What is occupational therapy?

Occupational Therapy helps children to be able to play, to develop skills and to be able to experience the world around them. Occupational Therapists (OTs) focus on the child’s positioning and movement and on improving their hand strength, coordination and dexterity as well as their cognitive, social, perceptual, sensory and psychological skills.

There are many children here in Bali who have no access to Occupational Therapy and who cannot play or interact with the world around them as others do. For some with severe physical disabilities, this means a life of lying on their back staring at the ceiling without stimulation or fun in their life. For others it means they struggle at school as they cannot focus or understand how to learn like typically developing children. Occupational therapists also provide counselling to children who have suffered trauma, neglect or abuse.

Treatment often focuses on improving a child’s development in the areas of:

  • Fine motor skills – writing, picking up small objects etc.
  • Gross motor skills – jumping, throwing, balancing, kicking a ball etc.
  • Play skills
  • Social skills
  • Postural tone and stability
  • Hand eye coordination
  • Sensory Processing
  • Cognition – attention/focus, memory, counting etc.
  • Perceptual skills – understanding shapes, colours, distance etc.

Occupational therapists work with children who:

  • Have a developmental delay – are behind other children their age in typical development
  • Need counselling
  • Have a physical disability such as cerebral palsy
  • Have an intellectual disability such as Downs syndrome
  • Have a condition such as autism or another sensory processing disorder
  • Have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or another learning disorder

What we do


What our student and volunteers say

Jason L

Undergradudate student
Curtin University

Jason Liew

Being able to be in Bali was definitely a life changing experience. I've learnt so much throughout the 7 weeks being there and working with the team not just from the OT skills perspective but personally as well. Being in Bali has given me the chance to have a feel of what it is like being a full on therapist in control of everything and not just a student watching from the sidelines. It is a wonderful experience and the team there is amazing as well as the children and their families. I highly recommend any OT student to come and experience it for themselves!

Katy A

Undergradudate student
Curtin University


What an amazing, life changing experience! I completed a 7 week student placement in Bali in 2015, during which I believe I was able to make a real difference to the lives of the people I worked with. On top of this I learnt clinical skills for working with a wide variety of individuals and their families in an intercultural setting. During my time in Bali I also learnt a lot about myself and what I wanted to do with my career. I would highly recommend this placement for any occupational therapists, students or volunteers. In 2016, I came back and volunteered helping Sally with current students which further added to my professional skills.

Sophie O

OT graduate
Edith Cowan University


I was lucky enough to be able to volunteer in Bali for 4 weeks. It was such an incredible and life changing experience which superseded all of my expectations. I loved volunteering as I was able to gain experience in working with children which has always been my passion. What I did not realise is that it would also be such a huge opportunity for personal growth.
The cost of volunteer program is such a small investment compared to the value that you gain from the experience. I would highly recommend it to any OT who like to make a difference or try something new. I am so appreciative for Sally and all of ,the team who were so welcoming and made sure that the experience was one to remember. Thank you!

Su L

OT graduate


Being out of practice for almost 5 years, this opportunity has given me the confidence in stepping back into the OT world. I've had the pleasure of working with some beautiful and compassionate people who have dedicated so much time and effort to improving the quality of lives of so many young people. It has been a huge learning experience on both professional and personal levels as I faced challenges different to those that I would have as an OT in Australia. A massive Thank You to Sally, Kadek, Sri, Yitno, Sophie and the team at Jodie o'shea for being so supportive and reminding me of what OT really is. I will be back!