A day in the life of a paediatric OT

A day in the life of this paeds OT…

This week we are celebrating OT Week and Children’s Week, and I would love to share with you all exactly what it means to me to be an OT, amongst a range of other things.

Everyday, Lucy (my fellow OT) and I are blessed to be welcomed into the lives of families. You trust us with your goals and all the hopes and visions you have for your children. We celebrate often and sometimes shed a tear together. Today I would like to welcome you all into my life, to share with you all what goes on in the life of an OT & business owner ( amongst other things!)

Today is a some what typical day- a fairly usual Tuesday is planned and I am ready to roll!

5:00 am: Alarm sounds.. I’m feeling a little tired today after a long day yesterday. Up and out of bed, get changed into gym clothes, then a quick snack.

5:30 am: Gym bag – check. Food for the day – check. Backpack – check. I’m in the car!

5.50 am: Hello treadmill!  The gym is busy this morning with lots of familiar faces and a few new ones. A quick run to warm up and then i hit the weights – it’s leg day! – My favourite 🙂

I finish with 40 minutes walking uphill on the treadmill, having a great chat with a friend at the same time.

7:40 am: I get ready for work at at the gym, then I head to the office just around the corner.

8:00 am: A delicious choc, mango & avocado smoothie for breakfast and I’m at my desk, preparing for my appointments for the day.

8:30 am: My first appointment is a new client in for his initial assessment. A beautiful boy bursting with energy and an amazing zest for life.

10:00 am: Lisa, our Therapy Assistant can’t make it in today, so I tackle the invoicing and receipts for the past week. (Coffee and a crunch & chew snack are essential!)

11:00 am: A regular session with a little guy with autism (3, nearly 4 years old). I love working with this family. They make massive progress every week! He loves the swings, jumping and climbing. It always amazes me how once we start to connect a child with their world and their sensory needs, their language starts to flow, even without specific attention to it.

12 noon: Lunch! Delicious Vege bake with grilled chicken and hummus (I am officially addicted to this stuff!). I chat with Lucy about a tricky client she has and we brainstorm some ideas for their session this afternoon.

12:30 – 3pm: Office time… I am feeling a little distracted by the glorious rain on the roof so bunker down with a cup of tea and lots of gum to help my focus.We have a few events coming up, including an open night tomorrow and a parenting workshop Thursday, so there are a few jobs to finish. I also use this time to return emails and phone calls to confirm appointments for the rest of the week, along with my visit to Katherine next week. I even conquer my quarterly BAS with 6 days to spare, and report from an assessment last week. Productivity plus!!

3:00 pm: A little snack (banana chips, crackers & Hummus) after my regular session is cancelled unexpectedly. A little more time to prepare for tomorrow and do some more book-keeping.

4:00 pm: More fun with an energetic 5 yo working on movement, interaction, and sensory skills

4:45 pm: I jump in the car and head out to Palmerston for a home visit.


5.00 pm: My final session for the day with a delightful 6yo girl with Autism. When i started working with her 18 months ago, she was completely isolated in her own little world. Through establishing a great connection with her family and linking them with the local intensive education school (Nemarluk) she has come leaps and bounds! She is able to remain much calmer throughout the day and manage tricky situations much better than before. She is much more interactive and has an awesome sense of humor. Today we practice tying her shoelaces, requesting and trying new foods, touching new things with her hands, and lots of cooperative play.


6:00 pm: I dash into the shops to grab a few things for our open night tomorrow and workshop on Thursday before heading home

6.30 pm:  Time to get creative and relax in the kitchen! I found a recipe I have been wanting to try so whip up a batch of sugar free Tahini Anzac Cookies .. they look like Anzacs but taste like banana bread – YUM!! I prep all the nibbles for our event tomorrow and my meals for the next two days, along with my dinner. My partner Kiel is away for work at the moment so just myself to look after tonight.

8.30pm: I finish cleaning up, doing the washing and packing my gym bag for tomorrow, before getting comfy on the couch with a magazine and a cup of tea

10.00 pm: Time for bed.. feeling satisfied and fulfilled after an awesome, energetic & productive day.




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Shannon Hallatt

Senior Occupational Therapist, Founder & Practice Manager at OT for Kids NT
Shannon is passionate about delivering high quality OT services for children and families, and bringing joy to their lives. Shannon believes that every child is unique and has unlimited potential and it is this belief that continues to drive her everyday.

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