Occupational Therapists are trained to perform standardized and non-standardized evaluations for children who are referred to Center for Therapeutic Intervention. Based upon the information provided to us during the initial phone intake or other information provided by pediatrician, school staff, or others, our OTs will choose appropriate assessment tools and techniques to determine how best to evaluate our clients.
It is essential to our evaluation to understand a child’s strengths and challenges as presented to us. We listen carefully to the areas of concern, and usually ask for parents/caregivers to complete a Sensory Profile of their child. This gives us a more complete picture of the child’s behaviors outside of the clinical setting.
The sensory evaluation completed by the child usually lasts for one and one-half to two hours. During this time, a variety of testing materials (usually a portion of them standardized) will be utilized. Occupational Therapists will assess for motor planning and function (in both gross and fine muscle groups), developmental level, balance, and reaction to a variety of sensory stimulation, including sights, sounds, and textures. How these stimuli are processed is important to determine. The child’s arousal level is also important to note, as it significantly affects function in areas of school and play.
Standardized testing enables Occupational Therapists to determine where an individual child falls within a range of children for comparison purposes. Determining norms can be helpful in devising individualized treatment for each child. Observations made by the therapist in the clinic, as well as those submitted by the parent, are also instrumental as information is gathered.
After a child completes the Occupational Therapy evaluation, a comprehesive treatment plan is written and presented to the child’s parents/caregivers. A full explanation of the assessments, observations, and treatment plans are explained. Our reports include an outline of therapeutic activities to be done in the clinic, plus suggestions for activities that can be used at home and/or school to enhance the child’s success. A recommendation for the course of therapy is made at this time.