a later date. What’s the best way to organise this?
    If you are aware that your child will need short-term service again at a future date, we ask that you ensure your child is on our waiting list in order that they are prioritised for service when it is required.

Parents know their child best

Parents and the child's OT are a team

Each child has strengths to be celebrated 

Together we will problem solve, and experiment with ideas

Find out more about our experienced team of Paediatric Occupational Therapists (OT's) who provide home or clinic sessions in Melbourne. We are an approved NDIS provider.

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