Allied Health Therapy Assistant

climbing mountain

Allid Health Assistants

Kool KATTS is proud to offer Allied Health Assistant (AHA) services for current and new speech pathology and occupational therapy clients.

Using allied health assistants and therapy assistants is a great way to help supplement a child’s therapy needs.

What is the difference between a therapist and an assistant?

Therapists:
Allied health professionals (ie: physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, dieticians, psychologists, social workers) are university trained professionals that have specific high level skills in their discipline area.  Allied health professionals are responsible for assessing, identifying, diagnosing, making recommendations, treating and supporting people with health conditions, developmental disorders, or disabilities.

Therapy assistant:
At Kool KATTS, we employ amazing future OT’s as our therapy assistants. Our therapy assistants are university students that have come to us on their practice placements and we’ve loved them so much we can’t let them go! At Kool KATTS, our AHAs are trained to perform duties in the following three areas, as guided by the NSW Government Allied Health Assistant Framework: Revised Edition: 

  • Clinical, Administration
  • Clinical Support and Administration
  • Admin Support.

Our current AHA team consists of university students completing their degree in Speech Pathology or Occupational Therapy.

When to use a therapist and when to use a therapy assistant?

Only a qualified allied health professional can conduct an assessment of your child’s development and their needs, identify and potentially diagnose your child’s movement difficulties, provide specific education about your child’s condition, make treatment recommendations, design and develop treatment programs, and deliver specialised treatment or therapeutic interventions. A therapy assistant is able to perform a therapeutic activity for children under a program written and monitored by a registered therapist.

A therapy assistant program may be written for:

  • A child needing handwriting assistance only
  • A child needing gross motor skills only.
  • A child waiting for sessions with a Speech Pathology or Occupational Therapist
  • A child needing an additional play based session

 

Why might it be useful to have a therapy assistant helping with my child’s therapy program?

The benefits of having a therapy assistant helping with your child’s therapy program can include:

  • Therapy assistants are more value for your NDIS funding – by having a therapy assistant complete a program with your child, your child may be able to do more therapeutic activities with their funding.
  • Therapy assistants can take the load off you as a parent – parents of children with disabilities already have a lot on their plate; by engaging a therapy assistant to do your child’s home program with them, you might be able to free up some of your own time for work, household tasks, spending time with your other children, etc.
  • Your child may respond better to and work harder with a therapy assistant than a parent.

How does a therapy assistant program work?
The therapy assistant is trained and achieves competency provided to the child in the program, they are mentored by the child’s therapist who reads over the therapy notes and discusses the session with the child’s therapist to review if any changes are required for the next session. The therapist will monitor and adjust the goals program at the completion of 10 sessions (aligned to the school term), this is generally conducted during a meeting with the parent/carer, therapist, and assistant.

sensory mountain for occupational therapy with children

Therapy Assistant Program

What to Expect when engaging with our AHA services

Prior to engaging with our AHA services, the following is required:

  • Full assessment with a Speech Pathologist or Occupational Therapist (or assessment that is at least 11 months old)
  • Assigning of the child to a supervising clinician (Speech Pathologist or Occupational Therapist)

To commence an AHA service, initial set up time (non face to face)  is required by the supervising clinician to:

  • Review goals, progress and need
  • Set up goals
  • Set up programming
  • Training of the AHA
  • Correspondence between stakeholders

Time required varies and will be between 1.5 hours and 2.5 hours. If less time is required, you will be billed at the lesser rate. Extra time may be required for the supervising clinician to develop / alter the program during the term. If this occurs, the clinician will discuss this in advance with the client – and a further quote will be provided based on complexity and goals required

The AHA package will include:

Individual Therapy Plan – Our Clinican and AHA will devise a plan to cover the school term (generally 10 weeks) that is tailored to your child’s unique needs, goals and support levels. This plan will cover the child’s goals, the intervention activities and tools and equipment required to reach the child’s goals.

Therapy Sessions – Once the plan has been documented, the AHA will carry out the individual therapy plan in a one-to-one therapy session. This session can be held in clinic, in school or online. Our AHA sessions run for one hour. The notes for each therapy session are reviewed by the treating Clinician on a weekly basis

AHA Supervision Meetings – Your AHA participates in weekly mentoring with our Senior Clinician to discuss any minor feedback. There will be formal supervision meetings with the treating Clinician at the half way point of the plan (5 weeks) and the plan will be reviewed and rewritten at the end of the 9-10 week plan.