Many parents have the unfortunate experience of trying to tell their doctors about their child’s sensory issues only to have the doctor brush it off as “just a phase” and “just being a kid.” If you think that your child may have Sensory Processing Disorder, then it’s important that you let your doctor know and get a referral for an occupational therapy evaluation. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you talk to your pediatrician about your child’s behaviors.
Be Prepared with Examples
Have you ever tried to explain something to your child’s doctor only to end up unable to think of the right examples and subsequently talk yourself around in circles? Each child is different, and explaining specific sensory behaviors can be difficult. Come prepared by writing down exactly what you want to communicate. Think about specific examples of how your child’s sensory issues impair their ability to perform daily activities. If you can bring a picture or video example, that’s even better! The more specific your evidence is, the better.
When talking to your child’s doctor, be sure to mention how long you have noticed the behavior, what you have done to try to counter it, and whether or not it was successful. Your doctor needs to deem that treatment would be “medically necessary” before referring you for an occupational therapy evaluation. The more details you can provide with your examples, the better.
Check Out an OT Checklist
If you think that your child could benefit from seeing an occupational therapist, then it’s a good idea to investigate the things that an occupational therapist addresses. Some of these things include:
- Activities of Daily Living (ADLs): These are daily activities, such as bathing, toilet hygiene, dressing, eating, swallowing, and personal grooming.
- Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs): This includes meal preparation and cleanup.
- Social Skills: This includes engaging in social activities with family, friends, peers, and the community.
Are any of these things something that you think your child could improve upon? Talk to you doctor about your specific concerns.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (202) 561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or (301) 577-4333 (Lanham office). Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.