FAQS

Terminology

What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all facets of their lives. For example, children’s activities include going to school, playing, living at home, and participating in the community. Occupational therapists address various vectors that interfere with the individual’s participation in various activities such as the context, the environment, and thepatient’s abilities. Through the use of purposeful activities, impairments in sensory processing, motor control and planning, postural control, arousal and attention, and psychosocial abilities are addressed to enhance the child’s performance during meaningful occupations.

What is Speech Therapy?
Speech Therapy (or Speech & Language Therapy) is a field that concerns itself with disorders of communication. Speech Therapists (and Speech and Language Pathologists) assess and provide therapy to people with a communication problem. Communication problems have many causes and origins. Speech andLanguage Pathologists (SLP’s) know how human communication works as well as how it can fail. SLP’s use their knowledge to determine where/how communication breaks down and utilize therapies designed to correct the problem.

Is there a difference between a Speech-Language Therapist and a Speech-Language Pathologist?
The therapist titles are synonymous and can be used interchangeably.

What is a Regional Center?
California Regional Center is an organization that exists to support all persons with developmental disabilities, children at risk, and their families in choosing services and support through individual lifelong planning to achieve satisfying lifestyles in their own communities

What is IFSP?
The IFSP is a written plan that is the framework for meeting the unique needs of a child and a family. The IFSP is not a final document; it is an on-going process. For the initial IFSP, the law requires that it be developed within 45 days from a child’s referral for early intervention services. The IFSP meeting is held after the child is assessed by a multi-disciplinary team and the family has the opportunity to share concerns, priorities, and resources with all involved people. The IFSP meeting is held at a time and place that is convenient for all persons involved and the family may invite anyone they want to this meeting.

How long does an evaluation take?
Baby Steps Therapy sets aside 2 hours for evaluations. The length of the evaluation is dictated by the testing required and the client’s ability to participate.

What if I have to cancel my child’s evaluation?
Since Baby Steps Therapy reserves 2 hours of time for the evaluation, we require at least 48 hours notice if you have to cancel/reschedule an evaluation. If you do not cancel/reschedule more than 48 hours in advance or do not show up for your appointment, your credit card on file will be charged $250.00.

What if I have to cancel a typical therapy appointment?
Baby Steps Therapy cancelation policy requires 48 hours notice prior to your appointment. Our policy is as follows: • The first time you do not give ample warning or do not show you will be charged a $25 fee. • The second time you miss an appointment you will be charged $80 (half the full hourly rate). • All subsequent no shows will be charged the full hourly rate of $160.

What happens if I am late for an appointment?
The person receiving the therapy will get an abbreviated session unless the therapist has open time following the appointment. We reserve the right to charge a late fee ($40/15 minutes) for lateness (especially chronic lateness).

What programs are available for children under three?
We strive to provide families with choices therefore a unique array of services and programs are offered and are tailored to each child and families needs.

What services are available for children over three?
We offer a variety of services available for children over the age of three that are center-based, community based, or school-based.

Is it important for me, as a parent, to be present during therapy sessions?
We encourage participation by family members and other caregivers for several reasons. Collaboration is essential for exchange of ideas, thoughts, and concerns. It also allows us to discuss what we are doing to address your concerns and develop ideas on how you can integrate therapeutic suggestions into activities that occur on a daily basis. We have found that the benefits of therapy can best be realized through a partnership with each family in whichwe develop therapy strategies that are individually tailored to fit each child and their daily routines. through this partnership and reinforcement by the family, the children derive the most benefit from therapy.

Are there preschools that accommodate children with disabilities and special needs?
Yes, there are several different preschool experiences and options for children with disabilities and special needs. There are private and public preschools options. There may be classes that are held specifically for children with special needs as well as inclusive opportunities where your child can join other children who do not have special needs. If your child is a client of The Regional Centers Early Start Program you should contact your Early Start service coordinator/counselor to inquire about options available. For children who are eligible for Special Education services, contact your local school district to discuss program options.

What if my child has been evaluated at another facility but I want to bring my child to Baby Steps Therapy for therapy?
If your child’s evaluation occurred within the last three months and was not given through the school district, we will accept the evaluation only if there is a plan of care (goals) attached. You may fax us a copy of the evaluation and plan of care and our therapists will review it to determine if it is a plan of care they can work from. If it is determined that the report and plan of care are acceptable we will contact you to discuss scheduling options. We will not promise or hold any appointments during this review time. Scheduling will only be discussed after our therapists have had an opportunity to review the documentation. If our therapist(s) determine that there is not enough information given in the report and plan of care, we will contact you to schedule a new evaluation. Unfortunately, we cannot accept an evaluation from your child’s school due to the differences between a clinical evaluation and an educational evaluation.

How long is a typical therapy session?
Occupational and Physical therapy sessions are scheduled on the half hour and are approximately 55 minutes in length. Feeding and Speech sessions are 30 minutes per unit. The last few minutes of the session will be used to discuss your child’s therapy session and review any home activities the therapist recommends. If you have additional questions or would like to discuss your child further, please email or call the therapist. If you feel you need a significant amount of time to talk to your child’s therapist, you may schedule a consult appointment. The charge for this appointment is $40.00/30 minutes. This fee is due from you at the time of the appointment and will not be billed to insurance. This appointment is also subject to our cancellation policy.

Can I be present during the therapy sessions?
Yes.However, if your child consistently refers to you for assistance or has difficulty participating, the therapist may ask you to wait in the waiting room. Baby Steps Therapy also has an observation room where you may view your child’s therapy session through a one-way mirror. Please make arrangements to use the observation room in advance by scheduling through the front office.

Can I be present for the evaluation?
You will be required to initially accompany your child to the therapy area so the evaluating therapist may discuss your concerns and your child’s history information. There are occasions when a child does not perform well with a parent present. If this occurs the therapist may ask you to wait in the waiting room for the remainder of the evaluation.

Can I bring my child’s siblings to an evaluation?
It is best to make childcare arrangements for siblings. The therapist will want to spend time discussing your child’s history with you and may have additional questions. Other children in the room may be a distraction to you, the therapist, and/or your child. Furthermore, we cannot allow children of any age to be left alone in the waiting room nor can we allow other children to play on any equipment in the facility.

Can I leave the facility during my child’s evaluation?
No. You must be present during the evaluation to provide information to the therapist. There are occasions when a child does not perform well with a parent present. If this occurs the therapist may ask you to wait in the waiting room for the remainder of the evaluation. However, you must be present at the facility in the event that your assistance is needed.

Can I leave the facility during my child’s therapy session?
You may leave, but we must have a phone number where you can be reached in case of an emergency, and you must return to the clinic at least 15 minutes before the end the hour.

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