Handwriting

HANDWRITING

Does your child:

  • Find ways to avoid sitting down when it’s time to do homework?

  • Have difficulty producing legible handwriting?

  • Seem to take longer than usual in completing home and class assignments?

 

How We Can Support Your Child

Doing homework can be tricky when your child is reluctant to pick up the pencil. Early Links Occupational Therapists will help breakdown the processes needed for handwriting. Our therapists will assess the skills your child needs to sit at the table, hold the pencil and maintain attention.

Sessions for Handwriting will include:

  • Activities to improve postural control and major muscle groups needed to stay seated at the table

  • Strategies to improve focus and concentration by teaching your child how to recognise their alertness

  • Direct practice to improve handwriting speed and legibility

 

Speak with an Occupational Therapist about help with Handwriting - click here

Learn more about how the Early Links Team will assess and create a performance program

 

Developmental Delays

DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS

At any age, being told your child has a development delay or is behind in their milestone achievements can be a scary experience. The parents that we work with tell us that the only thing more frightening is "thinking" that your child is behind on their milestones and not knowing if they should seek out extra support or wait to see if your child "grows up on their own"

Whilst the ability to roll, babble, crawl, walk and talk are all critical milestones which are easily observed by parents, there are 1000's of mini-milestones that prepare babies, children and teenagers for the next stage of development. These abilities of neuro-developmental maturity form a framework which underpins all age-appropriate skills. Our team of Occupational Therapists have been trained to observe, recognise and value these mini-milestones which sit as foundations for age-related skills and allow the child to streamline their progress from one skill to another as genetics and evolution science record. In some cases, supporting abilities which have not (or cannot) develop is the best approach when learning age appropriate skills, while for other children and adults, it's necessary to revisit these earlier stages of neuro-development to build pathways, strengthen signals from environmental and sensory cues and then directly practice the skills which have not yet been independently mastered.

The work of Mary Sheridan, Ajay Sharma, Helen Cockerill,and the published resources of the University of Virginia, have influenced the recognition and clinical focus on these mini-milestones during our Occupational Therapy assessment and Achievement Plans

 

Book your Quick Chat now - your opportunity to ask us anything 

Presentation & Trainings

Early Links offered the following education packages and training opportunities - 

  • School Development Day
    • Self Regulation
    • Managing Challenging Behaviours Practically
    • Affective-Neuroscience for Learning
    • Social Skills in the Playground
  • Clinical Supervision and Mentoring
    • Working with families and children
    • Goal Setting
    • ReBOOT Framework for clinical practice in Occupational Therapy
    • Personal Mentoring for Professional Development
       
  • Consultation for Technical Improvements - Sport
    • Individual athlete skill development
    • Working with affective neuroscience to inform teams coaching
       
  • Consultation for Stress Management in the workplace
    • Neuro-Affective Development in stress management
    • Practical strategies to improve individual performances within the team

To find out more information, please contact Jacky Peile, for a Quick Chat

Or call Jacky directly on 0430 935 016

Group Holiday Programs

Holiday Programs

School holidays are a time for family, fun, and recovering from the fatigue that 10-weeks of learning will place on little brains and bodies. Holidays are also a great opportunity to refine the foundation abilities which help children to better adapt to the learning and memory demands of the next school term. The Occupational Therapists from Early Links have partnered with education specialists to provide group programs which encourage and support various skills and abilities to develop within activities typically explored during school holiday time. Check the What's New section for open Group registrations


Zoo Day

A fun-filled day for the who family to enjoy. With the support of volunteer University Students, we can provide families with additional support and in the moment strategies to manage challenging behaviours, feelings of overwhelm for both children and parents, plus offer siblings an opportunity to connect with other kids in similar situations.

Please let us know if you're interested as we will run these events one weekends or in school holidays when multiple families are available


YOGA

Breathing, posture and stability are all key abilities which are required to have the endurance to sit at a table for 5 hours per day, and to play competently with your friends for another 2 hours per day. Our YOGA program is taught by qualified yoga instructors and will also have an OT in the group to support various needs and to help children reference their change in attention, concentration, and posture in terms of helping with school-based learning.

