What to expect when you enroll your child in therapy
Finding out or suspecting that your child may need rehabilitation therapy can be a scary process and determining what to do can be overwhelming. There are so many factors to consider and as a parent, you just want to get your child help. To help make this process easier for you, below is a process that you will find helpful.
The first step is to discuss your concerns with your child’s doctor. All rehabilitation services require a doctor’s prescription before any services can performed. Additionally, your pediatrician may be able to recommend a therapy company that they refer to.
After finding a therapist, the next step is to schedule an evaluation and complete all intake paperwork. Evaluations are selected based on the concerns you shared during scheduling. Testing can range from language, articulation, fine motor, gross motor, sensory, feeding, or a combination. Most evaluations include the use of a standardized test, which give a score that compares how the child ranked among same-aged peers. This standard score is usually what helps determine if a child will qualify for therapy. Most insurance companies require a standard score below 85, to qualify a patient. If your child qualifies for services, the therapist will leave a few recommendations for activities that can be worked on until therapy is initiated.
Once the therapist completes the evaluation, they write and submit a report which contains the information they found during the evaluation, the goals that will be addressed, and the recommendation for the amount of therapy. After submission, the evaluation is sent to the child’s pediatrician for a signature and then to the insurance company for authorization. The amount of time it takes to get a child authorized for services depends on several factors, including, how quickly the pediatrician returns paperwork, how quickly parents supplies necessary information, and the amount of time it takes insurance company to issue an authorization. Typically, it takes anywhere from 3-6 weeks to get a child into therapy. During this process, communication is key. You should remain diligent in contacting doctor’s offices as well as your child’s therapy provider to make sure services are begun as soon as possible.
Once the insurance company issues the authorization, which includes the number of visits allowable and service dates, the treating therapist will contact you to set up a regular schedule. During the first treatment visit, if the therapist has not already done so, he/she should supply you with a copy of the evaluation and review the results and goals and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
And this is the point you can rest a little easier! You’ve completed the first major part in getting your child the help they need. But please know, you’re job is not done. The next most important thing is to learn how to assist your child in the therapy process to achieve maximum success...and we're here to help you ever step of the way!!!
If you have any questions about the process, please feel free to contact us!