Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Your first visit will be an initial evaluation. It will typically take anywhere from 45-90 minutes, depending upon how old your child is, your concerns, and your child’s tolerance to challenging tasks. This initial evaluation is typically longer than any following appointments. The therapist will ask you questions about your child’s developmental history, his/her typical day, and in some cases, YOUR typical day. You will also talk about your concerns. If possible, please write these down, so that all your concerns and questions may be addressed. The therapist will then take some time to evaluate and assess your child by observing your child doing different activities such as playing with toys, standing, sitting, moving and making transitions between activities. We will use standardized testing, when appropriate, to determine what your child’s strengths and weaknesses are in relation to other children in the same age range. After you review and discuss the general results with the therapist, you will work together to come up with a treatment program and goals for your child’s therapy, if appropriate. It’s important that you communicate openly with the therapist. It’s typical to review your child’s progress and do a formal reassessment every six months. The most important thing is that you agree on the goals of your child’s therapy and how you’re going to achieve them. Because therapy isn’t just the time you spend in treatment sessions. It’s all the little things you do every day to support your child’s development!
KidAbility requires a referral from your child’s pediatrician or other physician requesting an evaluation and treatment for the appropriate type of therapy (occupational and/or physical). After we receive this via fax or e-mail from your physician, we will call you to schedule an initial assessment. Please print out and complete the new patient paperwork under the FORMS link to either fax or e-mail to us prior to your child’s assessment or have it ready at the time of assessment. If your insurance is covering the cost of therapy services, please make sure you have your insurance card and driver’s license available. Any applicable co-pays will be processed at the time of the visit.
Treatment sessions usually last 30-45 minutes and are made as “standing appointments” (same time of the day on a weekly basis), unless other arrangements are made between you and your therapist.
This is highly variable. It depends on the child’s diagnosis, the severity of his/her impairments, past medical history, etc. The therapist is constantly using clinical observation skills to re-evaluate your child’s skill level and to progress your child toward meeting his/her therapy goals.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, pediatric physical therapy “promotes independence, increases participation, facilitates motor development and function, improves strength and endurance, enhances learning opportunities, and eases challenges with daily caregiving.” In other words, physical therapists help your child move around with more independence and participate in the things that they love and need to do at school, at home, with friends, and while playing! Our physical therapists help with:
- Positioning during daily routines and activities
- Upper and lower extremity strength, tone, coordination
- Functional independence
- Overall mobility, agility and balance
- Bone and joint injuries
- Muscle disorders
- Gait Training
- Working with assistive devices (i.e. crutches, walkers, wheelchairs)
Occupational therapy (OT) helps people with injuries or disabilities increase their independence and participate in daily routines or their daily occupation. A child’s “occupations” include school, play, and taking care of daily living skills such as bathing, dressing, feeding, etc. In therapy, we work on a variety of skills, depending on the area of need. Some of the problems that a pediatric occupational therapist might address include:
- Poor fine-motor skills (holding a pencil/marker, cutting, shoe-tying, utensil use)
- Poor playground skills (fear of climbing, low muscle tone, core weakness)
- Visual Perceptual problems
- Poor handwriting skills
- Problems with eye-hand coordination
- Picky eating, having a hard time getting messy or getting TOO messy (depending on what is more appropriate for your child’s age)
- Dependence with Daily living Skills (bathing, tooth-brushing, dressing, self-feeding)
- Overall weakness or poor body awareness
In most cases, health insurance will cover your treatment. Click on our insurance link above for a summary of insurances we accept and make sure you ask your insurance carrier to clarify your benefits as it applies to your child’s therapy. Below are some general questions you can ask your insurance carrier ahead of time.
- Does my plan cover (OT, PT) therapy?
- Is there a cap on (OT, PT) therapy benefits, either monetary or number-of-sessions?
- Is an evaluation covered as part of my (OT, PT) therapy benefits? Is there a limitation on frequency of evaluations?
- What do I need to provide in order to take advantage of my (OT, PT) therapy benefits?
- What percentage of (OT, PT) therapy is covered by my insurance?
- What is my "out of pocket" max and what happens when I reach that dollar amount?
Co-payments, deductibles and co-insurance amounts are due at the time of service. We will then bill the remaining balance to your insurance carrier. It usually takes 2-3 weeks before a billed service will reflect on your account. After your insurance company has responded to the claim, we will apply any amounts paid to your account. If there is a balance for any service due to limitations of your coverage, we will notify you so that you may contact your insurance carrier if you feel there is an error. At the same time, we will mail you a statement reflecting the unpaid balance. If your insurance carrier later provides payment for a balance you paid, we will apply this amount to your account as a credit and would not require co-payments, etc. as long as your account reflects a credit. If you prefer, you may also request for us to provide a check in the amount of your credit at any time. If you should need to make special arrangements concerning your bill, please call the office prior to your appointment.
We accept cash, personal checks, and major credit cards.
Your child will be evaluated and treated by one of our licensed and highly trained physical or occupational therapists, and he/she will also treat your child during subsequent visits. At KidAbility, we believe that it is very important for your child, you as the caregiver, and the therapist to work together to assist in moving your child toward becoming more independent in their environment. For that to happen, it is important that you and your child trust your therapist and communicate openly with him/her.
In Texas, physical/occupational therapists cannot make a medical diagnosis. This is something that your child’s physician(s) will provide for you.
Your child’s therapist will likely provide “homework” for you and your child to carry out at home. This homework (or home program) may include exercises to strengthen your child’s muscles, sensory techniques to affect your child’s attention and arousal levels, activities to improve his/her fine motor skills, and ways to improve your child’s independence in his/her daily routine.
Success begins with consistency of treatment. The more consistently your child can participate in therapy, the better his/her results. We appreciate a 24 hour notice for cancellations in order to allow the therapist to potentially schedule another child or attend to other matters. Please call us in advance if you must cancel. Ideally, we can reschedule your appointment for a more convenient time. If an individual is scheduled for an appointment, has not called to cancel, and has not shown up for the appointment, it will be considered a “no-show”. After three “no-shows”, your child may be discharged from therapy at KidAbility.