Huge demand sees $5 million facility for SA special needs kids open

Demand exceeds OT professionals' ability to keep up.
Sep 14, 2021
Special needs
New facility is badly needed.

Due to the numbers of families seeking therapy options, the OTFC Group (OTFC) have launched their $5M Occupational Therapy (OT) facility in Parkside, South Australia.

The need for OT services is higher than ever, with more than 41,000 active NDIS participants residing in South Australia and approximately 2000 providers trying to service them.

The Parkside facility will help to reduce wait times and see more children and young people assessed and engaged in therapeutic programs in the clinics, schools and the community.

Parkside joins two other sites in Mile End and Adelaide with a total investment of $11m across the three. The new site will generate 10 new jobs and student placements will increase to 12 a year.

OTFC collaborates with schools and other allied health professionals including published author, teacher, counsellor and public speaker, Mark Le Messurier who is a mentor to children and adolescents and a coach to parents.

“Some schools and leadership teams are ahead of the curve in regards to supporting kids who cannot self-regulate their emotions independently, but overall we have a long way to go in our education system!

“If we want children to get on with the core business of learning at school, we need to be teaching them about their emotions, and ways to reset dysregulated feelings,” he said.

The needs of young people with special needs varies throughout their life span. Critical to the success of any therapeutic approach is also understanding the specific requirements of each individual person.

“A cookie cutter therapeutic approach only goes so far in helping our young people with disabilities, learning difficulties, sensory concerns or behavioural issues – at the OTFC Group we want to do more than that. It’s why we have created and invested in globally recognised certified programs, research, and our customised therapy equipment and spaces,” Dino Mennillo Clinical Director at OFTC said.