Here are some of the frequently asked questions we receive answered for you in one page!


What is Occupational Therapy and how do you help kids?

Think of a time when you were really sick or injured and couldn’t do something you really wanted to do…it was totally frustrating and probably made you feel worse.  Sitting around focussing on how terrible or bored you were feeling was likely to contribute the experience in a negative way.

Well, Occupational Therapy is all about being “occupied”. OTs know that when people are occupied doing things they need to do to take care of themselves (self care), things to be productive (e.g. work, volunteer work, parent, carer, etc) and for fun (leisure activities) that this provides a lot of meaning to their lives.  When people are sick, injured or have health issues that impact their ability to do these types of activities, this can also affect their well-being and health.

In relation to the kids we see, we focus on the activities that kids need to do in order to develop their skills, to be able to participate at kinder or school and what they do best…play!


How do I know if my child needs OT?

If you are unsure please click here to book your free 15min phone consultation to find out if OT is appropriate for your child.


How is OT different to other therapies?

As OTs we are looking at the activities or “occupations” first and foremost. We look at how a person, engages in an activity within the environment they need to do that activity. For example, we will observe a child (and all the factors and skills related to the child’s development), and how the child does the activity (what parts of the activity might we need to modify or adapt, or what skills do they need for that activity) and the setting in which they need to do it (what environmental / classroom /home factors contribute or distract them).  For us it is all about how a child functions, how they are able to do the activity and where they need to do it.


Do I need a referral?

Nope just give us a call!!


How does the assessment process work?

Our assessments are tailored to best assess what the concerns for your child are. In most cases this can be done with approximately 2-3 assessment sessions with the child and or parents, and then a feedback session with parents to discuss the results and plan moving forward.

However on occasions when the issues are related to their performance within the school/kinder environment or there are concerns about social interactions, we often recommend that an OT conduct an observational assessment in those settings. We will generally try and arrange it so that an OT that your child has not met conducts this observation so they are not aware it is them being observed and we can get a naturalistic idea of what is actually happening in the school/kinder/playground. Our experience shows this kind of observation can provide really valuable information.


How much does it cost for an OT assessment or session?

There are a number of factors that affect the cost of an OT assessment such as how many sessions may be required to complete the assessment, if they occur at our clinic or at a home/school/kinder/other location, how far the other location is away from our clinic and if you are seeing an Occupational Therapist or one of our Senior OTs.  There are also different types of rebates and funding available to some families – these are outlined in another question below.

It is best to contact us to get an estimate of the cost based on your child’s needs. We are more than happy to discuss this over the phone with you so you know upfront what the cost of the assessment is likely to be.


What are the different types of funding that can be used for Occupational Therapy?

Please click here for further information about funding sources

We are also able to use DSS funding (both the Better Start and Helping Children with Autism packages).

We are able to use NDIS funding if you have been approved for his service.


How can my Doctor send a referral to Sprout?

They can fax us on 03 8738 1539 or post them to us at 352 Main st Mornington, VIC 3199.


I’ve been referred to see xxx do I need to see her or can I see another OT?

We suggest checking with your referring practitioner, as there may be a reason why this OT was suggested. We are able to change the name on a referral with approval from the practitioner.


What should I bring to my appointment?

Your child (if it is not a parent only discussion), your completed initial paperwork which should have been sent out to you prior to your appointment and any other paperwork which you think might be helpful (Psychology reports, school reports etc).


How long will my child need to be seen?

This is the million dollar question!!! We can’t tell you how long your child will need to be seen for.

We can tell you how we work though. Once we have completed a baseline assessment, we set really specific goals with you re what you want to achieve from OT sessions with your child. We will tell you if the goals are realistic, or if we need to break them down into smaller steps. We will also discuss a review time with you. Reviews are really important because they ensure we are checking in to measure our progress towards these goals.  We can evaluate if the goals have been achieved and if your child needs to continue OT, or we can decide if the goals need to be changed.

At Sprout we only see children when they are working towards specific goals. When a child and family are happy with their progress towards those goals and there are not further goals that OT can help with, we will suggest that the OT sessions cease.  Many of our families come back when they feel they have new goals they want assistance with, and we are always happy to provide another block of therapy when it is needed. Children’s progress varies and different factors can impact progress in sessions so it is important to keep the dialogue open with your OT to keep checking in as to the effectiveness of the therapy.

We may also at times refer you onto other services if there are other factors that need to be addressed for your child to progress. Sometimes it can be helpful to work with other therapies at the same time as OT, and other times it is best if you focus on one thing first and come back to OT when the child and family are ready.


Do you do visit based sessions?

We do! We work in homes, schools, kindergartens, and child care centres.  We cover the Mornington Peninsula region and also cover some areas of Bayside and south eastern suburbs. We do charge an additional travel fee for visits to areas that are further than 15 minutes from our clinic in Mornington.


Do you run groups?

We sure do! We currently run both primary and high school transition groups each year.

  • School Readiness Groups “Give your child a head start to Prep”

Give your child a confident start to school with this group. Many children do well at their Prep transition groups but then over the long holiday break start to feel anxious about starting school. This group run in the last weeks of January and can make a huge difference to your child starting school confidently and calmly

  • Stepping up to secondary school- “Moving on”

Looking for a stress free start to secondary school for your child? One of the major transitions for children, especially children with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Anxiety related issues, is the move up to Secondary school. This unique program assists this group of children prepare for that step.

  • We also run term-long buddy building groups upon request when we have a minimum of 4 children interested in the same age group

 What other therapies do we have at Sprout?

Sprout is an Occupational Therapy service, however we do have both Psychologists and a Speech Therapist working from our rooms. If you would like to make an appointment with them you will need to contact them directly.

Dimitra Arthur (Psychologist) 0437 816 543

Jacqueline Amos (Psychologist) 0400 672 031

Elizabeth Barker (Speech Therapist) 0408 379 268


How can I make payments for sessions?

We accept cash, credit card , bank transfers and cheque payments.

If you want to use your Private Health we swipe this card first, you then pay the remaining amount via EFTPOS, cash or credit card.

If you are using a Medicare card (having arranged a suitable plan with your doctor prior to the session) we take payment for the full amount of the session. We then swipe your Medicare card through our HICAPs system and you should receive your rebate instantly. If for some reason the claim does not go through we will provide you with an invoice to lodge with Medicare yourself.


What are you hours of operation?

Our normal hours of practise are 9.00am-5.00pm Monday-Friday and alternate Saturdays. Some therapy sessions may begin prior to 9.00am at the discretion of your therapist.

We have Meaghan our administration assistant at the desk Monday -Friday between the hours of 10.00am-2.30pm.


Do you have a cancellation policy?

We require a minimum of 24 hrs notice if you are unable to attend a session. If your child wakes up unwell we must be notified by 8.00am that morning at the latest. If we are not given notice then the full cost of the session applies. If this is the case we are unable to use DSS or Medicare rebates to cover the session.