|What can we offer your school or pre-school?
Why can we do all of this for free?
It is our business philosophy that an Occupational Therapist should be a resource to parents, teachers and schools. A relationship between a school and a therapist should be based on trust and professional respect. As we work with a staff, we begin to gain a staffs’ trust and respect, and are therefore able to become a valued resource at the school. By working closely with the staff, we are able to effect change in a child’s performance and get valued reinforcement from the classroom teacher. Without reinforcement, intervention is often futile and frustrating, but with reinforcement, change is often seen immediately.
How does all of this work?
Once a child is identified by a teacher as having fine motor delay, a screening permission slip is sent home and signed by the parent. A free screening is then administered. At that point we may recommend immediate intervention or make recommendations to the teacher and parents for follow up activities with the agreement that we will re-screen the child at a later date. Occasionally, problems are evident that are out of the scope of our services, so referrals to other professionals are recommended.
If a problem is identified during the screening process, an assessment is then administered. This can be a very detailed report or it could be a basic write-up detailing the child’s problem areas using jargon free language. Typically a 4 year old with no apparent neurological disorders experiencing fine motor delay requires a simple assessment. As the complexity of the assessment increases, so does the cost. We are very cognizant of the fact that in many cases insurance plans often will not cover handwriting issues and fine motor delay. Insurance company’s typically say that handwriting problems are an “educational” problem and not a true “medical” problem. Parent find themselves stuck. This is why we keep our costs up to 50% less than other larger facilities. Other therapy clinics often provide evaluations that are indecipherable to the lay person and cost hundreds of dollars. While we are capable of providing that kind of assessment and report, typically parents and teachers want to be communicated with in simple straight forward language so that they can begin addressing problem areas.
Following the evaluation, a treatment plan and schedule of appointments is then established. For school based intervention, we typically see children for 30-45 minutes per week. Of course, this is adjusted based on the needs of the child. Following each treatment session we write a progress note on a triplicate form. The progress note outlines what was done during the session as well as recommends follow through activities. One copy of the note is kept by the therapist, another is given to the teacher (for the teacher’s folder) and another copy is to be sent home to the child’s parent(s). This approach has worked very well for the past 5 years.