Pediatrician Asked You to Consult with an Occupational Therapist

“What does this mean for my child?”, “What is Pediatric Occupational Therapy?”, “What will the Occupational Therapist do?”, “Where do Occupational Therapists work?”, “How do I even reach them?”, “How will I pay for these services?”

Questions may flood in, but fear not! Let’s break this down, so it’s a little more digestible.

“What does this mean for my child?”

Occupational Therapy is an evidenced-based health profession promoting function, holistic well-being, and developmental growth through purposeful activities, education, & fun!

“What is Pediatric Occupational Therapy?”

This answer varies with each child. In short, pediatric Occupational Therapy helps children gain independence while the child works on strengthening the development of sensory-motor skills, fine motor skills, visual motor skills, and many other skills.

Children need these skills to function and socialize (see the Pyramid of Learning article for more).

“Why was I referred to OT?”

Reasons for occupational therapy referrals include, but are not limited to the following:

  • to work on motor planning
  • strengthening
  • coordination
  • feeding
  • dressing
  • toileting
  • or to become more functional in their environment.

The earlier we can build these skills, the better!

“What will the Occupational Therapist do?”

The occupational therapist may screen your child to determine if an occupational therapy evaluation is appropriate at this time, and they may consult with you regarding your child’s strengths and areas for improvement. If an occupational therapy evaluation is appropriate, they may complete an evaluation to gain a better understanding of your child.

Next, they may work with you to determine goals and how often your child may benefit from occupational therapy services. From there, services will continue until they are no longer appropriate or necessary.

“Where do Occupational Therapists work?”

They work in a variety of settings – clinics, hospitals, schools, in the community, etc. Our pediatric clinic has games, toys, swings, mats, and more.

“How do I even reach them?”

Ask your pediatrician if they have a list of occupational therapists that they recommend.

Another option is to Google clinics in your area, Yelp, or use social media to find local occupational therapy clinics.

Research what they offer, read the reviews and give them a call to gain more insight.

Some pediatric occupational therapy clinics have group classes and seminars. You can attend these classes to network with the parents, and ask them about their experiences at different sites.

“How will I pay for these services?”

Some occupational therapy practices take insurance. Some do not; in these cases, the occupational therapy practice may provide you with a superbill for the services, which you can bring to your insurance companies and request for reimbursement. This reimbursement is not guaranteed.

The best way to find this information on this is to speak with the site directly and to check with your health insurance carrier for out-of-network coverage for OT services.

If you have any questions, please contact us.