Frequently Asked Questions
What age groups do you serve?
Our clients span a wide range of ages, from infants and toddlers to young adults. The majority of our clientele are in the preschool and school-age ranges.
My child’s teacher told me that my child might benefit from occupational therapy. What is it?
Occupational Therapists who specialize in pediatrics are trained to create opportunities for children to master developmental tasks and achieve independence in their home, school, and community. The occupation of childhood is to develop the skills necessary to become a functional, independent adult. These skills include: Regulation of arousal level in order to attend, sensory discrimination and processing, development of fine motor and gross motor skills, age appropriate self-care skills, and self-esteem.
Does my child need occupational therapy?
The determination of need for services is made by the referral source in conjunction with a review of evaluation findings and parent input. Each child and situation is unique. Most children receiving therapy come on a regular basis, usually once a week for a one-hour session over a period of time. The duration of treatment will be determined by your therapist with your input. Not every child who is seen for an evaluation will require treatment.
What happens during the initial visit?
Typically, the therapist will have a phone conversation with the parent prior to the initial visit to prepare for your child’s evaluation. If there are previous reports or written information available, your therapist may request a review of that information as well.
We have a detailed parent information packet that we request you complete at, or prior to, the initial session. By taking the time to complete this material before the initial visit, your therapist’s understanding of your child during the first visit will be greatly enhanced. It will also help you formulate thoughts regarding your concerns about your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
Assessment with children often looks like play. Children often do not realize that they are being evaluated. The first session(s) are designed to assess your child’s level of functioning in both gross and fine motor skills, sensory processing, daily living and play skills, and to determine factors that may interfere with age appropriate skill acquisition. Generally the sessions are about 1 hour and combine structured and unstructured activities.
I have a prescription from my child’s physician. Do I need to submit it to the therapist?
Occupational Therapists are licensed by the State of New Jersey and do not require written physician’s prescription for assessment and treatment. A written prescription may be helpful to assist you in collecting reimbursement from your insurance carrier if you do have a medical diagnosis prior to your initial visit. Should you have a prescription, we suggest that you make a copy of the prescription and submit the original to the insurance company. Save the copy for your records. The therapist can also keep a copy in your child’s file. A prescription does not guarantee reimbursement.
What is sensory integration? What does the term mean?
Sensory Integration is used to describe certain processes that go on in our brain, allowing us to make sense of the information we get from our environment and act on it. The term refers to the process by which the brain interprets and organizes various sensory experiences including sight, sound, smell, touch, movement, body awareness, and the pull of gravity, and interprets it so that we can respond in an appropriate, effective, and meaningful way. Sensory integration provides a foundation for more complex learning and behavior. It happens naturally, unconsciously, and spontaneously throughout our day. For some individuals sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should.
Sensory integration dysfunction can result in motor development difficulties, learning difficulties, or behavioral concerns.
Are there strategies that I can learn to help my child at home?
There are many strategies that can be provided to a parent to help their child at home. Once a therapist gets to know your child a home program can be provided that includes exercises, activities and suggestions that take into consideration your individual child’s current level of functioning. If you have not yet started therapy an initial evaluation can be performed and you can be provided with ideas of what you can do at home.