Allied Health


The Allied Health team comprises of Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologists, Physiotherapists and assistants. Members work within one of the two learning teams supporting priority learning within a multidisciplinary approach.


Occupational Therapists

The Occupational Therapists at Sunshine Special Developmental School aim to facilitate and maximise student’s independence and participation in daily activities. The Occupational Therapists work closely with the staff to assess the students and develop specialised programs to meet the needs of the students.


These specialised programs include:

  • Sensory based programs, for example oral motor, respiration, proprioceptive and vestibular activities, which encourage emotional regulation and increase attention
  • Self-care programs, such as toileting, grooming, dressing and eating skills.
  • Play skills programs, which may include pretend play, symbolic play and developing play themes
  • Gross motor programs, which may include balance, core strength, coordination and motor planning activities.
  • Fine motor programs, which may include prewriting and handwriting skills and developing functional hand skills.

The Occupational Therapists are also involved with assessing the students’ needs for specialised equipment and/or a modified environment in the classrooms and school so that the students can best access the curriculum and school facilities.


Moving and staying active is an essential focus of physiotherapy at Sunshine SDS. Our Physiotherapist assesses the individual needs of students and helps to provide specialised equipment and exercise programs to enable students to reach their full physical potential. A major aim of physiotherapy is the help students to be as independent as possible with their mobility which can include the provision of a walker or a manual or power wheelchair.


Our Physiotherapist works with teaching staff, Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologist and families to integrate the development of the student’s physical skills into their daily school program. This can involve walking, stairs, bike, standing, gross motor and community walk programs.


Our Physiotherapist also provides information to staff about back care, safe and effective transfer techniques and seating and positioning in the classroom. Specialised equipment applications are completed by our Physiotherapist in consultation with families and assistance given for sourcing funding.


Speech Pathologists

At Sunshine SDS our school Speech Pathologists are committed to giving our students the ability to communicate, whilst building our students’ functional and social communication abilities, their receptive and expressive language, their literacy skills, and their eating and drinking skills.


This can include developing specialised systems for communicating known as Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). This may be an alternative system to speech for communicating or something that augments speech skills. AAC promotes receptive and expressive language in students who have a limited ability to express themselves through speech.


AAC includes gesture, signing, pictures and visuals, communication books and high tech speech generating devices.



  • Encourages language skills, for example, turn taking, initiation, requesting and commenting
  • Provides an opportunity for students to express their needs, wants, thoughts, and emotions
  • Can reduce frustration in individuals and have a positive association with behaviour
  • Supports students in understanding the meaning of words
  • Can aid in the development of more complex thinking skills
  • Supports the development of spoken language

Teachers and Speech Pathologists work together to be creative in their approach to teaching students and developing visuals and ‘hands-on’ activities to make learning easier and fun. They work closely with the Information Communication Technology (ICT) team to use iPads, tablets and interactive whiteboards to provide support to students’ communication for their academic and social goals.


Allied Health Assistants

The Allied Health Assistants support the members of the Allied Health Team with programs that have been designed for individual students and group sessions. These programs can include individual and group walking, gross motor activities, sensory activities, communication and literacy programs and meal assistance. They also play a pivotal role in making and maintaining resources for therapy.

communication at sunshine sds

All students at Sunshine SDS have access to a comprehensive communication system (Proloquo2Go or PODD) at all times. This allows all students at Sunshine SDS to have a voice and express themselves.

What is Proloquo2go?

A voice for all

Proloquo2go is a symbol-supported communication app to promote language development and grow communication skills, from beginning to advanced communicators.

Proloquo2go is the only AAC app that combines unique features, such as, research-based vocabulary levels, activity templates to support motor-planning and Expressive Power to express yourself. All that with minimal customization effort!


What is Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD)?

Is it a symbol based communication book or voice output communication system. Language is organised pragmatically, which promotes the use of a range of autonomous messages across a variety of topics and environments. PODD books are adapted to suit students’ physical, sensory and communication needs.


So what does it look like at Sunshine SDS?

Proloquo2go is used across Sunshine SDS; in the classroom, in the playground, and when we are out and about. It is an integral part of all our teaching & learning program as Proloquo2go enables our students to understand others and express themselves to the best of their ability and beyond. It facilitates our students to become independent young adults not only across the school but throughout the wider community. 


Here at Sunshine SDS  our allied health team works closely with our teaching staff to provide a communication rich environment across the whole school day.

Proloquo2go is a voice for all our students, and we at Sunshine SDS are committed to communicating all day every-day. 


Sunshine Special Developmental School is a Child Safe school