Occupational therapy services at the institute require a referral from a primary care physician that includes a clear statement of the referral concern. Therapy can occur in the clinic or in the home, depending on the stated needs of the individual at the time of referral.
The initial evaluation
The initial evaluation will focus on the referral concern and will include one or more of the following:
- The individual and family members will be asked to share perspectives about specific activities and tasks that are challenging within the context of daily routines and life roles.
- The therapist will assess small or fine motor skills by observing the individual’s manipulation of various objects, tools and dressing fasteners, thereby assessing the building blocks of these skills: muscle strength, joint stability and eye-hand coordination. Formal, standardized test instruments will be used to provide qualification data when appropriate and/or requested.
- Food/drink may be used to assess concerns about oral-motor or self-feeding skill development.
- Specific measures of handwriting legibility will be used when this is a referral concern.
- Mobility and Assistive Technology (MAT Clinic) evaluations will focus on positioning, postural and access concerns that prompted the referral.
The evaluation summary
The evaluation summary will include recommendations for therapy and a treatment plan that typically requires authorization by the individual’s medical insurance provider. Therapy sessions will include skill-building activities that are creative, functional, engaging and can be incorporated into a home program. The individual receiving therapy and their caregivers play an active role in the therapy process.
Short-term, intensive, small group or individual treatment opportunities may be available during the summer months for children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy, or handwriting difficulties. The following opportunities are available to qualifying individuals on a limited basis:
- Clinic-based handwriting remediation sessions are offered on a limited basis during the summer months at a (reduced) fee for service basis. Using the Handwriting without Tears© workbooks and instructional strategies, elementary-age students can receive focused handwriting instruction in either individual or small group 45-minute sessions. Candidates must be in first through fourth grade and know the alphabet. The application/questionnaire/intake form will help determine if the child would do best in individual or small-group sessions, as paired children must have similar skills.
- Hand Arm Bimanual Intensive Therapy (HABIT) Day Camp is being offered to qualifying children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy between the ages of 4 and 8 years. The 2017 day camp is again supported by the Munroe-Meyer Guild and will be held June 5-16. Camp hours are 9 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday at the institute.