Occupational Therapy: Frequently Asked Questions

Questions

  1. My child was recently referred for an OT Evaluation. Exactly what is OT and what will it do for my child?
  2. How do I get OT for my child?
  3. An OT recently evaluated my child, and I have some concerns about the test used. Are there particular tests that should be used?
  4. Where can I find more information about Occupational Therapy for my child?

My child was recently referred for an OT Evaluation. Exactly what is OT and what will it do for my child?

School-based Occupational Therapy is designed to enhance the student’s ability to fully access and be successful in the learning environment.

This might include working on handwriting or fine motor skills so the child can complete written assignments, helping the child organize himself or herself in the environment (including work space in and around the desk), working with the teacher to modify the classroom and/or adapting learning materials to facilitate successful participation.

How do I get OT for my child?

Occupational Therapy (OT) is a related service under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and is provided to help students with a disability to benefit from special education. As such, OT is a supportive service. If your child has a disability, as defined by IDEA, and needs special education and related services to meet unique learning needs, then he/she might be eligible for OT services. Eligibility for special education does not mean automatic eligibility for related services, including OT. The multidisciplinary team, in concert with the OT evaluation, makes the final determination.

An OT recently evaluated my child, and I have some concerns about the test used. Are there particular tests that should be used?

Occupational therapists are responsible for determining the need for OT services. This is done via the data collection (evaluation) process, of which administering a particular test is only one part.

The therapist may use screening, standardized or non-standardized tests, depending on the need and type of information sought, which in this case should be directly related to your child’s ability to function and be successful in school.

While there is not one particular assessment tool that “should be used,” the therapist should be familiar with a variety of methods to gather the necessary information and to make an informed decision.

Where can I find more information about Occupational Therapy for my child?

  • The principal of your child’s school
  • The special education director or coordinator for your child’s school district
  • The American Occupational Therapy Association

Occupational Therapy Links

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