Therapeutic interventions in Bowen and Moranbah

Kristy - Staff Photo

Meet Our Team

Kristy Williams—Director & Senior Occupational Therapist

Ashley - Staff Photo

Ashley East - Occupational Therapist

Ashley brings over 15 years experience as an occupational therapist working across a wide range of areas including school therapy services, community based therapy, community mental health, occupational rehabilitation, and paediatrics. She has been part of the OT4You family since September 2018.

Ashley is passionate about working with children and their families to help them achieve outcomes by helping them problem solve, develop and grow. Ashley uses a holistic approach to providing paediatric occupational therapy services and is a firm believer in empowering both the child and their parents to feel confident, connected, and competent.

Ashley works with children with a variety of differences including global developmental delays, other neurodevelopmental differences including autism, toileting, social-emotional / self regulation, feeding related difficulties, and has a special interest in early intervention.

Ashley lives in Moranbah with her husband and their 3 young, loud and very boisterous school aged boys. In her spare she enjoys running, camping, going to the beach and having a creative project on the go.

Ashlyn Kay – Occupational Therapist

Ashlyn graduated from James Cook university in 2018 and moved to Bowen to start her first job as an Occupational Therapist and hasn’t looked back. Ashlyn has enjoyed working and living in a smaller town and enjoying the slower, relaxed lifestyle Bowen has to offer. Ashlyn is an energetic, playful. Ashlyn has completed a number of professional development courses within the 3 years of working for OT4You – such as Traffic jam in my brain, Social thinking, The importance of play, Neurological development, Mental health first aid and many more.

Ashlyn loves targeting sensory intervention, behavioural support, early intervention and activities of daily living (cooking, dressing, toileting, community engagement) support for her families but is eager to work with families in supporting their goals, depending on what is important and meaningful for them!

Ashlyn’s favourite part of working for OT4You is being a part of such a supportive team, closely followed by playing on the clinics swings, slide and monkey bars.

Ashlyn’s meaningful occupations includes travelling with her partner, going to the beach with her dog, snuggling up with her ragdoll cat and getting crafty and creative in her spare time – As well as attending musical bingo (with lots of loud singing and silly dancing) at the local pub on a Wednesday night.

Ashlyn believes it truly takes a village to raise a child and enjoys working closely with families as well as local schools and kindy’s to ensure a collaborative approach is maintained throughout the young person’s therapeutic journey to ensure best outcomes.

Ashlyn Kay - Staff Photo

DOMINIQUE DI MARZIO – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Dominique graduated from James Cook University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours). Dominique started with OT4You in January 2021, and loves the Bowen beaches and small-town lifestyle.

Dominique has a special interest working with children and their families to reach their therapeutic goals. This passion was founded through her completion of paediatric placements during her tertiary studies, in Townsville private practice and Mount Isa outreach clinics. also gained general experience through her placement at the Ayr and Townsville Hospital working in a generalist position. Dominique has expanded her knowledge and practice through her previous work as an OT Assistant, working closely with children and families during therapy sessions to achieve their goals. She has furthered her interest in the area by completing certificated courses such as Traffic Jam in My Brain and DIR 101: An Introduction to DIR and DIRFloortime, among other Australian accredited courses.

Dominique views children’s therapy as having a high focus on making therapeutic outcomes meaningful for the child and the whole family. She is eager to continue developing strong relationships with all of her clients, families and wider OT4You community.

KERRYN WAKE – Occupational Therapist

Kerryn graduated from Charles Sturt University in Albury, NSW in 2017 with a Bachelor in Occupational Therapy. For the last 3 years Kerryn has worked as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, based in Wagga Wagga, NSW and also delivered outreach services to surrounding rural towns. Kerryn recently made the move to Central Queensland in January 2021.

Kerryn has an enormous passion for supporting individuals and their families using a holistic, family-centred and relaxed approach. Kerryn firmly believes that a child and their caregivers are the experts and leaders of progress and growth. Kerryn is passionate about empowering families, always offering a listening ear whilst being a smiling, welcoming face. Kerryn supports the use of coaching within her intervention to ensure families feel the true value of family-centred practice, self-efficacy and control within their child’s therapy journey.

