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Questions and Answers

What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy is the practice of helping people achieve or maintain health or prevent disease through assisting them with the tasks of their everyday life(occupations), making their lives meaningful and productive. For a child this may include improving activities of daily life such as sleeping, eating, playing, and sensory-motor, or social development, as well as helping them achieve academic success.

What education does my child’s therapist have?
Occupational therapy is a health care profession which requires a bachelor of science (until 2007) or master of science (after 2007) degree and certification and registration by the National Board of Occupational Therapy (OTR). In most states licensure is also required (OTR/L). Occupational therapy assistants (OTA) have associate degrees and must practice under the supervision of an OTR.
In order for a therapist to understand and treat sensory processing disorder it is recommended that they receive advanced training in the field. This usually includes certification in the administration and interpretation of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests. Additionally master clinicians often complete a mentorship and advanced workshops in a variety of related topics.

How long does the initial screening/evaluation take?
At Play and Learn our initial appointment is scheduled for 1-1/2 hours. Keep in mind that evaluation is an ongoing process and no therapist will be able to understand all of your child symptoms and their causes in this one session. Additional information and re-evaluation is obtained during intervention sessions.

What will happen at that first evaluation session?
Typically this session will include an interview with the parent(s), standardized testing, and clinical evaluation in the OT treatment gym. The children generally are comfortable in the gym and many enjoy the experience so much it is hard to get them to leave.

If therapy is recommended, how long will my child need treatment?
No one can answer this question in advance. However Play and Learn generally follows a recommendation of Dr. Lucy Jane Miller of the Sensory Processing Foundation which is treatment intensives. This means your child will be seen in treatment preferably 2 times per week for 20-30 sessions followed by a break from treatment when the child has time to practice skills attained until a new developmental stage is achieved where new skills can be introduced. Eight to twelve sessions are usually recommended if your child has dysgraphia or motor coordination problems and is referred for handwriting instruction alone. However all treatment is based upon the evaluation results and the goals that you the parent, and the treating therapist decide upon.