Meet Susan - A Challenge occupational therapist
What does a day in the life of an OT look like?
No two days are alike! On arrival in the Therapeutic Services office, I usually start off catching up on emails and admin and gather my resources for the day - unless I have an early appointment. At the moment, I see most of the clients that I’m working with in their own home so that involves some travel within the Central Coast and Hunter areas.
Most of the clients I’m seeing are children referred through Challenge’s Foster Care Service, but I’m gradually getting more referrals for a broader range of clients through the NDIS. I carry out formal standardized and functional assessments to identify the priority goals to work on with the clients.
Many of the children I work with have difficulties with fine and gross motor skills as well as sensory processing problems and difficulties with self-regulation. As play is the main occupation and medium for development for children, my day involves a lot of playing! Most of the children look forward to our sessions and have no idea that I’m really there to work on their balance or pencil grip.
I have the opportunity to help these kids self-actualize and become the best versions of themselves, all while I get to be a big kid playing with them therapeutically in the process.
Our days may be busy and each one is different from the one before, but seeing our clients improve makes it all worth the effort.
I grew up in the UK where I trained and worked as an OT and also met my Aussie husband. We had a daughter and together we ended up spending 8 years volunteering in hospitals in Malawi, Africa. We moved to Australia five years ago and after a few years of filling out very many forms, I am now a permanent resident, and registered Occupational Therapist!
Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
I once won a competition for the ‘scraggiest neck’!
If you had to describe occupational therapy in 3 words – what would they be?
That’s a difficult one! I’ve been an OT for quite a few years and I’ve never been able to sum it up in 3 words! However, ‘enabling Independent living’ is the crux of OT.
Who can benefit from OT?
Anyone who has difficulty with, or is not able to do any of the everyday activities of life they need or want to be able to do. That can be in any of the ‘occupations’ of life: whether it’s self-care such as showering and dressing, cooking meals, paid or voluntary work, attending school, or any leisure pursuits. OTs work with people from babies to 100+ to help them find practical solutions to enable them to increase in confidence, achieve independence and learn new skills. An OT can advise on adaptations and technology in the workplace, assist with modifications so people can remain in their own home, enable people to regain independence following a disabling illness or accident, and much more!
Occupational Therapy at Challenge Therapeutic Services
Our experience and growing allied health teamwork with families, children and individuals. We currently offer occupational therapy services in the Central Coast and Hunter regions.
Find out more about our therapeutic supports or give us a call on 1800 795 441.