Kerryn has experience working with children and young adults from a variety of circumstances, backgrounds and who experience an array of challenges, including children diagnosed with: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Global Developmental Delay, Anxiety and rare genetic disorders such as; Coffin-Siris syndrome, Moebius syndrome, Tuberous Sclerosis, KBG syndrome and other genetic variants. Kerryn has a great love for neurology, and has a special interest in supporting individuals with a background of childhood trauma or those experiencing behavioural, emotional and sensory regulation challenges. Kerryn also enjoys learning and implementing assistive technology and equipment and looks forward to continuing to develop these skills to allow for more inclusion, access and ease throughout activities of daily living for children and their families.

Kerryn loves sport, anything creative and all things rural/ agricultural life. Kerryn is looking forward to getting to know the area and explore what Queensland has to offer. 

Kerryn - Occupational Therapy in Bowen, QLD

Mikah Appel

Mikah graduated from University of the Sunshine Coast in 2021 with a Bachelor of Dietetics. Originally from Central Queensland, she is passionate about rural health and is excited to make the move back to a small town.

Mikah has experience working with a range of different caseloads during her clinical placements at Sunshine Coast University Hospital and Metro North facilities. From this, she developed a particular interest in working with children and their families, chronic disease, diabetes, and gastrointestinal disorders. She is eager to begin her career in private practice and have the ability to build meaningful relationships within the community.

As a dietitian, Mikah believes that building healthy relationships with food is extremely important for wellbeing, and employs this food-freedom philosophy into her practice. She is also passionate about ditching diet culture, and is always ready to fight nutrition misinformation.

When she’s not working, you can find her in the pool, on the netball court, or in the kitchen whipping up sweet treats.

Mikah Appel

Steph Burke

Steph Burke

Kelli Ibbotson - Therapy Assistant /Administration

Kelli is a therapy assistant that is passionate about helping children and their families.

Kelli has worked in the disability sector over the past 10 years. She has previously worked as a Therapy Assistant in the paediatric multidisciplinary team with Disability Services but most recently she has worked in different administrative roles within the NDIS in the Central Queensland area.

Kelli’s special interests are early intervention, sensory integration, physical disabilities and autism. Kelli loves working with the kids and their families helping them achieve amazing outcomes and celebrating their successes no matter how big or small.

Kelli Ibbotson - Staff Photo

Emma Steers – Administration Officer

Emma is the OT4You administration officer who has more than 20 years experience working in various administration and management positions. She is the friendly face all our families see as they walk through the door at our Bowen clinic. Emma is our office wonder woman, who can help with all our family’s administration needs.

Emma and her family are long term Bowen residence, who loves life in Bowen. When Emma isn’t at work, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 children.

Emma Steers

FAQ

A. Our primary focus is helping children and individuals maximise their potential to lead full and happy lives. An occupational therapist works closely with children and their families to determine what is limiting the individual in achieving their goals. An occupational therapist then either helps to develop the individual’s cognitive, physical, sensory, motor and social skills and/or makes adaptions to the environment to assist the individual.

A. We help work with children and individuals who have been diagnosed with:

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
  • Developmental delays
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Down Syndrome
  • Physical, visual or hearing impairments
  • Anxiety

However, a child doesn’t need to have a diagnosed condition to be referred to OT4You.

A. A referral to OT4You may be made if a child or individual experiences difficulties in the areas outlined below.

Developmental Delay

Developmental delay means that a child is behind in developing skills that are common during a particular age or during a particular time period. A developmental delay, however is more than being a little behind other children in a skill; it is being behind in a combination of skills or not meeting development milestones. These are examples of developmental delays:

  • Not reaching developmental milestones of sitting, crawling, & walking
  • Not learning at an age-appropriate level
  • Not developing age-appropriate play & social skills

Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are small movements made by the body, like writing or picking up cutlery. If your child is struggling with fine motor skills, they may have difficulty with one of these actions:

  • Holding a pencil
  • Using cutlery or straws at an age-appropriate time
  • Using scissors
  • Using zippers, buttons, shoelaces
  • Colouring, drawing, tracing, prewriting shapes
  • Poor handwriting, letter/number formation
  • Not developing a hand dominance at an age-appropriate time
  • Avoiding tasks & games that require fine motor skills

