how do you get set up with an OT? — The Bump
Special Needs

how do you get set up with an OT?

I was told my ei that my son does not have any sensory issues, but would an ot know better?  I have started st with him and want to know more about ot and if it would be a good fit for him.  Can you get a referral from your pedi?  Or just an initial evaluation done by an ot?

Re: how do you get set up with an OT?

  • You can get a referral from your pedi (if your insurance requires one). Otherwise, I would think you can just call a clinic that provides OT and ask for him to be evaluated. OT works with more then just sensory issues. They help work on and improve fine motor skills and self care skills as well as sensory issues.
  • Our insurance does not cover therapy, so we did not have to worry about a referral.  I would ask your speech therapist if she can recommend someone.  If you are a member of any local mom groups/list servs, you can ask there are well.  For example, since I live in metro-DC, I ask questions like this on the DC Urban Moms special needs forum.  Once I got recommendations, I called up the practices and asked if they were accepting new clients and some other questions, and set up an eval at the one I decided to use.

    ETA:  EI might also have a list of therapists in the area that they use.  Just because you aren't getting OT through EI, you can still call those companies to seek a private evaluation.  Our local EI just includes lists of private therapists in the packets they give out after they do an evaluation.

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  • My son's ST was the one who initially suspected he had sensory issues. It wasn't something they noticed in the initial evaluation, but something that she noticed after working with him for some time. She let our EI service coordinator know and she got the appointment set up to get him evaluated.

    If you just started ST with him, give it a month or 2 and see how it goes. His therapist will likely have some more insight after working with him to see if that's a road you need to head down.

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  • Definitely get a doc/pedi referral.  The doc can even write a script over the phone if you call.  Most pedi's won't mind doing that.  An evaluation wouldn't hurt! Even if your son doesn't have sensory issues it may still be helpful and you would definitely learn a lot.   I'm an OT; I work with older adults, but please don't hesitate to get an eval and/or a screen.
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