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Mental Health OT for Children and Young People

Adaptability Therapy offers Mental Health Occupational Therapy services for children and young people from birth to twenty-five years. We provide services to a range of children including those who have anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, developmental trauma, Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADD/ADHD, intellectual disability and sensory processing differences.

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Or call: (07) 3899 5802

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    Our Approach

    Adaptability Therapy focuses on working with the family unit to support children and young people’s mental health. Caregivers are best placed to provide support to the mental health of children and young people on a day to day basis. In addition to working with the child or young person, we empower caregivers to learn strategies and skills to support their child or young person with their emotions and experiences.

    When might your child need support?

    Children and young people experience mental ill health, just as adults do. The below are some indicators your child or young person may need support:

    • Being involved in any kind of traumatic experience: Children can be impacted by traumatic experiences such as medical interventions, loss of a parent or sibling, exposure to violence or painful illness that is difficult to manage (e.g reflux or psoriasis). If your child has experienced trauma they may benefit from play therapy or support to the family to assist them to feel safe and secure.
    • Difficulties separating from their caregiver to go to daycare or school: Children can have difficulties separating from their caregiver to go to daycare or school. This distress can result in meltdowns and panic attacks. Separation anxiety can lead to school refusal, where the child’s anxiety impacts on their total attendance at school.
    • Unexplained physical concerns like stomach aches and head aches: Childhood mental ill health can look different in children. Mental ill health can present with physical symptoms, such as unexplained stomach aches, head aches and other physical pains.
    • Difficulties making friends: Children can have difficulties making and sustaining friendships. They may feel very shy meeting new people and be uncomfortable with the backwards and forwards communication needed to make and sustain friendships.
    • Meltdowns: A meltdown is a physiological response to an overwhelming amount of stress. Meltdowns can take several forms – the child can look explosive (ie throwing items, yelling, screaming) or they can shut down (ie go blank, withdraw, slump over). Both indicate the mind and body are overwhelmed by stressors and the child needs support to get back to just right.
    • Oppositional/challenging behaviours: Children may try to control their environment and people around them, which can result in difficulties with relationships at home and at school. This may look like children having difficulty accepting and tolerating rules, needing to win and becoming very distressed at the idea of losing, controlling the interactions with peers and refusing to follow caregiver instructions.
    Mental Health Occupational Therapy For Children And Young People

    What do we do?

    Play Therapy

    Children express their inner world of thoughts and feelings through play.  Different forms of play therapy can be used to:

    • Help children process what has happened to them
    • Understand and identify their feelings and thoughts
    • Build strategies to manage thoughts and feelings
    • Build caregiver capacity to co-regulate children. Co-regulation is necessary so self-regulation skills can develop.

    Zones of Regulation

    The Zones of Regulation is a therapeutic intervention where children are taught to label and group their emotional and bodily states into four different colours.  They are provided with cognitive, behavioural and sensory strategies to manage their different states.

    Alert Program

    The Alert program is a therapeutic intervention where children are educated that their body and mind is like an Engine, and can run at different speeds.  Children are empowered with cognitive, behavioural and sensory strategies to shift their engine speeds to get ‘just right’ for the activities they need to be doing.

    Anxiety/Mood Management

    Children and young people experience anxiety and depression; however it may present differently than to adults.  A range of different intervention strategies are used to educate children, young people and families on what anxiety and depression is, what impact it has on the body and strategies to manage anxiety and depression on a day to day basis.

    School/Kindergarten Support

    Children and young people who experience mental ill health may benefit from specific classroom based interventions to support their wellbeing.  Adaptability Therapy can work with teachers and educators on specific classroom strategies to assist children and young people.  This can be particularly effective for transitions to the classroom and any difficulties around playtime/learning.

    Trauma Interventions

    Children who have experienced trauma may not feel safe within their body.  They may be ‘stuck’ or easily triggered in to fight/flight/freeze responses, which negatively impact on learning, playing and engaging with family members.  Adaptability can use a range of sensory, behavioural, cognitive and relational therapy to assist children and young people feel safe in their bodies and in the relationships with caregivers, peers and educators around them.

    About Adaptability Therapy

    Meet our team

    Meet our experienced team. Learn more about Adaptability Therapy and how we can help you.

    • NDIS Registered & Approved
    • In-home Occupational Therapy Appointments
    • Graceville Paediatric Clinic Location
    • No GP referral letter needed
    • Assessments + Reports
    • Assessments to access Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)
    • Assessments to access Supported Independent Living (SIL)
    • Complex Home Modifications
    Contact us
    Mental Health Occupational Therapy For Children And Young People

    Kristy Stewart

    Service Lead – Child and Youth Mental Health

    Currently accepting referrals

    We are currently accepting referrals to our mental health occupational therapists across Brisbane. Call 07 3899 5802 or email [email protected] to make a referral today.