Occupational Therapy



Occupational therapists (OTs) help children and adults to complete the activities of daily living, promote independence, and participate in meaningful activities (or “occupations”). Although people often think of “occupations” as work or a job, occupations can mean any activity a person engages in. This can include self-care, play and leisure activities, and work. For a child, “work” often involves playing, learning, and going to school.



The occupational therapy department at Dandenong Valley SDS work closely with teachers, educational support (ES) staff, parents and other therapists to develop student’s skills that functionally impact upon their learning.


We support students to develop skills in the following areas:

  • Self-care skills such as eating, dressing, toileting, and teeth brushing.
  • Gross motor skills such as balance, core strength, body awareness, coordination, and motor planning.
  • Fine motor skills such as developing functional hand skills (grasping or manipulating small objects), cutting with scissors, and handwriting.
  • Sensory regulation skills such as learning to respond appropriately to different sensory experiences (i.e. sight, smell, taste, sound, touch and movement) that interfere with the ability to perform daily activities. By providing students with adequate sensory input throughout their day ensures that they are at their optimum level for learning.
  • Social skills such as waiting, turn-taking, and friendships.
  • Play skills such as role play, playing games and learning to use switches.


Occupational therapists are also involved in assessing the students’ needs for specialised equipment and/or modified environments in the classroom and school so that students can best access the curriculum and school activities.