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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 Nationwide

Select services for a specific state: ID, MT, NM, NV, RI, UT

Nutrition Assessment Services

We currently have no nationwide Nutrition Assessment Services service providers listed; search our Services database for related services or, if relevant for you, a state link above.

Occupational Therapy, Pediatric

We currently have no nationwide Occupational Therapy, Pediatric service providers listed; search our Services database for related services or, if relevant for you, a state link above.

Physical Therapy

We currently have no nationwide Physical Therapy service providers listed; search our Services database for related services or, if relevant for you, a state link above.

Speech - Language Pathologists

We currently have no nationwide Speech - Language Pathologists service providers listed; search our Services database for related services or, if relevant for you, a state link above.

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

Authors & Reviewers

Initial Publication: August 2014;
Current Authors and Reviewers (click on name for bio):
Funding: Thanks to the 2013-14 Portal Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (URLEND) Trainee group for their effort on this project.