Hy, my name is Mira-Marlene Zajicek, I'm an occupational therapist for over 12 years and mother of a teenager. I worked in many different areas, mainly in the field of neurology and paediatrics, but also in the field of immunology, gerontology, geriatric psychiatry, hand therapy and orthopedics.
Occupational therapy aims to improve the independency of your child and to improve the quality of life of your family.
A paediatric occupational therapist trains different areas of the childs development.
I discovered my love for the autistic work field, when I was a mobile therapist for autistic children and teenagers. There I spent 2-4 hours per day with one child at home, on the playground, in school, in the supermarket, in public transportations, on the way to the doctor and learned a lot about which needs and challenges can occur in their everyday life. Also, I discovered my passion for parents training and coaching. From that moment I searched for evidence based concepts, that would be effective.
This was the time, when I discovered the ESDM (Early Start Denver Model), an evidence-based therapy programme for young children with autism.
ESDM analyses and trains areas of speech/communication, socialization, imitation, cognition, fine and gross motor skills and self dependency. If you want to learn more about the ESDM click here.
In my work, I also use other therapy concepts, depending what is fitting the child's and family's needs.
Parents are an important part of the therapy. They also get to choose, which therapy goals are important for their child and the family.
Also, when I think it would be useful, parents become involved in the therapy sessions to learn how
It's not possible to heal autism, but you can do a lot to improve your child's development! In the early childhood, because of the brain plasticity, therapy and training are more effective than in the later years. But I also believe in the lifelong possibilities of learning and development.
Please note, that I only work with autistic children and teenagers
What you need at the beginning
Please bring these documents to the first therapy session:
On the doctor's referral should be written:
- the autism diagnosis
- 10 Einheiten Ergotherapie 60 Minuten
When ÖGK is your health insurance company:
Normally, there are only allowed 10 therapy sessions written on each doctor referral. After the 10 sessions, if your child needs more therapy, you will need a new doctor referral. But because autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that often needs intensive care/therapy, you can ask the doctor to write "20 Einheiten Ergotherapie a 60 Minuten" on the referral. If you need further information, you can show the doctor the following text from the ÖGK:
"(3) Die ergotherapeutische Behandlung ist nur aufgrund ärztlicher Anordnung vorzunehmen. Die ärztliche Anordnung hat eine Diagnose, die gewünschte Leistung und deren Anzahl zu enthalten. Gegebenenfalls ist die Notwendigkeit eines Hausbesuches anzugeben. Grundsätzlich sollen maximal 10 Behandlungen pro Zuweisung verordnet werden; mit besonderer Begründung eines intensiven Behandlungsbedarfes (z. B. bei Multiple Sklerose, Parkinson, cerebraler Insult, Demenz, Kinder mit tiefgreifenden Entwicklungsstörungen oder cerebralen Schädigungen) maximal 20 Behandlungen. "
Costs and refund
60 minutes therapy : €85.-
Occupational finding paper: €85.-
After you paid the therapy, your health insurance company pays back parts of the costs. ÖGK pays back €48.- per session. Other health insurances pay back up to €60.- or more.
Additional financial help
Low-income families sometimes have the possibility of requesting a one-off subsidy from the following organisations:
Licht ins Dunkel