When a child presents with delays it can be due to a combination of factors. Whether it's from muscle tone disorders, joint hypermobility, sensory processing delays, reduced strength, motor planning delays and reduced proprioception/position sense, the impact can be significant for the child.

An assessment will take between 1.5 and 2 hours, depending on the combination of issues that your child presents with. A series of standardised and non-standardised tests will be administered. Your child will be scored and observed during that time.

Your child's strengths and weaknesses will be identified and Melanie will discuss how occupational therapy may help your child. Following the assessment, a comprehensive report will be written detailing the findings, how your child compares with his/her peers and outlining the goals for their therapy intervention.


For children who display limited or delayed motor skills, a muscle tone and motor co-ordination assessment is generally required. This assessment takes into account the child's age, the developmental milestones accomplished (or yet to be accomplished), balance, postural stability and upper limb coordination. Analysis of muscle balance and joint stability is essential to make a difference to the child's developmental outcomes.


Handwriting is a complex skill that requires many elements in order to be completed successfully. These include motor, sensory, graphomotor and perceptual skills as well as cognitive function. Because handwriting requires such a comprehensive range of skills, it is not uncommon for children to experience difficulty in developing this ability.

Handwriting is often critical for school success. An understanding of the child's cognitive and sensory performance is required to tailor a plan to develop adequate muscle memory for this task. Older children may be eligible for special provisions for HSC and NAPLAN testing. Sometimes Dysgraphia is an appropriate diagnosis.
At Newcastle Paediatric Occupational Therapy our compassionate occupational therapist uses a range of assessment criteria to identify the cause of each child's difficulties. This may include motor control assessments, neuromuscular assessments as well as understanding the child's cognitive and psychosocial behaviours. We can then tailor the most effective strategy to suit the child's unique needs.


Children who have problems with energy regulation, concentrating, remaining focussed and processing environmental stimuli may be suitable for a comprehensive neurodevelopmental assessment. This assessment could include an individual sensory profile. This is used to formulate safety tools for the child in identifying triggers for the behaviour and calming strategies to help them cope in different settings.