Play & Learn Occupational Therapy was founded in 2014 by Rachel van der Linden.
We provide family-centred, community-based support to children and their families in western Adelaide.

We are a small team of experienced and caring OTs who have over 70 years collective OT experience.

We work with children to support their participation in everyday life, and we have a strong focus on working with parents/caregivers and educators to ensure that we understand and support the unique needs in each situation. We believe that children learn best when they are feeling safe and connected, and we are committed to working with children and their adults to ensure that they are supported to learn and thrive.

We are committed to continuously building our own skills and knowledge to ensure we are providing the best possible support, and we support other OTs to build their skills and knowledge too.

Our journey is driven by a simple yet profound goal: to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children and their families, and to support fellow clinicians in their professional growth.

Play & Learn OT

Rachel van der Linden

Since graduating in 1993, Rachel has dedicated her career to supporting children and families, both in Australia and the UK

Her interests and passions lie in working with children who are showing difficulties in learning and managing their day-to-day activities, and she believes strongly in working with families in natural settings, and within natural routines.

Over her 30+ years of experience Rachel had attended many courses and workshops, and integrated ideas into her clinical practice, covering many different areas including sensory processing, play, toileting, sleep, mealtimes, relationship-based practices, neuroscience behind behaviour and learning, parent coaching, nature-based practice, neurodiversity affirming practice, trauma-informed practice, and clinical supervision practices

Rachel is also deeply committed to empowering other paediatric occupational therapists. She loves to support her colleagues in reflecting on and enhancing their clinical skills, ensuring they have access to the help and resources they need.

Nicole Oppermann

Since graduating in 1996, Nicole has worked across diverse clinical settings within Australia and the UK. Her career has encompassed acute medical and surgical inpatient care, physical and mental health rehabilitation, community education and preventative healthcare, home assessment and modification, and worksite assessment and vocational rehabilitation.

For the past decade, her focus has been in paediatrics, working to support children to utilise their existing skills and develop new skills to enhance their participation in daily life activities.

Nicole is known for her strong commitment to building close working relationships with all key stakeholders, including families, teaching staff, and other treating practitioners. She believes in collaborative teamwork to create supportive environments, whether at school or at home, in order to optimise children’s developmental and functional outcomes. She enjoys engaging with children, fostering a positive and encouraging atmosphere to help them thrive.

In addition to her clinical work, Nicole contributes to the field by tutoring at UniSA, imparting her experience and knowledge to future occupational therapists.  

Steph Carman

Since graduating in 2008, Steph has primarily worked with children and families in community settings. She has also gained experience in hospital settings, providing acute care and rehabilitation for both children and adults.

Steph works to build relationships and connections among children, families, and educators to deepen their understanding of child development and implement effective strategies. She delivers targeted therapy to support children in reaching their goals, operating across environments such as homes, childcare centres, Early Learning Centres (ELC), kindergartens, and schools, seamlessly integrating her interventions into daily life and activities.  
Steph has a diverse skill set and holistic approach, not limited to but including training in Key Word Signing, Hanen – SPARK Communication, Circle of Security Parent Training, SOS Approach to Feeding, Sleepwise, Sensory Defensiveness, Equipment Prescription and Home Modifications.