Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions:

  • Do you accept Medicaid or commercial insurance?  

             ​We do accept Medicaid and several commercial insurance plans.  We also accept private pay clients and will work to assist you in

             getting the services your child or family member needs.

  • Do you accept check or credit cards?

              We accept personal checks, Visa, or Mastercard​.  Please be advised there is a $35 fee for any check returned for insufficient funds.

  • How long are the therapy sessions?  How many times per week do they come?

              Clients typically come 1 - 2 times per week, depending on the client's needs.  Treatment sessions are usually 30 minutes for speech and 1

              hour for OT, unless it is felt that the client needs times other than these.  Treatment time and the number of sessions per week always

              depends on the needs of the client.​

  • How long will my family member have to receive speech or occupational therapy?

              Duration of treatment will always be client-specific.  It typically depends on the diagnosis, severity of the disorder,​ attendance, learning

              capacity, carry-over outside the treatment session, to name a few a few of the circumstances.  Unfortunately, we are unable to give you an

              accurate time frame.  As professionals, we work with the client to meet goals as quickly as possible to encourage him/her to function to

              his/her fullest potential.

  • Can I attend the therapy session with my family member?

             Although it is your choice to attend a therapy session, we strongly prefer that you do not attend.  We have found that clients, especially

             children perform much better without any distractions in the room.  We will always speak to you at the end of the session to recap what we

             did and to answer any questions that you may have.  If, for some reason, we have another client and do not, you will have the email address

             to your therapist and may follow up with her at any time to ask questions.​  We want our family members involved.  We are in this together. 

             We are all family.

  • May I bring my other children to the evaluation?

              Please do not bring other siblings, especially younger ones, to the evaluation.  This time needs to focus on the client.  If your attention is

              split between the client and another child, we are unable to focus on the client and his/her needs.  It is our goal to provide the best quality

              evaluation and treatment to your child which includes an intensive interview with you during the evaluation.​

  • Will the therapist that evaluates my family member be the one who treats him/her?  Will he/she see the same therapist each week?

             Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee this for numerous reasons.  We try to pair the client with the therapist best suited to treat the needs

             of the client, some clients need to be exposed to change for successful treatment​, therapists are people to and have family obligations, get

             sick, etc.  We need to be able to move clients around so each client knows various therapists so as to not cause a major crisis when a

             therapist is not available.

  • Do I have to have a physician's referral to make an appointment?

             A physician's referral or prescription is required for evaluation and for treatment for speech and occupational therapy.  If there are any

             problems, we will assist you in obtaining these.​

  • Can I choose my own therapist?  How do I know the therapist is qualified?

            First, all of our therapists, speech and OT, are licensed and certified.  We have Speech-Language Pathologists who have completed their

            masters degree in speech-language pathology and have completed or are completing their 9 month clinical fellowship in which they must be

            directly supervised by someone who is nationally certified (CCC - Certificate of Clinical Competency).  Our OT is registered, licensed, and

            has taken the board examination and passed, as have our Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTAs).  COTAs must be licensed and

            supervised by a registered​ OT.

            Unfortunately, you are not always able to choose your own therapist.  We will make an effort to fulfill your request; however, we try to pair

            the client with the therapist best suited to treat the needs of the client, some clients need to be exposed to change for successful

            treatment​, therapists are people to and have family obligations, get sick, etc.  We need to be able to move clients around so each client       

            knows various therapists so as to not cause a major crisis when a therapist is not available.

  • What if my therapist is absent?

             Although we attempt to cover all absences, there are times when we have no choice but to cancel an appointment just as you do.  As much as

             we love our jobs and our work families, we also have our own family obligations.  Our cancellation policy is a 24 cancellation policy.  If the

             client is sick, we ask that you call by 8:00 am the day of the scheduled visit.  We will extend the same courtesy.  We will also attempt to offer

             a make up therapy time ,at your convenience if possible, so not to lose a treatment session.  We ask that you respect that of our

             therapists.  We are all part of a family and want to take care of and support one another.  

Speech Therapy Questions

  • How do I know if my child's speech and language is developmentally appropriate for his/her age?

         Please click here to review developmental norms as determined by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.​

  • What is apraxia of speech?

            Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)​

            Adult Apraxia of Speech 

  • I have heard of aphasia, dysarthria, and dysphagia since my family member had a stroke, but I don't understand what they are.  Can you explain the difference between them?  Click the links below for explanations of each

            Aphasia​

            Dysarthria 

            Dysphagia

            Feeding and Swallowing Problems (Dysphagia) in Children

            Dysphagia following Head and Neck Cancer

  • I think my child is stuttering.  What do I do?

            The Stuttering Foundation offers some general guidelines on what is considered "normal" stuttering at certain ages.  Click the link for

            more information.  If you have questions after reviewing this information, please reach out to us for an evaluation and possible

            treatment.  We treat stuttering in people of all ages.​

  • Why can't my family member drink regular liquids?  Why do they have to be thickened?

            There are several reasons that clients are unable to drink thin liquids and must receive thickened liquids, but the most important one is

            for safety.  Most of these clients need thickened liquids to prevent aspiration (liquids entering the lungs rather than the stomach). 

