True Stories: Nerryl – Prefer to work direct to clients and help families

Nerryl-edited_Occupational-Therapist_ADHCI am an occupational therapist working with school aged children on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. I work with children with a moderate to severe intellectual disability, which is the primary diagnosis to be eligible for ADHC services.

Many of the children also have a physical disability to a greater or lesser degree. This can be as complex as severe cerebral palsy, or something like low muscle tone. Children attend schools for special needs, special classes in mainstream school or are integrated into mainstream classes, or have services provided at home. Children are treated individually or in groups.

Currently I have two sensory groups running with children with severe physical disabilities, and also assist the physiotherapist with an indoor
rock climbing group aimed at children with low muscle tone and physical disability. Other services provided are fine and gross motor programs,
home modifications, wheelchair prescription and modification and various programs centred around school room activities, for example, writing or cutting which can then be implemented by the teacher.

I also assist the speech pathologist with eating programs by helping to recommend and modify eating implements, and switch programs to facilitate communication.

I commenced working at The Spastic Centre after graduation, having had a placement there as a student, which I enjoyed. After having a family of my own I went back to The Spastic Centre for another 11 years and then left when the service disseminated into the community.

Following that I had several other jobs but not with children. In 1992 I felt the need to go back into Paediatrics and have been with ADHC ever since. I have never aspired to a management role preferring to continue to provide direct care to clients, to help them and their families. This was the original reason that I trained as an occupational therapist.

Nerryl

Occupational Therapist

Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC)

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