We specifically formatted our Finger Gym program to meet these needs. We get it--school therapy needs to be focused on educationally based skills and budgets are tight; insurance companies only want to cover illness, injuries, or significant developmental delays, and they have a bottom line to adhere to. By using a group/gym format we keep the cost down--way down. You may not be able to find a better price than ours in Westchester. So, if your frustrated, give us a call!
My son has been receiving OT in school over the past two years for handwriting, fine motor, and coordination issues. His therapist now believes that he no longer has goals to work on and that his remaining issues don't impact his school function though I believe quite differently. I don't want to go the private route yet, but I'm not sure what to do-frustrated and confused.
By working with BYB and your pediatrician we can help you find some answers. We have worked with several families in regards to obtaining services, maintaining services, or to receive special allowances in the classroom. My suggestion is to start with your pediatrician (he/she should always be a central part of your child's treatment). If your pediatrician agrees that services should continue, have them write a new prescription stating frequency and the areas of development that should be addressed (i.e., handwriting, coordination, etc.); then come to us. We can perform an independent OT evaluation which will give you a better idea of how your child is functioning. If we recommend that OT services continue, then you can go back to your school with the report from BYB and the prescription from your pediatrician giving you two legs to stand on in advocating for the services that your son needs.
And, in the case that we find similar results to what his school has observed, you will now have peace of mind that the therapy worked. Your child has developed and is at a higher skill level. We can then shift our focus to help develop a home-program with strategies that can enhance his continued development.
I hope this was helpful. Please feel free to make more comments or give us a call.
My daughter is having difficulty keeping up with the other children at school in practically everything, but especially in gym class and recess. Simply speaking, she is just not very coordinated and becomes timid to get involved in activities. We want her to be able to play on the same level of the kids in her class and in our neighborhood. We feel that many doors are closed to her right now. Would occupational therapy be helpful?
The key to what you are describing is Participation. So first adjust the skill level of what is required for your daughter to participate. For example, if sports are challenging, you may want to get her involved in a program that has fun and participation as the main focus, rather than winning and competition. If you live in White Plains, the city recreation programs are excellent for younger children. For example, the soccer program is designed to learn the basics of the game and aims to give everyone a chance to participate. All levels of athletes are encouraged to join, and while those struggling are encouraged to participate at a higher level, this is done in a supportive manner. Most importantly--they get play-time on the field! Sometimes having the opportunity to participate in a non-threatening environment with peers makes all the difference in building confidence and in aiding the child to push themselves to a higher level. While your daughter may not be the best athlete on the field, this may open some of the doors that you were speaking of. If she continues to have difficulty, if you feel she needs a higher level of support, or if there is an underlying impairment then OT can certainly be helpful and we would gladly work with you and your daughter. Please comment further if you have more questions or give us a call.
My son is in need of OT in school. He has extremely slow handwriting and becomes very tired during writing assignments. It is difficult for him both physically and mentally. Homework is extremely frustrating as it takes him so much effort to complete it that he tries everything to avoid it. I have requested OT at his school, but he was denied services. They completed an evaluation and found that his needs were not enough for him to qualify for OT. They did make some adjustments in his class (pre-written notes, extra time on tests), but this does not foster the independence he will need later in life. Do you perform evaluations that can be used to pursue OT services in school?
We have been very successful in completing evaluations used to request services from schools and educational providers. This has included receiving OT directly from a school, accommodations in classrooms, additional time allowed for test taking, use of laptops for test taking, and special accommodations for the SAT exam. We would be glad to discuss with you how we may assist you in this troubling situation. Your son is likely trying his best but needs specialized assistance to help him move forward.
I have been waiting for approved OT services to begin for my son through early intervention. Do you work with that program? I would like to begin as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, we do not work with the Early Intervention Program. I can gladly give you referrals to local centers that are within the EI system. If you are interested in additional therapy or therapy while you are waiting for services to begin, we can certainly talk to see if there is a way we can assist you.
Tim ConlyOccupational Therapistat BYB, Westchester, NY