Why would my child need Occupational Therapy, he doesn’t have a job?
A young child’s job is to play with toys, interact with adults and peers, and eat. A school-aged child’s job is to cut, color, write, pay attention in class, and get along with their peers. If any of these areas are impaired, your child may need an Occupational therapist.
How do I know if my child needs therapy to improve her feeding skills?
- Choking or coughing during meals
- Gagging or vomiting during meals
- Poor weight gain
- Children older than 10 months who are not able to tolerate purees.
- Children older than 12 months who are not able to tolerate soft finger foods (fruits, veggies, bread)
- Cries or refuses to try new food during meals
- Food intake is limited to a few non-nutritious items
- Child will only eat crunchy foods: crackers, cookies
- Child will only eat puree-like foods: yogurt, pudding, applesauce, etc.
- Meals are constantly a battle
- Child has a history of feeding difficulty
What are some signs of Autism and what should I do if I think my child may have Autism?
- Has little or no eye contact
- Does not babble or begin to use words , or has lost his or her speech skills
- Repeating words, sounds or phrases (tikka-tikka, uhh-uhh-uhh,)
- Inappropriate laughing, crying, showing distress signs
- Resists change, prefers routines
- Prefers to be alone
- Tantrums frequently
- Does not interact with peers
- May not want to cuddle or be cuddled
- Does not play with toys in the intended manner
- Often unresponsive to name being called
- Rocks or moves self frequently
- Inappropriate attachments to objects
If you think that your child shows signs of autism, you should talk to your pediatrician and request a referral to a neurologist.
What is the First Steps Program?
The First Steps Program has specific guidelines that must be followed when qualifying a child for services. Many children do need therapy even when they don’t qualify for First Steps. If your child DID NOT qualify for First Steps, please call us and we will help you determine if therapy would be beneficial for your child.
Will First Steps pay for your groups?
First Steps promotes therapy services that take place in a child’s natural environment (home, daycare, grandma’s house). Services at our center are not generally approved by First Steps, however special circumstances may justify First Steps Funding. You will need to speak to your service coordinator about this.
What if I want additional therapy, but my child is enrolled in First Steps?
You may receive additional therapy outside of your First Steps Plan, if you have health insurance or wish to pay privately. Being in First Steps does not prevent you from seeking out additional therapy services.
When my child “graduates” from First Steps can I continue getting therapy through PS Kids?
Yes. First Steps is a funding source. Once your child turns three, our therapist may continue therapy if another funding source is in place (private insurance, private payments, Regional Center).
How can I get services through the school district?
- If your child is in First Steps, your service coordinator will automatically help you complete the process for enrolling in the school district.
- If your child is not in First Steps, and is between the ages of 2 ½ and 5, you will need to complete a referral packet for your local school district. There are several different procedures depending on the county in which you reside. Email us with your information and we will help guide you in this process.
- If your is older than 5 years old, you will need to talk to your child’s classroom teacher and request testing.
How do I determine if my child will receive in-home versus on-site therapy?
Often, the guidelines in your insurance policy outline whether in-home services are covered. First Steps requires in-home services and private insurance typically prefers on-site. Otherwise it is determined by therapist availability in your area and family preference.
How do I find out if my private insurance will cover therapy?
You can provide us with your insurance information and we will call and check your benefits. If you wish you check benefits on your own, you may do so by calling the number on the back of your insurance card. We encourage all families to be aware of their insurance benefits and limitations.
Why can’t I find PS Kids on my insurance plan? You said you were a participating member.
We have found that PS Kids is a hard name to find. You may want to try the following variations: PSKids, PS Kids, P.S. Kids, P. S. Kids, P S Kids. If they still can’t find us, contact us and we will give you our vendor number.
Do you accept out-of network insurance plans?
Yes, if they accept out-of –network providers.
Can you do therapy at my child’s school?
Yes, if your child’s principal and teacher are in agreement.
Can my child really learn handwriting in 8 weeks?
Yes, most children can. However you are expected to practice with your child 5-10 minutes each night. For some children, 8 weeks is not enough time to learn handwriting skills. When that is the case, additional sessions may be scheduled at the parent and therapist’s discretion.
How late are you open?
While we are generally open from 8am-7pm, we do not have set business hours. All of our therapists work different days and different hours. We try to accommodate the schedule of the families and children we work with. We have therapists who work early in the morning, and some that prefer evenings and weekends.
When should I be concerned that my child is not talking?
Children should begin using at least single words by 18 months. By this time they should have a vocabulary of 10-20 words. If you are concerned, please call us for an evaluation.
When should I be concerned that my child is not walking?
Children typically pull to stand and cruise around furniture at 10-12 months of age. They should be taking some steps independently by 15 months. They should be able to walk well, increasing and decreasing speed with control by 18 months. If your child is not following this timeline, an evaluation may be warranted.
What is Sensory Integration Dysfunction or Disorder?
SI Dysfunction is a neurological disability in which the brain is unable to accurately process the information coming in from the environment and the senses. Some children are oversensitive (hypersensitive) –physically or emotionally overreacting to touch, sounds, sights, and movement. Other children are undersensitiv (hyposensitive)e—craving excessive movement, loud noises, high intensity movement and messy play. Some children have a combination of both.
Sensory integration dysfunction can affect any or all of the follow seven areas: touch, hearing, taste, sight, smell, the vestibular system (tells us where our body is in space—response to movement), and the proprioceptive system (which tells us what position our body is in—body awareness).
While children with SI Dysfunction may appear to have behavior disorders, they are often just searching for an activity or action that makes their brain and body feel in-sync or normal.
Does my child need therapy for Sensory Integration Concerns?
If your child’s behaviors are interfering with his and the family’s ability to function on a day to day basis, the answer is probably yes.
Kids can be quirky…Kids can be picky eaters...These things alone do not mean that they need therapy.
Kids should not be stressed-out…they are too little for these types of feelings. They should not avoid their peers. They should not gag or cry when new foods are introduced. Tantrums happen…but they should not happen several times a day…everyday. Kids shouldn’t run around the house non-stop without purpose. They should not avoid adult-directed play or pull away from the touch of others. New activities should be interesting to a child, not threatening or a source of fear. When you see a cluster of these activities, therapy should be considered.
Toddlers with “general” sensory concerns, may later be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (with or without hyperactivity), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Pervasive Developmental Disorder. They may also never be diagnosed with anything other than the generic label of having “sensory concerns”.
Are there any books that you would recommend for me to read if I think my child may have Sensory Integration disorder?
- The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder, Revised Edition by Carol Stock Kranowitz and Lucy Jane Miller
- The Out-of-Sync Child has fun by Carol Stock Kranowitz and T.J. Wylie
Do you have any recommendations for toys for my child?
- Toys-R-Us: Toy Guide for Differently-abled Kids (online)
- Discovery Toys has teamed up with Autism Speaks to identify toys appropriate for children with autism (online)