Does my child need occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy benefits children who have delays in fine and gross motor skills, sensory processing, and self-care skills. If your child has difficulty with any of the following, occupational therapy can help.
- Unable to hop, skip, catch a ball, etc. like other children his/her age.
- Difficulty with coloring, cutting with scissors or other pre-school/kindergarten fine motor tasks.
- Difficulty with academic tasks such as handwriting. Unable to hold a pencil correctly or complains of hand pain and fatigue.
- Unable to use utensils to eat, has trouble dressing self like others his/her age.
- Reacts negatively to stimuli in the environment such as sounds, bright lights. Doesn’t like messy play and may react negatively to touch. May only eat certain textures of foods.
- Seeks out excessive sensory stimuli like swinging, spinning, roughhouse play
Does my child need speech therapy?
Speech therapy benefits children who are not talking, not talking in complete sentences, or are hard to understand as well as children who appear to stutter or have rough/hoarse voices. If your child experiences any of the following then a speech evaluation may be needed:
- Unclear articulation
- Does not speak in complete sentences by an age you believe he/she should be speaking in full sentences
- Uses “baby talk”
- Does not follow directions
- Does not know colors, numbers, etc. in comparison with his/her peers
- Experiences difficulty getting along with other children in social/group situations
- Has a rough/hoarse voice quality
- Seems to be stuttering or experiencing difficulty getting words out
- Has a hearing impairment
Does my child need physical therapy?
Physical therapy is beneficial to children who have a physical impairment which might include the following symptoms:
- Muscle weakness
- Abnormally low or high muscle tone
- Limited joint mobility
- Poor balance
- Difficulty with gross motor skills such as walking, running, playing on playground equipment, stair climbing
- Infant torticollis
How is private occupational or physical therapy different from the therapy provided at my child’s public school?
Occupational and physical therapy services provided through the public school system are categorized as “related services”. This means that in order for a child to receive occupational or physical therapy as a free service through the public school, the child must qualify for special education services. A child cannot receive occupational or physical therapy unless they meet the criterion set up by the state to be eligible for special education. Many students who do not meet this criterion need occupational or physical therapy services.
Additionally, students who do qualify for occupational or physical therapy at school might need additional therapy. While school occupational and physical therapists are highly qualified and perform an excellent service, the realities of school-based practice often mean the therapist carries a large caseload and the amount of service provided could be minimal.
How is private speech therapy different from the therapy provided at my child’s public school?
In the state of Alabama, speech/language impairment is considered a disability area and a child can qualify for speech therapy services at school even if they do not receive any other types of academic special education services. The state has a specific criterion, or test score, that a child must score below in order to qualify for these services. Many students who do not meet this criterion need speech therapy services.
Additionally, students who do qualify for speech therapy at school might need additional therapy. While school speech therapists are highly qualified and perform an excellent service, the realities of school-based practice often mean the therapist carries a large caseload and the amount of service provided could be minimal.
Will my insurance cover occupational/physical/speech therapy or counseling services?
Insurance coverage for occupational, physical, speech therapy, and counseling services varies widely. You will need to check with your insurance company to determine what coverage, if any, you have for occupational, physical, speech therapy, and/or counseling services, as well as what your deductible and co-insurance will be. Child’sPlay is a “preferred” provider with Blue Cross Blue Shield for occupational, physical, speech therapy, and counseling services. We are also preferred out of network providers for Tri-Care.
How often will my child need occupational/physical/speech therapy or counseling services?
The frequency of service is determined by several factors including the severity of the need, the age and attention span of the child, and your personal schedule. Most children receiving services at Child’sPlay Therapy Center attend 1-2 times per week. The length of the session also varies, with most children having 30 or 45-minute sessions. These decisions will be made following the evaluation and will be made by you and your therapist.
How long will my child need occupational/physical/speech therapy or counseling?
The length of time that therapy services are needed varies widely from child to child. Regular collaboration between you and your therapist will guide this decision.
What steps do I need to take to obtain an occupational, physical, speech therapy, or counseling evaluation at Child’sPlay?
The first step is to call the location most convenient to you. Our offices are located in Birmingham (205) 583-2883, Huntsville (256) 387-7415, and Chelsea (205) 628-9010. We will obtain information from you regarding your concerns about your child and answer any questions you might have. Then we will discuss your scheduling needs and set up a time that works for you and your child.
What other services do you offer at Child’sPlay?
In addition to our four major therapy areas, Child’sPlay offers:
- Orton-Gillingham Reading Program (reading therapy provided by a speech language pathologist with specialty training in the area of language-based reading disorders)
- Social Skills Groups
- Summer Camps
- “Handwriting Without Tears”
- Parent Workshops
- Integrated Listening
- Interactive Metronome
- Focal Point
- Feeding Therapy
- Nutrition Therapy
What is your policy for weather closings?
Center closings will be announced on our Facebook and Instagram pages. If the clinics are closed, we will also have a message on our office phones. Please call the clinic where your appointment is scheduled if you have any questions regarding closings.