Therapy assistants and your child’s therapy program
Using allied health assistants and therapy assistants to help supplement a child’s occupational therapy is a great opportunity coming out of the introduction of the NDIS.
What is the difference between a therapist and an assistant?
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.
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!
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 Occupational Therapist will monitor and adjust the goals program at the completion of 5 sessions, this is generally conducted during a meeting with the parent/carer, therapist, and assistant.