Author Topic: Shopping around for Occupational Therapy  (Read 416 times)

Stachetastic

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Shopping around for Occupational Therapy
« on: July 14, 2017, 08:55:20 AM »
My son currently receives OT twice monthly for 45 minutes per session. He only has 3 sessions left before we max out our insurance for this year, and the sessions will cost $200 out of pocket. We have the option of reducing the sessions to 15 minutes for $65, but we fear that isn't long enough to get him settled in and being productive before the session will be over. The only other option I have found is a therapy group that offers the 45 min sessions for only $90, and he currently attends group speech therapy there. However, it is located an hour away and we fear once our son starts all day kindergarten, he will not have the stamina to travel an hour and then have a successful session (which will be twice weekly with speech). He will be receiving 20 min of OT per week in school, but we do not feel this is enough to adequately address his fine motor delay. Does anyone know if school OT's moonlight? How can we think outside the box here?

Lepetitange3

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Re: Shopping around for Occupational Therapy
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 09:40:19 AM »
School OTs do sometimes moonlight.  It may also be worth finding what colleges/grad schools train OTs in your area and sign your son up for sessions with their advanced students (this means students are in their practicum portion).  That will be free.  But depends how you feel about that personally. 

Psychstache

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Re: Shopping around for Occupational Therapy
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2017, 09:47:18 AM »
Push back on school to provide more OT time. Say you won't agree with the iep unless the time is increased or they show you data that the time they recommend is sufficient to make progress.

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BAM

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Re: Shopping around for Occupational Therapy
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2017, 10:03:30 AM »
How about going 1x a month for the 45 minutes and then having them send a bunch of activities home with you? When I was a speech therapist years ago, I always sent home things for the parents to do. Much faster progress if the kids are doing a little each day instead of a lot only a few times a month.
As mentioned in another comment, look at grad schools. They are usually only a year or two away from full certifications/training and are still heavily supervised by teachers that have their training/certs complete. They may not be free but they would be reduced.
Try talking to your current OT also. They might have some other ideas for you - someone who works out of their home or another program that is cheaper or something. They might also have a discount if you are paying out of pocket esp if you pay right away and they don't have to bill you.

Stachetastic

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Re: Shopping around for Occupational Therapy
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 11:02:35 AM »
How about going 1x a month for the 45 minutes and then having them send a bunch of activities home with you? When I was a speech therapist years ago, I always sent home things for the parents to do. Much faster progress if the kids are doing a little each day instead of a lot only a few times a month.
As mentioned in another comment, look at grad schools. They are usually only a year or two away from full certifications/training and are still heavily supervised by teachers that have their training/certs complete. They may not be free but they would be reduced.
Try talking to your current OT also. They might have some other ideas for you - someone who works out of their home or another program that is cheaper or something. They might also have a discount if you are paying out of pocket esp if you pay right away and they don't have to bill you.

Good ideas! We definitely encourage homework and have been working with him ourselves quite a bit. I'm constantly asking his OTs for feedback and ideas for working with him at home. Unfortunately, we do not have any grad schools within an hour of our home. And $200 per session is the discounted self pay rate.

I tried to push the school to give him more time, but they pushed back and we didn't get anywhere yet. Most everything has been a fight with his school, so I have had to choose my battles. But I definitely intend to bring this up again in the future.



LateToTheParty

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Re: Shopping around for Occupational Therapy
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2017, 04:47:02 PM »
The progress does not stop when the therapy ends. Leverage concerted focus on the home program to continue to make gains.
Suggestion:  Prioritize the remaining scheduled OT sessions towards ideas for home programming, and then build those ideas into your schedule daily. Make it fun for your kiddo.
Honestly, this is truly where the magic happens. 
I am sure I am not telling you anything you don't already know - more of hoping to provide reassurance.
Best wishes!
I arrived late to the party, but am a quick study.

JanetJackson

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Re: Shopping around for Occupational Therapy
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2017, 06:25:22 PM »
Hi there!
In my profession, I advocate for families for these kinds of services and second the notion of pushing back on school to increase to at least 45 minutes per day.  They'll definitely argue that this will cut into his school time, which puts a strain on whatever their progress goals are, but let them know that YOU have progress goals for your child as well.

You may also want to look into OTA's, Occupational Therapy Assistants.  Often they can work with monthly or weekly supervision from an OT or a related therapist (depending on the setting).  You may also find that bulking up BIG TIME on the homework from the shorter or once a month OT sessions will give you lots of at-home materials to work with. 
With these materials, you may be able to hire someone outside of a formal therapist, say a QMHPP, QMHP, PTA, or even an early childhood education student (maybe a TA at your son's school?) who needs a side hustle/extra income.  Interviewing and finding the right person for say, $15/hr or so 1-2x per week could give your child more hands-on time to work through what has been assigned in formal OT, but at your home or at a local library.

I can't stress how impactful I have found it to be for families to seek outside help for special tutoring/OT/PT/ST/ABA/etc.  It can really help generalize skills across modalities, people, and places for a child to work with others.  I always give the example of my very intelligent mother trying to teach me Algebra ... No matter what she said, regardless of her brilliance or commitment, I was unable to learn Algebra until I got an outside tutor that I clicked with (the neighbors daughter, actually, so still fairly frugal of a choice)... and it made all of the difference.  This was not a failure on my mother's part at all, it just opened up my options.

Good luck!  You can do it! 

*also, if you feel like your school is going beyond being "difficult" during IEP reviews or meetings (like bullying you), you can reach out for a county or school system student advocate, which is generally paid through a waiver (although this is VERY different state-by-state and even city-by-city).  They will/may attend meetings with you (or call the school) and push back through a more legal and policy-based lens than many parents are able to (not a dig on parents, just trying to explain this as best I can).

