You can find our most frequently asked questions about what to expect, what to bring and our funding options. If you cannot find what you’re after feel free to contact us via the form on this page or Contact Us. We are here to help!
Frequently Asked Questions
Occupational therapists help children to live their best life at home, at school, in the community and everywhere else. It’s about your child being able to do the things they want and have to do. That could mean helping your child overcome challenges learning at school, playing with friends, playing sport or simply getting themselves dressed (amongst others). Everything is focused on increasing your child’s independence and wellbeing.
Occupational therapy is a science-based, health and social care profession that’s regulated by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). We are health and disability professionals who study at university for 4 years to get our Degree.
Occupational therapists help children overcome challenges completing everyday tasks or activities – what we call ‘occupations’. We see beyond diagnoses and limitations to hopes and aspirations. We look at the relationships between the activities your child engages in every day – their occupations – alongside the challenges they face and their environment.
We then create a plan of goals and adjustments targeted at achieving a specific set of activities that are important to your child (and you). The plan is practical, realistic and personal to your child as an individual, to help them achieve the breakthroughs they need to elevate their everyday life.
This support can give children a renewed sense of purpose and help them to thrive. It can also open up new opportunities and change the way children feel about the future.
No, you do not need a referral to see an occupational therapist. If you wish to claim a rebate through Medicare, you will need to consult your GP or Paediatrician first to determine if your child’s difficulties meet the rebate criteria.
If your child already sees another specialist or allied health professional, it will help the assessment process if they provide a letter or a copy of a previous report stating any concerns or therapy updates. This will help us to have a more holistic picture of your child’s strengths and needs.
When you book your first appointment with Stepping Stones, you will be asked to complete some paperwork for us. We require these forms to be completed before your first appointment. This information will help us to understand how we can best support your child.
If your child has been seen by other professionals (e.g.: a paediatrician, speech pathologist, psychologist etc) and they have provided a report, it is helpful to bring this along to your first appointment. This information will be treated confidentially and will help your child’s therapist to have a deeper understanding of their strengths and needs.
If your child is attending for a handwriting assessment, please bring along samples of their handwriting from their school workbooks.
We sure do. As long as your child’s school or home are within our therapist’s outreach radius. We love supporting children in their own environments and will work with you to make sure that our therapy is being provided in the right space for your child to get the best outcome.
As an NDIS registered provider, we can see NDIS clients who are Agency Managed, Plan Managed, or Self Managed. We accept privately funded clients, as well as clients with Medicare Team Care Arrangements from their GP and also Private Health insurance claims. Please check with your GP or Private Health fund for details.
Our clinics are all equipped with HICAPS payment terminals for Debit/Credit card payments and for immediate processing of Medicare rebates and Health Fund claims.
Use of face masks in our clinics is no longer mandated, however Stepping Stones reserves the right to require masks as a condition of entry in our clinics if, for example, a new NSW Public Health Order comes into effect.
We do recommend that masks are worn if you and/or your child are experiencing respiratory symptoms. Please contact us ahead of your appointment on 02 4951 2116 if this is the case, so that we can discuss the possibility of alternative arrangements such as Telehealth or rescheduling.
Here at Stepping Stones, we take a family and supporter-centered approach to Occupational Therapy. For the initial assessment, we ask that a parent or carer be present to help administer some of the assessment tasks. For ongoing sessions in-clinic, in most cases it will be beneficial to have a responsible adult present to assist with completing tasks. If the parent or caregiver is not in the clinic room with the child, they should remain in the clinic waiting room. Your Occupational Therapist will consult with you regarding your individual needs.
If you have given us 48 hours’ notice, you will not be invoiced for a last minute cancellation. If you have given 48 hours or less notice of a cancellation, we do have to invoice for this missed appointment.
The type of service we offer means that we are typically seeing children for ongoing sessions, and so it’s not feasible for us to simply book a new client into our last-minute cancellations. There are not many children who just need a one-off session that we can fit in at short notice to cover a last minute cancellation. This means that our business frequently must absorb the loss of missed appointments when they cannot be invoiced.
