Paediatric Occupational Therapy Services - including Helping With Autism (HCWA) and Better Start - Gateway Therapies

What can your therapists do for my child?

Occupational Therapy helps children to reach their full potential and maximise their learning opportunities, by using strategies and techniques that are age-appropriate and evidence-based.

Our Occupational Therapists help children to gain the skills required to perform daily tasks that are important to them. We help them play, live and learn.


Can you help my child get ready for school?

Getting ready for school is a particularly important stage in a child’s life. Occupational therapy can help your child prepare for this exciting milestone.

How can you help my child learn play skills?

 Children experience their world and learn about themselves and others through play. Our occupational therapists use activities, toys and games that are fun, stimulating, and help to develop essential skills for living, including social skills (turn taking, joint attention), attention/ concentration, and fine motor skills.

I need my child to be more independent. Can you help?

Children enjoy learning to do things for themselves, and mastering self care tasks can bring a great sense of achievement.

Our occupational therapists can help your child to develop self care skills, such as learning to eat, dress, and use the toilet.

The strategies used in occupational therapy may include modeling, chaining, hand-over-hand prompting, visual schedules, social stories and the use of adaptive or assistive equipment.

Do I need to be involved in therapy sessions?

We believe it’s important for parents to help their children practice new skills learned during their therapy session, and work with parents to ensure they are confident in doing so.

Parent education may include provision of handouts and other resources, demonstration, and inclusion in their child’s therapy session.

Parents are welcome to contact their occupational therapist with queries, to discuss any concerns, and / or to clarify or change goals for occupational therapy.

Our sessions are one-on-one, and are tailored to each child’s individual needs, and with consideration for the goals of their family.

How long do appointments go for?

  • 1-2 hours for assessment, and
  • 30-90 minutes for subsequent sessions.

Do I need a referral?

  • No referral required for private consultations.
  • Children with funding provided by DSS (HWCA and Better Start) require proof of eligibility. See below for more information.
  • Children with chronic and complex care needs will need a care plan from their GP to claim a rebate from Medicare for allied health consultations (including OT). See below for more information.

What financial support is there for me to help pay the fees?

Helping Children With Autism

The therapists at Gateway Therapies are particularly experienced with helping children with autism to prepare for school, by assisting them to develop specific skills and strategies to maximise their learning opportunities.

The interventions we provide, and that are covered by the Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) package include:

  • Behavioural Interventions – application of learning theory and skill development;
  • Developmental and social learning interventions – building relationships and development of social emotional capacities;
  • Therapy based interventions – communication and social development or sensory motor development; and
  • Family-based interventions – working with families to develop skills in working with their children.

To be eligible for the early intervention funding package, your child must have been seen by an Autism Advisor and deemed eligible to access the program before their sixth birthday.

The $12,000 in funding under the early intervention component can be used until your child’s seventh birthday to a maximum of $6,000 per financial year.

Additional Information about the Helping Children With Autism funding is available here – Helping Children with Autism

Better Start

Early intervention funding is available for children who are aged under 6 years and have been diagnosed with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Fragile X syndrome, or a moderate or greater vision or hearing impairment. These categories were determined by the Australian Government based on evidence that intensive early intervention in the pre-school years is effective in preparing this cohort of children for school.

Eligible children can be registered to access early intervention funding of up to $12,000 (up to a maximum of $6,000 in any one financial year).

The funding can be used to pay for early intervention services provided by a range of early intervention professionals, including Occupational Therapists, who are members of the Better Start Early Intervention Service Provider Panel.

Registration of eligible children is managed by the dedicated Registration and Information Service (RIS), which is operated by Carers Australia.

To register a child for the Better Start early intervention funding, parents and carers must call the RIS on 1800 242 636.


Item No. 10958

Assistance for children with chronic medical conditions.

Gateway Therapies can provide Occupational Therapy services for children diagnosed with a chronic medical condition who have an appropriate Chronic Disease Management (CDM) care plan. The medical condition must have been (or is likely to be) present for six months or longer.  It includes, but is not limited to, conditions such as asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions and stroke.

Your GP determines whether your child’s chronic medical condition would benefit from allied health services and provides the referral to our service.

Patients can obtain a rebate of $50.95 for up to 5 allied health services per calendar year.

Item No. 82025

Early Intervention services for children with an autism spectrum disorder OR the following disorders ~

(a) sight impairment that results in vision of less than or equal to 6/18 vision or equivalent field loss in the better eye, with correction.
(b) hearing impairment that results in:
(i) a hearing loss of 40 decibels or greater in the better ear, across 4 frequencies; or
(ii) permanent conductive hearing loss and auditory neuropathy.
(c) deafblindness
(d) cerebral palsy
(e) Down syndrome
(f) Fragile X syndrome
(g) Prader-Willi syndrome
(h) Williams syndrome
(i) Angelman syndrome
(j) Kabuki syndrome
(k) Smith-Magenis syndrome
(l) CHARGE syndrome
(m) Cri du Chat syndrome
(n) Cornelia de Lange syndrome
(o) a diagnosis of microcephaly based on a head circumference less than the third percentile and a functional level at or below 2 standard deviations below the mean for age on the Griffiths Mental Development Scales or the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.

Rebates are available for up to 20 early intervention treatment services per child, consistent with the treatment and management plan prepared by the referring practitioner.

Children with an eligible diagnosis can access the Medicare items at any time up to the age of 15, provided the new treatment and management plan is in place before the child turns 13. The Medicare items can be accessed:

  • before your child is registered for the early intervention funding, or
  • in conjunction with the early intervention funding, or
  • after your child’s access to the early intervention funding ceases.

Patients can obtain a rebate of $71.95 for each service.

Approved Provider for most Private Health Funds

Please contact your Health Fund to check your level of cover.