Occupational Therapy

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am looking for any and all info on Occupational Therapy. difficult child's teacher stated they had speakers on this subject during their teacher's conferences this summer. There are two wonderful ladies at the hospital in town that runs the program. She thought of difficult child with his fine motorskills and shuffling of feet (or would that one be under physical therapy?).

    difficult child's teacher stated this would help with handwriting and hand/eye coordination. She was very excited about it and stated that if we had a referral from the pediatrician, our insurance would cover it. She is going to gather more info for me to take to difficult child's upcoming pediatrician appointment.

    Do any of you have knowledge/experience? Can you list items that would be worked on in this field?

    If I do get a referral, it would most likely not be in town since our insurance's pcc for difficult child is for the clinic/hospital one hour away. However, I can work a schedule to piggy back with his other weekly appointment.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Sorry, I don't - but I wanted to let you know that I have heard great things about this- apparently it can work wonders with a lot of kids. Good luck!!
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    easy child is an Occupational Therapist. Since graduating she has worked mostly in the hospital field, with injury recovery and geriatric patients. Her main tasks have been to meet with clients to assess things like their range of movement, their strength, their environment at home to see what sort of aids might need to be provided. Things like grab rails in the bathroom, special toilet seats to help someone get on or off; making sure that safety issues like floor mats etc are all considered. She also ensures that supports are in place in all areas of a person's life.

    I've used Occupational Therapists for me, when assessing how I could better manage basic self-care and household tasks such as gadgets to make it easier to prepare food, to turn on taps etc. My kids have been assessed by OTs to determine the degree of problem with handwriting and also what alternative supports could be used to facilitate their written communication. There are many ways they work - with the kids, they've looked at the range of mobility (including excess mobility due to joints being too flexible), the quality (or lack of) in handwriting andalso their typing ability and speed.

    There are many areas where an Occupational Therapist (OT) can help. A physiotherapist might work with someone to improve their strength or to build up their range of movement - an Occupational Therapist (OT) helps a person interact with their environment more effectively, where they are now. I know my daughter has done a lot of work with splints (and we've talked to her about getting things like ring splints for difficult child 3 for his hypermobility) but when it comes to things like crutches, that is a physiotherapist's area.

    A good therapist (in a number of fields) often can do more within their field than you might realise. A lot of people don't realise that a Speech Therapist, for example, does more than help someone speak clearly - they also help with any aspect to do with language (as distinct form speech) and communication in general. They are even the people to call to help someone who is having difficulty swallowing after a stroke, for example.

    I hope that helps.

  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child receives Occupational Therapist (OT) at school. It has helped him with sensory issues, self calming techniques, handwriting, and eye coordination. I hope you are able to get the referral and that the Occupational Therapist (OT) helps!
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Does difficult child receive Occupational Therapist (OT) services at school? My understanding is that most private Occupational Therapist (OT) services are supplemental to school Occupational Therapist (OT) services, as long as there's educational impact. I would think he should be getting both school & private if warranted. Also, the gait issue may be a gross motor issue.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First of all, the book The Out of Sync Child by Kranowitz is an excellent resource on this. She also has a book called The Out of Sync Child Has Fun that has great activities (many low cost or very reasonable - and with directions to do them with stuff you probably have on hand) to help with sensory issues. Handwriting IS covered in this, though I am not sure if it is a "sensory" issue or not.

    School should provide Occupational Therapist (OT) free of charge for the aspects that impact education. School can also provide a very durable laptop called an Alphasmart - it is greatly helpful for many of our kids with handwriting issues. This should be at no cost to use as it is an "adaptive technology". That is the term used in our IEP and 504 plans.

    I recommend a private Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation at first (or at least near the beginning of the Occupational Therapist (OT)) so that you can see all the areas that are problems which Occupational Therapist (OT) can help with. School Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluations/treatment focus solely on what will help with learning. They don't address other issues that can be helped by Occupational Therapist (OT). We took the private evaluation report to the school to help get the right services.

    Private Occupational Therapist (OT) may also be very helpful. I personally LOVE the brushing therapy the Occupational Therapist (OT) taught us. It has helped with anxiety in a major way and even with self esteem. The improvements were quite rapid and startling. There are other ways an Occupational Therapist (OT) can help - and I am pretty sure the shuffling would be covered under school, though there is a lot more opportunity for equipment, etc.. at the Occupational Therapist (OT)'s office.
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you everyone! With each of your inputs, I have become more excited about this. difficult child's teacher said that if the pediatrician refers, than insurance will pay. I asked her if it was through the school district and she said no, it was through the hospital.

    I would have to do more research to see if our school district has Occupational Therapist (OT) services. I would think if the hospital Occupational Therapist (OT) states school services would be beneficial, than I could tap into that also if there are Occupational Therapist (OT) services in our school district.

    I have not noticed hands shaking but asked difficult child about it. He stated that his friends have mentioned his hands shake a lot while holding the wii control so I will definately bring that up to the pediatrician doctor. When kids notice shaking hands, then it has to be getting bad.

    I will also mention to the doctor that the teacher has noticed the shuffling of feet and ask where I need to get that evalued.

    I will ask the teacher to write down her observations in his large and small motor skills and present them to the pediatrician doctor.

    Thank you again - anyone else, I am open for more info - the more I have, the better
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    Our school district offered, paid for & gave the tweedles Occupational Therapist (OT) over the years. Unfortunately, it only applied to how their deficits affected their education ~ not life in general.

    I now know better to go with a private Occupational Therapist (OT). Keep us updated on which route you will be going with difficult child.
  9. ML

    ML Guest

    This sounds wonderful and inspires me to find out about it for manster too.