Frequently Asked Questions
1. How would I know if my child need therapeutic intervention?
There is always a parent's instinct that something just isn't right with their child. Maybe your infant isn't rolling, sitting, crawling or moving about with the greatest quality of motor skills. Your toddler isn't sitting long enough to play well with toys or interact well with people or he/she isn't moving enough. He/she is difficult to calm down. Your preschooler isn't scribbling, doing simple shape puzzles, may appear clumsy with little or big muscles or your school age child is having a difficult time to write, read, staying focused, moves too much, frustrates easy, have difficulty making and keeping friends, etc. You may have done your own homework by talking with your pediatrician or a teacher. You read up and did research on infant/child development. You asked many questions and then conclude that you have concerns regarding your child. Here at OT For Kidz we listen. We perform free infant screenings from birth to 12 months and/or offer consultations and then offer recommendations. If there are any significant concerns, you then have the option to pursue further services at OT For Kidz however there is never an obligation to pursue services with us. We offer various types of occupational therapy evaluations and ongoing therapy services.
2. What steps do I have to take to pursue private evaluation services?
A simple phone call will start the process. You will be given an appointment and a brief phone interview may be conducted. OT For Kidz evaluates children generally between birth to 12 years old. We offer various types of private occupational therapy evaluations which is dependent upon the age of your child and areas of concern. Depending on the results of the evaluation which include parent concerns determines if occupational therapy services are recommended. Feel free to give us a call at 718-949-5439.
3. Are their non-private options?
Non-private Options: OT For Kidz also take referrals from:
- NYS Early Intervention (EI) agencies
- Special Education Preschools (CPSE)
- Department of Education (CSE via RSAs)
A standard evaluation following their guidelines will be conducted. These options are a free cost for the parents.
Early Intervention (ages birth - 3)
Parents who are concerned about their infant or toddler may refer their child to any early intervention agency. OT For Kidz are contracted with specific EI agencies who will then walk you through the process of coordinating your child's OT evaluation through us and they will also help you obtain any other therapeutic service your child may need. If you choose an out-of-network agency we can try to accommodate your selection if you have them contact us to make the appropriate arrangements.
If your child already have an IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan) from an early intervention agency, you may make a request to your service coordinator to help you obtain services at OT For Kidz. A contractual process must be completed between that agency and OT For Kidz. Please take note that we must abide by your child's IFSP regarding established goal, frequency and duration of therapy sessions.
CPSE (ages 3 - 5) and CSE (ages 5-11)
Parents who are concerned about the development of their child may contact their school district to start the process. OT For Kidz is an
approved authorized provider from the Department of Education (DOE) to provide
occupational therapy services for pre-school age (ages 3-5) and school age
children (ages 6-12). We accept RSAs
(Related Service Authorization) from DOE.
RSAs are given to parents when their child has been approved for
occupational therapy services but a therapist is not available to provide these
services for the child in their school.
The parent must contact their district to start this process.
4. What should I expect during the evaluation process?
Your child should be dressed comfortably and well rested if possible. A standard evaluation may take up to 1 - 1/2 hours to conduct. However, other types of evaluations that OT For Kidz offer may take up 2-3 hours or span over a period of 2-3 days to conduct depending on the type of evaluation, concerns and the child's abilities. Our goal is that you walk away having a greater understanding of what's going on with your child, be provided with recommendations on what to do next and if necessary give you the option to have your child treated at OT For Kidz (Although there is no obligation).
5. What happens after the evaluation?
The parent always have the option to pursue occupational therapy treatment services with OT For Kidz although there is no obligation. Children requiring occupational therapy services in the state of New York generally may require a doctor's prescription. This may be mailed or faxed to us prior to initiating treatment sessions. For those evaluations authorized by the Department of Education or the Early Intervention Program, a copy of the report will be sent to these agents and then they will contact the parent(s).