Groups run for 45-mins & parents are encouraged to participate too

TBA when  this group is next running


COOKING

TBA when  this group is next running


GARDENING

TBA when  this group is next running


HANDWRITING

TBA when  this group is next running


School Readiness Groups

More information here

S-PaCe Goal Setting Method

In 2013, a systematic review of goal setting processes in Occupational Therapy was undertaken by researchers, who suggested there was no one gold-standard in goal setting in allied health. However, there were three key attributes of goal setting which were common among frequently used tools, and which accounted for best-practice in goal setting - 

  • Specific information related to the achievement in written format
  • Easily accessible format which encouraged client-participation and considered client confidence, including indications for client perceptions of their current skills
  • Rating scales which accounted for health professionals knowledge

 

SMARTS

Long-term and overall goal of attending Occupational Therapy.

Specific

Who will achieve?
What does it look like, feel like, sound like when achieved?
How does this achievement make daily life easier?

Measurable

Who will give feedback relating to current performance?
What will they observe within their feedback?
How can these observations be tracked - objectively & subjectively?

Achievable

What resources or equipment are required?
Who else needs to be involved in this partnership?

Realistic

What has been achieved in the past to make the SMART realistic?
Why now? 

Timeframe

This is a predicted time when the SMART goal will be reviewed, to account for any limitations which may have been discovered through assessment or therapy progression, also to account for changes in the client's consideration of meaningful, purposeful achievement. Check-in times are also written into the SMART goal for the short-term PaCe goals.

Signed

To provide additional accountability and inspiration to achieve the SMART goal, clients are encouraged to have additional members of their support network and healthcare team sign the S-PaCe Goal Setting form.

Multiple short-term goals are set throughout the achievement timeline of the SMARTS goal and the "PaCe" component is repeated until the SMARTS goal has been achieved. The CAPITAL letters represent a client-lead component of the method, while the lower-case letters represent a therapist-contribution to the knowledge required to inform goal setting

Perception of skills

Clients will know best where the most challenging times of their day are, and most of the time they realise where the greatest amount of improvement is required to progress towards their goals. The "how" is the tricky part.

By choosing one (or maybe two) observable skills which can serve as monitoring points for achievement and progression towards the SMARTS goals, the client can review their progress. Tracking their perception of skills within this activity serves as measure of how much daily life is becoming easier, and allows for the measurement of change which has been generalised to daily life, outside of behaviours or skills which have been directly practiced during therapy sessions of home program exercises. 

abilities required

The Occupational Therapist will use clinical reasoning to decide which underlying abilities are likely to have the most significant positive impact on achieving the PaCe goal once their assessment and reflection process is completed. The clinical reasoning process is a highly developed skill, in which the Occupational Therapist weights up, judges, analyses, and chooses the most appropriate next steps after considering information from all of the following categories - personal history, culture, social, virtual experience, physical environment, roles, activities of daily living, skills, supports, expectations, medical health, body structures, internal functions, development of; sensory, emotions, self-regulation, movement patterns, motor coorindation, cognition, social, self-awareness, community awareness, executive functions, and finally the here/now of your situation... it's an exhaustive list of considerations, but that's why Occupational Therapists study these thinking patterns for four(4) years at University!

Confidence

Once the Occupational Therapist has clinically reasoned which abilities are likely to have the most positive impact on achieving the PaCe goals, the client is asked to "rate [their] confidence in achieving the PaCe goals given the abilities within the plan/program the OT shared with [them]" - using a 0 - 10 scale, where zero is no confidence, and 10 is highly confident. This score is used to guide the level of education, review, and coping strategies that are required within the therapy program.

evaluation

A scale score of between 0 - 10 is applied to each of the abilities the Occupational Therapist has recorded as the primary contributors to achieving the goal. There is no set-scale for the observations at each scale level (although perhaps in the future there will be a comprehensive list...), these scores represent the clinical reasoning from the health professional relating to the impact the chosen abilities have on the continuing achievement of the PaCe goal.