            When liquids enter the lungs, it can create aspiration pneumonia which can be very dangerous and difficult to treat.​  Thickened liquids

            travel more slowly down the throat which makes them easier for the client to control.  There are various consistencies of thickened

            liquids.  The safest consistency for the client should be determined by a modified barium swallow study and a speech-language

            pathologist should teach you the safest consistency for your family member and how to thicken it.  We are also available to follow

            through with these recommendations, perform feeding and swallowing therapy (including VitalStim), and make recommendations for

            diet changes.  This is done by a combination of speech and OT services.

  • Does speech and language really affect my child in school?  

            S​peech and language skills can adversely affect many aspects of your child's academic career.  The American Speech-Language-Hearing

            Association has a website with some of the ways children can be touched by these in the classroom.  Click here .

            Another Resource

  • My child can't say his "l" or "r" sound.  Is that ok?

            Speech-language pathologists have developmental norms/guidelines they use to determine ​if your child is within normal limits for

            his/her age or is delayed and would benefit from skilled speech therapy services for an articulation and/or a phonological delays. 

            Rebecca Harvey from The Speech Hut compiled the Iowa-Nebraska Articulation Norms into a great visual tool for parents to understand              what souds should develop at what age.

            We, as SLPs, are also looking at patterns of speech errors.  These patterns are called phonological processes.  These phonological

            processes are all normal at some point, but become disordered after a certain age.  Click here for a description of phonological

            processes and at what age these should be eliminated.

  • What can I do, at home, to help my child with communication?

            There are so many ways you can help your child at home without it feeling like the dreaded "h" word - "homework."​  Although your

            therapists at The SpOT Clinic will give you suggestions and will answer any questions that you may have, we are also giving you some

            resources here.  ASHA suggests these ideas for grades K - 5.  Other references:

            Birth to age 3 suggestions

            Expanding language skills

            School-Age Children

            Social Skills and School

Occupational Therapy Questions

  • What is sensory integration therapy? 

            The following links will provide additional information.  For further questions, please allow us to educate you in more detail.

            Sensory Integration Therapy​ and Sensory Diets

            Sensory Integration Treatment in Children with Autism

  • What are fine motor skills?

            Fine motor skills include the use of the small muscles in the hands. Some fine motor skills include grasping, writing, cutting with

            scissors, shoe-tying, and fastening buttons. We need these to be able to care for ourselves and to functionally participate in activities

            at school, in the community, and at home. Occupational therapy helps clients to develop and improve these skills.  

  • What are some characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder?  Is my child on the spectrum?  I'm an adult and I have some symptoms of autism, what do I do?

            This quite a complex question to answer.  As stated in the diagnosis, Autism is on a very wide spectrum from severe to mild.  Autism 

            is becoming more widely diagnosed at an earlier age.  Correct early diagnosis is important for early intervention.  A pediatrician can

            help you with the characteristics you may be seeing in your child.  OTs and speech-language pathologists can also provide some

            guidance in those characteristics and what might be considered "normal" versus not typically developing.  It is important to know that

            no two people with autism are the same.  The Autism Speaks website offers a good description of possible characteristics at each

            age/stage of development.

            If you have a mild form of autism, you may have gone undiagnosed or untreated until now.  Many times the mild challenges that affect

            adults on the Autism Spectrum mimic symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Additude Mag Website lists some

            important general symptoms, symptoms at home, and symptoms at work for review for those adults who may think they could be "on

            the spectrum."  At The SpOT Clinic, we work with children and adults on the Autism Spectrum to assist all clients to be able to more

            productive and successive.

  • How does OT help with handwriting skills?

            Occupational therapists can have a major impact on the success of handwriting skills in those who have deficits for various

            reasons. Some of these difficulties may include: ​

  1.  Knowing how to form letters and numbers from memory

  2. Letter/Number orientation (direction the letters/numbers are facing)  

  3. Placement of the letters/numbers on the lines of the paper

  4. Size of the letters/numbers

  5. Starting the letters/numbers at the proper place

  6. How to sequence the formation of the letters/numbers

  7. Spacing between letters and words

  8. Handwriting control, neatness, and overall legibility

What factors contribute to these difficulties?  Handwriting problems can be caused by external factors, internal factors, or a combination of both.

  • External Factors - height of the child’s desk and chair is improper and does not “fit” the child, poor or inconsistent handwriting instruction, child may be placed too far away from the blackboard to see how to properly form the letters

  • Internal Factors - unrecognized vision problems, poor grip strength and/or endurance, poor eye-hand coordination, poor posture, proprioceptive/kinesthetic issues, child is not holding pencil properly, Motor planning difficulties, poor shoulder and/or wrist stability, delayed fine motor development

What are the consequences for children with poor handwriting?

  • Poor grades - may be perceived as “lazy” by teachers and peers, may not finish assignments because their hand becomes tired, may have difficulty taking notes, difficulty understanding school assignments because so much energy is focused on trying to produce legible handwriting

  • May miss out on social activities, such as recess, because so much energy is focused on trying to produce legible handwriting

  • Lowered Self-esteem 

How can occupational therapy help children remediate handwriting problems?  Handwriting difficulties are the #1 reason for referral to occupational therapy services in schools. Our occupational therapists help children improve their handwriting through identifying the internal or external factors that are contributing to a child’s handwriting difficulties, and teaches the student and parents how to remediate these difficulties.

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