Occupational Therapy for Children

 Occupational Therapy for Children can help with:

  • Learning difficulties – problems with reading, spelling, maths, handwriting, fitness, etc.
  • Developmental delays – your child may not be reaching their milestones within the normal range of time
  • Dyspraxia/Developmental dyspraxia – a motor planning difficulty
  • Visual perception/processing difficulties – your child may have issues with processing, interpreting and making sense of what they see
  • Motor problems – gross and fine motor difficulties, clumsiness, difficulty with buttons, laces etc.
  • Handwriting difficulties – your child may have poor legibility, slow writing speed, unable to get things down on paper as quickly as others
  • Keyboard/typing skills – if use of a computer would be an advantage to your child

Our programme consists of:

  • An initial assessment
  • A full written report
  • A follow up meeting to discuss the report and findings
  • Occupational therapy (if you wish for your child to receive it)

We can offer you any or all of the services listed below:

  • A full occupational therapy assessment for your child with a full detailed report, including a school meeting with you and the teacher
  • Individual occupational therapy sessions (30-40 minutes per week) which includes an individually-tailored home programme (to be worked through for 10 minutes per day)
  • Handwriting skills for intermediate/college students – they sometimes require just four weeks to improve
  • Keyboard/typing classes – in order to maximise the benefits of using a laptop/computer
  • Tutoring programmes by a specialist teacher
  • Team assessments are also available - they give an overall picture of your child’s strengths as well as weaknesses.

The assessments can be any combination of the following:

  • The occupational therapist tests your child’s visual perception/processing, gross and fine motor skills and handwriting skills
  • The speech-language therapist tests your child’s auditory perception/processing, receptive and expressive language and speech skills

What progress do you see as a result of occupational therapy?

  • Your child’s learning outcomes improve
  • Your child’s self-confidence improves – the pressure subsides as they receive some one-to-one assistance
  • Your child is now supported at school and at home
  • The school recognises that your child is in need of further assistance and the teacher understands some of the reasons for your child’s difficulties
  • The teacher feels supported
  • As a parent, you are empowered and become involved in your child’s learning through assisting your child with the home programme


We are a mobile service. Occupational therapy sessions are one-to-one and usually take place in a quiet space at your child’s school, if the school is happy for us to do so. There is also the option of working with your child from a home clinic.

It is important to identify children at risk of learning difficulties sooner rather than later, as there is much greater success if these underpinning skills can be worked on when your child is younger.

About Us

Fiona Lilley Occupational Therapist Dip O.T, NZROT MNZAOT
Helen Hodgkinson Occupational Therapist Dip O.T, NZROT
Wendy Godkin Specialist Teacher, Dip.Tchg

Occupational Therapy for Children was established over 10 years ago. We have an extensive experience of over 20 years between us, having provided professional services in a range of paediatric settings including hospitals, child development teams, special education and schools.

Our aims:

  • To address the underlying skills necessary for your child to learn. These areas are visual perception, visual/auditory memory, gross and fine motor skills and handwriting skills.
  • To liaise with parents/caregivers, doctors, teachers, speech-language therapists and other professionals involved with your child. This is in order to create an integrated programme to maximise the benefits for your child and to help them reach their potential.


Fiona Lilley

Fiona is a New Zealand Registered Occupational Therapist and a member of the New Zealand Occupational Therapy Association and has been working as an occupational therapist for the last 40 years and as a paediatric occupational therapist for the last 25 years.

She has worked in England and South Africa working with acute accident cases, head injuries, burns and acute hand injury patients, as well as with children with developmental delays and/or learning difficulties. In 1986 she started her own private practice in South Africa working with children with developmental delays and/or learning difficulties. After immigrating to New Zealand in 1991 with her family, she worked in a unit with children with developmental delays and/or learning difficulties plus physical disabilities. In 1993, Fiona started the first of her businesses catering for children with developmental delays and/or learning difficulties.Fiona’s areas of special interest are handwriting difficulties, visual perception difficulties, sensory integration and vision therapy.

Helen Hodgkinson

Helen has had 20 years experience working as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of settings, some of which include Wilson Centre for children with physical disabilities, Wilson Home School, Central Child Development Team, Special Education Service and Starship Hospital. She is currently employed at a local primary school.
Helen has always been very aware of the lack of government funded services for those children with learning disabilities and more recently she has had the opportunity to run a perceptual motor programme at a local primary school. Working in a large primary school has made it very clear of the need to make sure early foundation skills are very well developed before formal learning begins. Helen’s special interest is Perceptual/Motor development relating to foundation skills for formal learning.

Wendy Godkin

Wendy is a Specialist Teacher in Reading, Spelling, Written Language and Maths. She taught full time for 7 years after qualifying as a teacher, working in all year groups of primary and intermediate schools. She has also been involved in part-time teaching - relief teaching, special needs teaching and Reading Recovery. Wendy has had a great deal of experience working in the one-to-one setting with children as she has been working in this area for the last 5 years.

Please give us a call on (09 4787075) if you think we may be able to help you and your child.