6. What makes the occupational therapy treatment services different at OT For Kidz?
Although all OTs look at occupational performance, in a school setting occupational therapy is only approved if the child's deficits are significantly impacting upon their educational performance. Because of this, usually more so than not school-based therapy is most concerned with quantitative measures (how big the problem is and based on age range of normancy from standardized test) and less often concerned with the quality (how a skill is done) and its impact on psycho-social health. If approved, therapy is generally limited to 1/2 hour 1-2 times a week in effort to limit the amount of time the child is taken out of the class. In early intervention, some have been known to receive as little as 1-2 hours a month. And often times therapeutically this may not be frequent or intense enough to effectively and/or efficiently meet the needs of the child. There may also be limitations with time, space, equipment, staff and the type of strategies that can be used to optimize your child's performance. Privately OT for Kidz treatment sessions are usually 45 minutes which includes consulting with the parent. The number of days a week is individualized and according to the needs of the child. We emphasize "focused therapy" which entails not just practicing skills but treating at the level of the central nervous system that may be hindering your child's optimal ability to developmentally obtain age appropriate skills. Sound therapy may also be used to optimize the effectiveness of your child's therapy such as the iLs especially if auditory processing deficits are detected by an audiologist specializing in auditory processing disorders. Oculomotor, reflex integration, and other exercises may be incorporated. Having an understanding in providing the right input, to the right deficit at the right time is crucial. For these reasons, you may immediately see the difference in how OT For Kidz conduct evaluations and treatment which is needed to establish the most appropriate intervention. In addition, with the younger children (birth to five), the parent has the option to have therapy outside the privacy of their home and in an environment that is established to optimize their child's functional skills. There is also the option to obtain a greater frequency and intensity of occupational therapy services. Our establishment is specifically designed to work with children of various ages, abilities and disabilities. Every equipment and therapeutic modality are specifically selected to address specific needs but more importantly here at OT For Kidz we have the knowledge base derived from many years of extensive training in sensory integration, a brain-based therapy, various certifications including auditory training and neurological based disorders. We continuously keep up on current research and strategies to maximize our abilities as developmental specialists. In addition, we are open and strongly support collaboration with other disciplines which includes nutritionist, pediatric audiologists, developmental optometrists, speech therapists, special educators, physical therapists, etc. OT For Kidz also has an open door policy with all other disciplines servicing the child which can be coordinated by a simple phone call.
7. What are sensory systems and how do it relate to my child? As human beings we all have internal senses (brings in information within the body) and external senses (brings in information from the environment). All senses bring information to the central nervous system (the brain & spinal cord). Always keep in mind, the brain controls all that we can and can't do. External senses are supporters of the internal senses and all must individually work well and work collaboratively together in order to acquire and optimize skills. If the central nervous system have difficulty processing info from all of these sensory systems the most obvious dysfunction is in the areas of behavior and social-emotional although it will also affect motor skills, language skills and cognitive skills. If the central nervous system have difficulty processing info from only one or some sensory systems then it affects the quality of skills in the area of discrimination issues (see below). It takes a clinician with specialized training and experience in sensory integration to appropriately test, analyze and interpret results and to then determine an effective therapeutic plan of action with appropriate recommendations such what our clinicians do here at OT For Kidz.
8. What does a child look like with a sensory discrimination issue? Here are some examples:
- Difficulty with grasping skills -Balance issues
- Difficulty writing; copying - Poor crawling
- Difficulty forming letters -Clumsiness
- Difficulty naming forms (shapes, letters) -Poor coordination
- Difficulty with construction play -Weakness
- Difficulty with scissor skills -Immature reflexes
- Difficulty coordinating right and left -Poor sitting/standing
- Difficulty in sequencing skills -Poor ball skills
- Difficulty Reading and Comprehension -Difficulty w/bicycling
- Difficulty with Labeling & Memory -Difficulty w/climbing
- Difficulty following instructions -Difficulty w/sports
- Slushy speech/oral motor skills -High pain tolerance
- Hugs too hard - Plays too rough
- More, more, more....
9. How does iLs improve reading?
"We read with our ears” holds much truth, but is often ignored in reading programs. Decoding and phonemic awareness require efficient processing and storage of auditory information. iLs trains the auditory pathways for efficiency and accuracy through repeated sessions of iLs’ unique multi-sensory input. The subcortical visual motor system has direct neural connections to the auditory and vestibular systems. All three of these systems must work together for proper balance, coordination, reading and sound localization. iLs programs activate the auditory and vestibular systems along with visual tracking and visual perception exercises. In fact, ocular motor improvement ranks as one of the consistently strongest areas of change resulting from iLs programs used for reading, writing and copying skills.
10. Do you take insurance?
Although we do not take insurance, we do offer payment options for our private payers. This include discounted payment plans options. Upon request, we will also provide you with CPT codes that you may need to pursue reimbursement from your insurance company. We also accept RSAs and are approved providers under the NYS early intervention program in which then treatment is free of cost for the parent.