Movement, Strength, & Balance Development (Gross Motor Skills)

Gross motor skills help us move and coordinate our arms, legs, and other body parts. They involve larger muscles that help us control our body. A child who is behind in movement, strength, and/or balance may appear clumsy or uncoordinated. They may also have difficulty with these things:

  • Going up and down stairs at an age appropriate time
  • Coordinating both sides of the body
  • Understanding the concept of right and left
  • Poor ball skills
  • Poor balance

Their muscle tone, or muscle tension and resistance, could be higher or lower than the appropriate developmental milestone. They might also:

  • Be fearful of feet leaving the ground
  • Not cross midline of his or her body during play & school tasks
  • Avoid tasks & games that require gross motor skills

Visual Processing

Visual processing is the process we use to make sense of what we see. It is a process in our brain that interprets visual information. If your child has difficulty with one of these things, they may have difficult with visual processing:

  • Difficulty with the spacing & sizes of letters
  • Difficulty with recognising letters
  • Difficulty with copying shapes or letters
  • Difficulty with visual tracking & crossing midline
  • Difficulty finding objects among other objects
  • Difficulty with copying from the board or another paper
  • Difficulty with the concept of right & left

Your child may lose his or her place when reading or copying from the board or may have poor eye contact.

Sensory Processing

Sensory processing is making sense of information that we receive through our senses, like sound and smell. Your child may be oversensitive or under sensitive to sensory input around them and show the following symptoms:

  • Overly sensitive or heightened reactivity to sound, touch, or movement
  • Under-responsive to certain sensations (e.g. high pain tolerance, doesn’t notice cuts/bruises)
  • Constantly moving, jumping, crashing, bumping
  • Easily distracted by visual or auditory stimuli
  • Emotionally reactive
  • Difficulty coping with change
  • Inability to calm self when upset

Social Skills

Social skills are skills that help us have relationships and understand those around us. They help us bond with other people in our life. Your child may have delayed social skills if they show some of the following things:

  • Difficulty interacting socially & engaging with family and peers
  • Difficulty adapting to new environments
  • Delayed language skills
  • Overly focused on one subject (e.g. space, universe, dinosaurs, trains)
  • Can’t cope in the school environment

Play Skills

Play skills are skills that can help a child make sense of the world around them. A child can gain self-confidence, learn problem solving, and develop social skills through play. Your child may be developmentally delayed if they show one of the following symptoms:

  • Needs adult guidance to initiate play
  • Difficulty with imitative play
  • Wanders aimlessly without purpose during play
  • Moves quickly from one activity to the next
  • Does not explore toys appropriately
  • Participates in repetitive play for hours (e.g. lining up toys)
  • Does not join in with peers/siblings when playing
  • Does not understand concepts of sharing & turn taking

Learning Challenges

Learning challenges are another type of developmental delay. If your child is challenged by one of the following, you may want to consult an occupational therapist:

  • Unable to concentrate & focus at school
  • Easily distracted
  • Difficulty following instructions & completing work
  • Tires easily with school work
  • Poor impulse control
  • Hyperactivity or low energy
  • Not keeping up with workload at school
  • Difficulty learning new material
  • Makes letter or number reversals after age seven

Remember that all children are different and develop skill sets at their own pace. However, if you think your child may be struggling with adopting some of these skills, our team can provide the support they need.

Send us an enquiry by filling out a form here

A. An assessment will take between 1.5–2.5 hours to complete. We ask that all potential clients please fill out our “Parent Pre-Assessment Questionnaire” and bring it along to your appointment. It’s recommended that the parents/carers attend this initial assessment and bring all relevant medical, health or school reports and documentation.

A. We conduct services at the clinic, your child’s home, school or anywhere they feel comfortable. The treatment location will depend on your child’s needs as well as those of your family.

A. OT4You is based in Bowen and Moranbah but offers services to the surrounding Whitsunday community. Suburbs serviced include Collinsville, Proserpine, Cannonvale, and Airlie Beach.

A. Yes, we are proud NDIS service providers! Health rebates are also available through Medicare. Alternatively, you may access rebates through private health funds (depending on your policy).