School-based occupational therapy screenings for children aged 0-5.
Before starting Kindergarten, a child’s primary role is to play, interact, explore their environments and practice self-care. When they enter school and become a student, their focus turns to learning academic skills, engaging with their peers and becoming independent in self-care.
Some children find it more difficult to fulfil these roles than others. Some require small adjustments to their environment or activities to see success, whilst others may require further skill development through early childhood intervention.
Occupational Therapy Screenings
Developmental screenings conducted by an occupational therapist are an efficient and low-cost way to identify developmental challenges in a child’s first years at school. Findings inform additional supports and help ensure children achieve key milestones in the early years. The support provided early can increase school enjoyment and potentially reduce the amount of support required later in life.
At Therapy Focus, our experienced occupational therapists conduct school-based screenings at kindergartens, schools and childcare centres throughout Perth and in the South West region. Our play-based, child-led screenings not only capture how a child presents during the during observation, but also the environments, interactions, and tasks they experience daily.
Occupational therapy screenings identify difficulties in the following areas:
- Paying attention, following instructions, decision making and problem-solving skills
- Self-care – dressing, toileting, grooming and mealtime skills
- Fine motor skills – hand dominance, grasping, finger movement, cutting and threading
- Gross motor – balance, coordination and movement
- Visual perception – copying shapes and patterns, finding items, and recognising differences
- Social skills – ability to wait, turn take and share with others
- Sensory processing and emotional regulation (how their body interprets stimuli and responds)
What does a screening involve?
The screening process takes 20 minutes per child and will take place onsite at your school, kindy or childcare centre. Children are seen individually by our occupational therapist, who will conduct informal observations and testing to determine if the child’s skills are within or below the level expected for their age.
We ask that schools/centres provide parents and caregivers with a copy of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire as well as our Parent Information Sheet, which includes a consent form they can sign and return. These forms will need to be returned to us one week prior to the screening.
Screening reports & next steps
A short screening report will be provided to your school/centre and the parents/caregivers of each child. If a child shows difficulties in any areas or their scores are not age-appropriate, we will contact their teacher to discuss potential support options. This could include a more comprehensive assessment or early intervention services.
Therapy Focus offers comprehensive early intervention services, which can be delivered at home, school or from one of our clinic locations. We believe that collaboration with families and education staff is vital to achieving the best outcomes for each child.
Book a screening
For more information or to book a screening at your school, kindergarten or childcare centre, call us on 1300 135 373 or submit an enquiry.