As a parent, starting Occupational Therapy sessions for your child comes with many questions. Occupational therapy offers exciting benefits to help your child’s social skills, cognitive skills, and sensory skills. After you’ve identified the benefits occupational therapy provides, the next hurdle is searching for Occupational Therapists in your region.
To jumpstart your research journey, the following resources will help guide you to find the best setting for occupational therapy for your child. For parents of children with developmental delays or disabilities, making the decision to start Occupational Therapy for your child can be difficult. To ease the transition, finding the right setting for therapy sessions encourages success for your child.
Occupational Therapist Settings
Occupational therapists work in a variety of different settings. For children, Occupational Therapists generally take place in schools, outpatient clinics, health facilities, or in-home. Depending on the nature of your child’s needs, each of these settings may provide unique advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore:
Occupational Therapy Clinics
Occupational Therapy in clinics offers a designated outpatient location, where your child will attend therapy sessions. These clinics are like doctor’s offices, except they specialize in Occupational Therapy.
Pros Of In-Clinic Therapy
Occupational Therapy clinics offer a clear advantage in that they offer specialized sessions. An occupational therapy clinic may be more likely to have extensive equipment and activities. Also, many Occupational Therapists offering services in Clinics have a great experience.
In some instances, Parents may also enjoy several locations to choose from. This helps you find an occupational therapist for your child that is local. The ease of appointment scheduling is also another advantage for parents to consider.
For example, The Therapy Place offers three equipped clinics, providing specialized occupational therapy for children. Available in Lakewood, Jackson, and Highland Park, NJ, we strive to make therapy accessible for every parent.
Cons Of In-Clinic Therapy
Depending on the nature of your child’s needs, some children might feel more comfortable in other occupational therapy settings. For example, some parents may choose in-home services to encourage more participation in therapy activities.
To find an occupational therapist in your area, start with a Google search for: “Occupational Therapist near me”. Several local occupational therapy options should pop up to help begin your research.
Occupational Therapy in Schools
Some schools offer Occupational Therapy services for children with certain delays or disabilities. If your child has an IEP plan, they may be eligible for these types of services. School-based Occupational Therapy works alongside your child to meet their goals. This includes help with school-based activities, such as academics, social participation, and more.
Pros Of In-School Therapy
School-based Occupational Therapy provides help for your child, without disrupting their school day. Occupational therapy in some special education classes encourages learning in a judgement-free environment. For some children, this therapy setting helps provide structure and support during their time at school.
Another advantage to occupational therapy in schools is that occupational therapists can overserve your child in their school environment. These first-hand observations may result in better success and outcomes from therapy sessions.
Cons Of In-School Therapy
Not all schools offer comprehensive Occupational Therapy services. In these instances, private occupational therapy sessions at a clinic may be necessary. Some programs in the classrooms do not provide one-on-one sessions. They may be set-up in group sessions, which may impact success for your child.
Home Occupational Therapy
Home Occupational Therapy services offer flexibility for you and your child. These experienced occupational therapy specialists will come to your home to work with your child.
Pros Of In-Home Therapy
For children with certain orthopedic injuries, getting to appointments may be difficult. In these instances, home Occupational Therapy is helpful. An in-home therapist observes your child in their home environment, which can encourage positive suggestions and adaptations. Additionally, in-home therapy sessions can allow the therapist to work with the child on skills that are specific to your home. For example, children with developmental delays often need additional help with toilet training, and in-home occupational therapy can be a great resource. Besides the obvious convivence of these, home therapy sessions also give your child more privacy in the comfort of their own home.
Cons Of In-Home Therapy
Depending on your region, home Occupational Therapy services may be harder to find. Search “best occupational therapist near me” and look for occupational therapists that say they provide in-home services.
How do you find an Occupational Therapist?
After you’ve determined the correct setting for occupational therapy sessions, finding a therapist is easy! Search for an Occupational Therapy practice or Therapist with experience. To get started, your health insurance company directory can offer suggestions of occupational therapy providers in your area.
Researching the website of each provider can help you gain helpful insight to make an informed decision. Many occupational therapy websites provide staff biographies to learn more about their credentials. For example, The Therapy Place staff introductions help learn more about the staff who will be working with your children.
Get Started Today
The best way to get started finding an occupational therapist is to think about what is best for your child. And if you’re unsure, you can always reach out to experts who can help! At The Therapy Place, we’re happy to answer any questions you might have about occupational therapy. Sign up today for our email list, and get updates about occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other parenting tips to help your child!