Questions and Answers about Occupational Therapy
Question: What services do you provide for my child?
Answer: Occupational therapy involves fine motor activities that will increase independent functioning and help a child benefit from his or her Individual Education Program. School based OT services are not a duplication of what the teacher is doing in class nor a replacement for medical-based OT services.
Question: How do your services differ from PT services?
Answer: Physical therapy involves gross motor skills and disorders of movement and posture. Occupational therapy involves fine motor (use of the small muscles) and sensory skills.
Question: How will you be involved with my child?
Answer: The Occupational Therapist will meet with your child on a regular schedule; this schedule will be discussed with you during the IEP meeting.
Question: Will you be able to help my child learn feeding and dressing skills?
Answer: Specific goals and objectives for your child will be determined by the IEP team, of which you, the parent, are an important part.
Question: Why isn’t my child sitting, walking or reaching developmental milestones as fast as other children his age?
Answer: Each child develops at his or her own rate. Some children have physical or other medical problems that may prevent them from reaching the ‘typical’ developmental milestones as fast as others.
Question: Is there a benefit to holding my child back if he is having difficulties with fine motor skills?
Answer: This question is very difficult to answer. In general, holding back a child ONLY because of fine motor skill difficulties would not be necessary. However, if a child is having a number of difficulties in addition to fine motor skills, retention may be considered.
Question: Would my child benefit from additional therapy through private services?
Answer: Some students may benefit from private services. This be identified as “medically based OT” and may be recommended or prescribed by your child’s doctor. There are a number of agencies in the community that provide these services, and insurance will often pay all or part of the cost.
Question: Who should I call if I have questions?
Answer: If you have any questions about the services that your child is receiving please contact his or her teacher or the Case Manager at your child’s school.
Question: How often will my child be assessed?
Answer: If your child receives OT services through the schools, assessment will be done on an ongoing basis through observation and anecdotal record keeping. Formal evaluations may be done at some point in his educational placement. None of these evaluations would be done without your written permission.
Question: What does it mean when my child reacts negatively to touch or to certain clothes or objects?
Answer: Some children have what may be called “tactile defensiveness”. These children have difficulties interpreting some forms of touch or texture. Specially designed teaching techniques may benefit a “tactilely defensive” child.
Published by Shonda Virgil on January 18, 2017
Frequently Asked Questions – Occupational Therapy