(This blog post is part 3 of 4 in a short mini-series about therapy processes)
The Evaluation Process can be an exciting time for a patient. Exciting for them to get to experience a new place and meet new people, exciting for their parents/guardians to know that they will be able to get answers to questions and help if needed. This process can be little confusing though with all the moving parts and questions you may have regarding your concerns, scheduling, insurance, etc. Hopefully this blog post will be able to answer some of your questions and get you excited for your evaluation at Sonoran Sun Therapy.
Sonoran Sun Pediatric Therapy offers Speech Therapy, Feeding Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. All disciplines have specific evaluation protocols they follow and standardized assessments they can administer. During the Evaluation process the patient and their parents/guardians will come back to the evaluating therapist’s treatment room. The evaluating therapist may have toys and/or materials laid out in their room that will be utilized during the evaluation process. The evaluating therapist may decide to use a combination of standardized and unstandardized assessments during this evaluation process. During the evaluation, the evaluating therapist will probably be taking notes regarding the patient’s abilities. This information along with the parents/ guardians concerns and standardized & unstandardized assessments will be analyzed at the end of the patient’s evaluation and typed up into an evaluation report. The evaluation report gives information regarding the patient’s current abilities, any concerns regarding the patient’s abilities, in addition to the plan of care and goals for the patient. Once the evaluation report is complete, the report is submitted to the patient’s parents/guardians, patient’s doctor, treating therapist, and patient’s insurance company if needed.
It is important to note that evaluations are not like typical treatment sessions. Evaluations require the patient to do more sitting, and completion of test materials. Patient’s ongoing sessions will incorporate play, exploration, movement, problem solving, and will be more fun. The evaluation is simply a way for the evaluating therapist to collect data to come up with a plan of care and goals for the patient.
Once the evaluation is complete, if the patient would benefit from therapy the evaluating therapist will make that recommendation and will have the patient’s parents/guardians discuss scheduling with the office staff. It is important to note that due to scheduling and therapist availability, the evaluating therapist may not always be the therapist who treats the patient. It is not uncommon for this to happen, and if it does, the treating therapist/ assistant will be given a copy of the patient’s evaluation and plan of care, so the treating therapist/assistant know how to set up for the patient’s sessions.
Michael Jankowski, MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapy Director