Stachetastic

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Re: Shopping around for Occupational Therapy
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2017, 05:33:41 PM »
Hi there!
In my profession, I advocate for families for these kinds of services and second the notion of pushing back on school to increase to at least 45 minutes per day.  They'll definitely argue that this will cut into his school time, which puts a strain on whatever their progress goals are, but let them know that YOU have progress goals for your child as well.

You may also want to look into OTA's, Occupational Therapy Assistants.  Often they can work with monthly or weekly supervision from an OT or a related therapist (depending on the setting).  You may also find that bulking up BIG TIME on the homework from the shorter or once a month OT sessions will give you lots of at-home materials to work with. 
With these materials, you may be able to hire someone outside of a formal therapist, say a QMHPP, QMHP, PTA, or even an early childhood education student (maybe a TA at your son's school?) who needs a side hustle/extra income.  Interviewing and finding the right person for say, $15/hr or so 1-2x per week could give your child more hands-on time to work through what has been assigned in formal OT, but at your home or at a local library.

I can't stress how impactful I have found it to be for families to seek outside help for special tutoring/OT/PT/ST/ABA/etc.  It can really help generalize skills across modalities, people, and places for a child to work with others.  I always give the example of my very intelligent mother trying to teach me Algebra ... No matter what she said, regardless of her brilliance or commitment, I was unable to learn Algebra until I got an outside tutor that I clicked with (the neighbors daughter, actually, so still fairly frugal of a choice)... and it made all of the difference.  This was not a failure on my mother's part at all, it just opened up my options.

Good luck!  You can do it! 

*also, if you feel like your school is going beyond being "difficult" during IEP reviews or meetings (like bullying you), you can reach out for a county or school system student advocate, which is generally paid through a waiver (although this is VERY different state-by-state and even city-by-city).  They will/may attend meetings with you (or call the school) and push back through a more legal and policy-based lens than many parents are able to (not a dig on parents, just trying to explain this as best I can).

An OTA is actually who works with him at school, and she has been wonderful. I'm going to reach out to her to see if any students there get more than 20 min a week, and also see if she moonlights. I love the idea of an OT tutor, even one who is not an OT. We work with him a lot, but he is more receptive to working with his teachers/therapists than with Mom and Dad.

We have had a lot of issues with our district, and have been in frequent contact with our local advocate. It has been quite a journey, and he hasn't even set foot in their buildings yet!

JanetJackson

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Re: Shopping around for Occupational Therapy
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2017, 08:34:12 AM »
I am so sorry- I wish these kinds of challenges were rare, but I see it in ALMOST every student/or adult that I work with unless they are phenomenally wealthy.
Keep fighting the good fight, and perhaps look into a parent support group or meet-up before burn out starts to kick in regarding this fight.  Connecting parents has been the most useful thing I have ever provided for my clients.
Good luck!




Hi there!
In my profession, I advocate for families for these kinds of services and second the notion of pushing back on school to increase to at least 45 minutes per day.  They'll definitely argue that this will cut into his school time, which puts a strain on whatever their progress goals are, but let them know that YOU have progress goals for your child as well.

You may also want to look into OTA's, Occupational Therapy Assistants.  Often they can work with monthly or weekly supervision from an OT or a related therapist (depending on the setting).  You may also find that bulking up BIG TIME on the homework from the shorter or once a month OT sessions will give you lots of at-home materials to work with. 
With these materials, you may be able to hire someone outside of a formal therapist, say a QMHPP, QMHP, PTA, or even an early childhood education student (maybe a TA at your son's school?) who needs a side hustle/extra income.  Interviewing and finding the right person for say, $15/hr or so 1-2x per week could give your child more hands-on time to work through what has been assigned in formal OT, but at your home or at a local library.

I can't stress how impactful I have found it to be for families to seek outside help for special tutoring/OT/PT/ST/ABA/etc.  It can really help generalize skills across modalities, people, and places for a child to work with others.  I always give the example of my very intelligent mother trying to teach me Algebra ... No matter what she said, regardless of her brilliance or commitment, I was unable to learn Algebra until I got an outside tutor that I clicked with (the neighbors daughter, actually, so still fairly frugal of a choice)... and it made all of the difference.  This was not a failure on my mother's part at all, it just opened up my options.

Good luck!  You can do it! 

*also, if you feel like your school is going beyond being "difficult" during IEP reviews or meetings (like bullying you), you can reach out for a county or school system student advocate, which is generally paid through a waiver (although this is VERY different state-by-state and even city-by-city).  They will/may attend meetings with you (or call the school) and push back through a more legal and policy-based lens than many parents are able to (not a dig on parents, just trying to explain this as best I can).

An OTA is actually who works with him at school, and she has been wonderful. I'm going to reach out to her to see if any students there get more than 20 min a week, and also see if she moonlights. I love the idea of an OT tutor, even one who is not an OT. We work with him a lot, but he is more receptive to working with his teachers/therapists than with Mom and Dad.

We have had a lot of issues with our district, and have been in frequent contact with our local advocate. It has been quite a journey, and he hasn't even set foot in their buildings yet!

Stachetastic

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Re: Shopping around for Occupational Therapy
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2017, 12:19:35 PM »
I am so sorry- I wish these kinds of challenges were rare, but I see it in ALMOST every student/or adult that I work with unless they are phenomenally wealthy.
Keep fighting the good fight, and perhaps look into a parent support group or meet-up before burn out starts to kick in regarding this fight.  Connecting parents has been the most useful thing I have ever provided for my clients.
Good luck!



Yes!! We have been attending a support group in the next county over, as there isn't one in our community. I am seriously considering starting one myself, but I don't know if I have the time to commit to it at the moment. I'm thinking about starting a community facebook support group at the very least. The group we've connected with has been AMAZING.