Getting Started with Occupational Therapy

Has your child just been diagnosed with Autism? Don't know what to do? Follow these 10 easy steps to begin Occupational Therapy services to increase your child's independence with daily tasks, problem solving skills, core strength, handwriting, self-regulation tools and much more. Your child will be asking to go therapy because OT is so much fun from the play based therapeutic and motivating activities.

1. Schedule an appointment with your child's pediatrician and bring documentation of diagnosis to discuss pediatric Occupational Therapy (OT) clinics in the area.

2. Internet searches all of the pediatric OT clinics in or around your city.

3. Call the pediatric OT clinics to confirm they accept your insurance and/or what alternative payment options are available.

4. Contact your insurance company and verify your Occupational Therapy benefits.

5. Confirm if your employer offers a flexible spending account to pay for eligible therapy related services or products that are not covered under your insurance plan.

6. Calculate your budget for out of pocket therapies. Contact community center boards (resource center) or state funding special needs organizations for answers to questions and/or possible financial assistance. Check your state laws for autism coverage as well.

7. Contact pediatric OT clinics in your area and schedule clinic tours. Ask what type of alternative or holistic therapies they offer. A clinic that also offers Music and Speech Therapy is highly recommended.

8. Schedule an evaluation for your child at a clinic that you feel comfortable with and have a good reputation.

9. Review the evaluation results of your child's testing with the Occupational Therapist. Collaborate to write functional goals together, and be sure that the OT develops a personalized therapy plan for your child's specific needs.

10. Begin your child's outlined therapy plan and request a home program to see faster functional outcomes progress right before your eyes!


** This may only apply to patients seeking services in the United States of America **

 Written by Alexander Lopiccolo, COTA