Occupational Therapy





Shanae Vanderwert


The occupational therapist role is primarily consultative, assisting teaching staff and parents with strategies and/ or equipment that will help to enhance the students’ ability to access the curriculum and independence in areas of self-care, fine motor, gross motor and school based activities. Our occupational therapist works closely with the speech pathologist and physiotherapist to ensure a holistic approach to therapy.


The daily occupations of childhood are recognised as play, education and self-care. An occupational therapist helps students to develop the foundational skills required to perform these activities to the best of their abilities. Our occupational therapist works with students, staff and parents to implement strategies and develop programs around:


  • Fine motor skills (including pencil grasp, in-hand manipulation and coordinating both hands to complete functional activities).
  • Independence in self-care skills (e.g. dressing, toileting, grooming).
  • Teaching sensory regulation skills through the Zones of Regulation framework.
  • Regulating excessive seeking or avoidance of sensory information through integration of sensory breaks throughout curricula
  • activities.
  • Motor planning skills, balance and motor co-ordination.
  • Play and social interaction skills.
  • Activities of daily living (e.g. transport in community, cooking, laundry, work skills).


The occupational therapist assists in developing the student’s skills and providing necessary adaptive equipment to assist all students to access the curriculum and facilitate Waratah’s vision of independence for every student, every day, everywhere.