For NDIS Participants:
As Registered NDIS Providers, we are required to follow NDIS regulations regarding pricing. To ensure business continuity for NDIS registered providers the NDIA have the following in place:
Short Notice Cancellations
Where a provider has a Short Notice Cancellation (or no show), they are able to claim 100% of the agreed fee associated with the activity from the participant’s plan, subject to the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits and the terms of the service agreement with the participant.
A cancellation is a short notice cancellation if the participant:
• Does not show up for a scheduled support within a reasonable time, or is not present at the agreed place and within a reasonable time when the provider is travelling to deliver the support; or
• Has given less than seven (7) clear days’ notice for a support
From National Disability Insurance Scheme Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits 2022-23
The NDIS have this in place as they recognise the significant burden that business owners carry with late cancellations, and especially during a pandemic.
Stepping Stones is a family friendly business and we understand and are very sympathetic to childhood illness and injuries, so we made the decision that we would only charge for cancellations within 48 hours (or 2 business days) notice period, (i.e.: not moving to the 7 days recommended by the NDIS).
We understand that our therapists add a significant amount of value to children’s therapy journeys both during face to face therapy time and also with non-face to face activities (i.e.: indirect activities). Indirect activities include preparing for sessions, creating individualised resources, conducting research to support your child’s goals, and coordinating with caregivers, educators, and other health professionals through emails and phone calls. These essential tasks, while not face-to-face, are part of our comprehensive care and are billed in accordance with the latest NDIS Price Guide.
Please note, however, that any communication or services provided by our Administration team are offered to you at no additional charge.
Anyone who thinks they might be eligible for the NDIS, can download an Access Request Form (ARF), and a Supporting Evidence Form (SEF) from the NDIS website. You can then discuss your application with your GP, allied health, and specialist medical professionals to prepare and provide the information required.
Our occupational therapists can support your child’s NDIS application by assessing and reporting on their daily life skills and making recommendations for supporting their development.
To find out more about NDIS eligibility and the application process, you can call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 or check their website www.ndis.gov.au.
Please see our fees detailed below. These prices are true as of 31/07/2023. Prices are subject to change. To confirm current pricing please contact our Admin Team on 02 4951 2116.
Handwriting assessment: 1 hour – $193.99
Handwriting assessment report: 1 hour – $193.99
Comprehensive initial assessment: 2-3 hours – From $387.98 to $581.97
Comprehensive assessment report: 2.5 hours $484.98
OT treatment session: 1 hour – $193.99 (i.e.: 45 minutes face to face and 15 minutes for progress notes)
OT Assistant intervention session: 1 hour – $86.79 (i.e.: 45 minutes face to face and 15 minutes for progress notes)
Non-face-to-face charges (OT): at $193.99 per hour (minimum 15 minute increments)*
Non-face-to-face charges (OT Assistant): at $86.79 per hour (minimum 15 minute increments)*
Private and Medicare Fees:
Handwriting assessment: 1 hour – $207.62
Handwriting assessment report: 1 hour – $207.62
Comprehensive initial assessment: 2-3 hours – From $415.24 to $622.86
Comprehensive assessment report: 2.5 hours $519.05
OT treatment session: 1 hour – $207.62 (i.e.: 45 minutes face to face and 15 minutes for progress notes)
OT Assistant intervention session: 1 hour – $94.84 (i.e.: 45 minutes face to face and 15 minutes for progress notes)
Consultation with Clinical Director (dependant on availability): 1 hour – $270 (i.e.: 45 minutes face to face and 15 minutes for progress notes)
Please note: A signed Service Agreement is required prior to commencing services. If outreach visits are required (e.g.: home/ school visits), there will be additional travel fees. 50% deposit required at time of booking. If outreach visits are required (e.g.: home/ school visits), there will be an additional travel fee.
*See FAQ “Do you charge for indirect time?” below for further information.