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Choosing a Therapist

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Therapist

Experience
  • Do you have experience with a child whose diagnosis and abilities are similar to my child’s?
  • Please describe strategies or techniques you use in your practice that have evidence to support their effectiveness.
  • What is your specific experience as a therapist?
Clinic Practices and Policies
  • Will you see my child at home, in clinic or both?
  • Do you support parents in carrying out home-based therapy in addition to 1-2-3x weekly sessions with you?
  • Do you provide one-on-one therapy, and/or group therapy, depending on my child’s needs?
  • What will a specific session look like?
  • May I observe a therapy session with another child who has a similar disability/condition or goals as my child?
Roles
  • What are the responsibilities of my family throughout therapy?
  • What role do the assistants or technicians/aides play in the therapy?
  • How will you communicate and interact with the school or other services so we can coordinate care?
Assessment and Goal Setting
  • What is your process for setting goals for my child?
  • How will you assess my child before we begin therapy?
  • As my child gets older, how will therapy change?
  • How often will you assess and communicate my child’s progress to me?
  • Will you be able to see my child as an adult?
  • Are there any specific examples of why we would terminate therapy?

Examples of Specific Therapist Types and Questions

Physical Therapists
  • Do you have equipment that I can check out?
  • Is your equipment child-sized?
  • Are you able to prescribe and do fittings for orthotics?
  • What information do you need in order to bill insurance for orthotics and are they usually covered?
  • Do you recommend adaptations to exercises and/or environment across therapy sessions, home, and school?
Occupational Therapists
  • Do you have equipment that I can check out?
  • Is your equipment child-sized?
  • Do you treat sensory processing disorder and, if so, do you prescribe a “sensory diet?”
  • Do you recommend adaptations to exercises and/or environment across therapy sessions, home, and school?
Speech Language Therapist
  • Do you have children work with augmentative communication and what types? (i.e., buttons, switches, IPads, Picture Exchange Communication System-PECS, voice recorders/speakers)
  • Can I check out equipment?
  • Is equipment ever prescribed and covered by insurance? Please provide examples.
  • Do you collect data from each session?
  • At what point in the data/progress do you move the child forward to the next step?
  • Do you have a variety of motivators available during sessions?
Nutritionist/Food Therapist
  • Do you ever try to assist children who are g-tube fed to maintain/learn the ability to eat orally?
  • What methods do you use to help children with sensory processing disorder to try a variety of foods?
  • Do you monitor a child’s nutrient levels through lab work?
  • Do you require journaling of a child’s diet and behaviors? If so, are there tools to help us do this easily?

Resources

Services

Nutrition/Dietary

See all Nutrition/Dietary services providers (53) in our database.

Occupational Therapy, Pediatric

See all Occupational Therapy, Pediatric services providers (42) in our database.

Physical Therapy

See all Physical Therapy services providers (62) in our database.

Speech/Language Therapy

See all Speech/Language Therapy services providers (80) in our database.

For other services related to this condition, browse our Services categories or search our database.

Authors

Compiled and edited by: Mindy Tueller, MS - 8/2014

Funding/Support

Thanks to the 2013-14 Portal Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (URLEND) Trainee group for their effort on this project.