Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What should we expect from the evaluation?
A: You will receive intake paperwork by email and we will to fill out a number of questionnaires prior to the evaluation. This allows the focus of this session to be on your child. We want to test your child’s best performance, so the therapist will start by helping your child become comfortable in a new environment. Our therapists will begin to attune to your child’s sensory and social-emotional needs during the initial introduction. Evaluation will often involve work at table top, and also a portion of the evaluation will take place in one of our play gyms. The rooms are filled with swings, mats, foam blocks, and toys. The therapist will observe how your child interacts with the equipment in a new environment, and may ask you to play with your child to assess typical engagement. Even if your child is being evaluated for feeding delays we want to know how their sensory systems are taking in information.
Q: What should I tell my child about the evaluation?
We want your child to feel relaxed, comfortable, and supported during the initial evaluation. We believe in assessing your child’s best performance. It may help to explain, beforehand, the purpose of the evaluation and what to expect. Of course the explanation will depend on the age and individual needs of your child. For example:
“Everybody’s body is different. At Connect Pediatric Therapy the therapists will help us learn about your body, and how to make some things easier for you. The therapist wants to get to know you and will ask you do to some things, play some games and maybe have a snack. This will help them get to know you better and learn what your body is good at. Some things might be a little hard, but the therapist will be there to help you.
If your child still seems unsure or anxious, ensure that you will be there the whole time to watch and cheer him/her on!
Q: Will I get to talk to the therapist after the evaluation?
A: Unlike many clinics, we offer adult-only caregiver meetings and we believe this is an essential part of our therapy process. In most cases this meeting is scheduled approximately one week after the initial evaluation. In this meeting your therapist will review findings from the evaluation and work with you to set family-centered goals. We encourage further caregiver meetings throughout the therapy process where you can collaborate with your therapist on treatment priorities, home programs, and updates on progress.
Q: What will a therapy session look like?
A: If therapy is done well it should look like play. Children learn best when they are engaged and having fun. You therapist will talk to you about the benefits of play based therapy. We encourage caregivers to get involved too! While it may just look like fun, there are many neurological benefits to play and social connection. We will help you tune into your child’s strengths and challenge areas to support engagement and organized play. We will also provide strategies for helping your child increase body and emotional awareness during play.
Q: How long will my child need therapy?
A: All children are different. In general we have found that most children with sensory processing difficulties benefit from at least 30 sessions. If your child does an intensive program that means they will be in therapy for 10 weeks (2 1/2 months). If you choose to do weekly services your child will be in therapy for 30 weeks (6 months).
Q: Is therapy safe during COVID?
A: Connect is a small clinic where only one child is treated at a time. Everyone that is in the clinic must wear a mask. Upon entering the clinic everyone washes their hands and hand sanitizer is available at all times. Appointments are scheduled with time for cleaning in between. Ultimately everyone has to make decisions that make them feel safe. We offer telehealth for all our patients.
Q: We have tried doing occupational therapy somewhere else and "it didn't work". How is Connect different?
A: Sometimes children struggle in larger busy clinics. Connect is a small clinic with only 1 child being treated at a time. This allows for minimal distractions and children can focus on treatment. Since we also offer home based services treatment can take place in their most comfortable environment and children can quickly develop relationship with the therapist
Q: Can I use my insurance at Connect?
A: Yes-we are considered an out of network provider for most insurances. This usually means that you are working towards your "out of network" deductible vs an "in network" deductible.
Q: Why are you out of network?
A: We work for families; not insurance companies. Therefore our focus is on doing what it takes to achieve the goals of each family instead of building our practice around insurance reimbursement. We have the flexibility to treat kids wherever and however best meets their needs vs being constrained by insurance reimbursement requirments.
Families pay upfront and we provide all the needed information via a superbill to file out of network benefits. The claim can be filed in less than five minutes using Reimbursify. Our clinic will help you set this up and pay all the filing fees.
Q: Can I drop my child off for therapy sessions?
A: We believe strongly that parents should be a part of therapy sessions. Sometimes a therapist will prefer to have a few sessions alone with your child to build a strong relationship, and to learn about your child’s individual sensory and regulatory needs. After these initial sessions we ask that caregivers be available to play during sessions, or observe through our 1-way mirrors. This allows the therapist to give you a better understanding of what is happening during sessions, to make recommendations for home, or provide coaching during play
Q: Why is caregiver involvement so important?
A: Parents/guardians represent the first relationship a child develops. Through this relationship children gain a foundation upon which to learn other skills such as motor skills, communication skills, cognitive skills. Important concepts such as what is meaningful and important to pay attention to, problem solving, what is safe, and how to interact with others
Progress can be made faster is therapy when there is a strong caregiver-child relationship
The goal is for caregivers to feel empowered by gaining the knowledge and practice to support their child. They learn frameworks that assist in trouble shooting when a challenging situations arises in daily life. These frameworks serve as a foundation and empower parents to come up with their own strategies and routines as the needs of their children change. Frameworks support parents for the long term. No need for the therapist to "update" the home program because the caregiver and child have the tools they need.
There is consistent carry over from therapy when caregivers are present. Therefore faster progress and shorter duration of therapy.