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How does it work? 

Therapy Assistants work under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist. The Occupational Therapist will have previously assessed the client and determined that a Therapy Assistant program will likely lead to efficient use of funding whilst increasing the likelihood that the client will achieve the therapeutic goals. Not all clients will be suited to having a Therapy Assistant skill development program and your Occupational Therapist will be able to explain why. The Occupational Therapist will create a skill development plan detailing how the sessions will run and how often. Therapy Assistants may visit clients weekly, fortnightly, monthly or as often as required. Therapy assistants provide one on one support to individuals in the community or in their home.

 Therapy Assistants empower and support clients to increase their skills in goals that have been identified to be important and meaningful by the client. In delegating duties for Therapy Assistants to complete with our clients, our Occupational Therapists have an obligation to ensure that the practice complies with nationally legislated codes, standards and practice guidelines that underpin and ensure the public receive safe and ethical services. The Occupational Therapist supervising the Therapy Assistant retains overall responsibility for the care of the client whilst they participate in the Therapy Assistant program. At no time will our Therapy Assistants complete professional assessments or make clinical decisions regarding client care.

Who are Therapy Assistants? 

Therapy Assistants are WHR Allied Health employees who are also current tertiary students studying to become Occupational Therapists. Therapy Assistants are not students on placement.  By exclusively employing Occupational Therapy students, we can be confident that our Therapy Assistants have a developing understanding of the theories and approaches underpinning the interventions provided by our Occupational Therapists. It also ensures that our Therapy Assistants are committed to taking a client centred, ‘facilitating with’ rather than ‘doing for’ approach.

Who do we work with? 

Therapy Assistants work with individuals of all ages and with a broad range of disabilities. Within WHR Allied Health, Therapy Assistants primarily support individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

Whilst our therapy assistants can work with private clients, this is only offered to existing WHR Allied Health clients where they are also receiving private Occupational Therapy supports. In line with our insurance obligations, no WHR Allied Health Therapy Assistants are able to work under the direction of non WHR Occupational Therapists. We do encourage other service providers to consider employing therapy assistants provided that they have the skills and can offer the required levels of support and supervision.

Therapy Assistant sessions may include assisting implementing OT skill development programs involving:

  • Scheduling and organisational skills
  • Budgeting skills
  • Anxiety management
  • Employment skills
  • Socialisation skills
  • Cooking skills
  • Domestic management skills
  • Travel training (public transport)
  • Fine motor skills 
  • Sensory diet / sensory regulation
  • Emotional regulation 

Skills gained from Therapy Assistant sessions:

  • Self Care
  • Motivation
  • Confidence
  • Problem-Solving
  • Independence
  • Social Skills
  • Resilience
  • Flexibility

Cost of Therapy Assistant supports: 

Additional detail related to the costs of supports are provided in client Service Agreements which will be provided to all clients at commencement of supports. 

15_053_0128_1_3 Therapy Assistant – Level 2 – $95.47

Allied health assistant working under the delegation and supervision of a therapist, where the therapist is satisfied that the allied health assistant is able to work independently without direct supervision at all times. The majority of WHR Allied Health Therapy Assistant supports are level 2 with the Therapy Assistant working with the client independent of ‘direct’ supervision.


15_052_0128_1_3 Therapy Assistant – Level 1 – $61.78

Allied health assistant working under the delegation and direct supervision at all times of a therapist. WHR Allied Health provide level 1 Therapy Assistant supports exclusively to our group programs. This is not available in 1:1 supports from WHR Allied Health. 


Examples of client/supports: 


Client 1

Diagnosis: Asperger’s Syndrome.

Therapy Assistant Sessions: 1x 2-hourly weekly session for 6 weeks.

Goals Surrounding: Increasing community access and reducing anxiety.

Session Outline: Client and Therapy Assistant go to a local cafe and work on anxiety management skills.

Potential Outcome: Increased motivation to access the community, practicing social skills, increased awareness and understanding of anxiety, strategies to assist when feeling anxious.

Client 2

Diagnosis: Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability.

Therapy Assistant Sessions: 2x weekly 2-hour sessions for 8 weeks.

Goals Surrounding: Increasing independence in night-time routine.

Session Outline: Exercise routine is completed firstly. Client eats dinner and is supported to do this with a knife and fork. Lastly, client showers and is supported to increase independence in difficult areas such as turning on taps and washing hair.

Potential Outcome: For the client to be able to independently and confidently complete tasks in night-time routine.

Client 3

Diagnosis: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Epilepsy

Therapy Assistant Sessions: 1x 1.5 hourly weekly session for 12 weeks.

Goals Surrounding: Increasing daily living skills such as cleaning. Also increasing confidence and safety with traveling independently.

Session Outline: Alternating each fortnight with activities in sessions. Sessions include either cleaning tasks or travel training.

Potential Outcome: Increasing skills and confidence to complete cleaning tasks independently. Increasing confidence to independently catch public transport. This will hopefully lead to the client being able to independently get to and from day programs.

Client 4

Diagnosis: Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Therapy Assistant Sessions: 1x 1-hour weekly session for 12 weeks.

Goals Surrounding: Increased opportunity to develop social skills and becoming more involved in social events.

Session Outline: Increasing understanding of different aspects of social skills including body language, conversation skills, social cues, social norms and more. Client and Therapy Assistant access community, enabling the client to practice social skills. Therapy Assistant and client also role play social scenarios to practice conversation skills.

Potential Outcome: Increasing the client’s confidence in different social settings, as well as having the tools to socialize with a wide range of people in a respectful and socially acceptable manner.

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