Choosing the Right Occupational Therapist for Your Child
If your child’s pediatrician has referred your child to occupational therapy, probably one of the first things you’ll do is hop on Google and search “Fort Myers occupational therapist.” FOCUS is often one of the first search results you’ll see, but we know you have dozens of choices.
So how do you choose the occupational therapist who is right for your child? Our OT team has some tips.
- Practice area. Occupational therapy is a very broad discipline. It involves utilizing evidence-based research, practice, science and a holistic perspective to promote independence and function and help people in their everyday routines and lives. There are occupational therapists who primarily help with elderly patients who have suffered strokes or dementia. There are those who work with those who have suffered traumatic injuries. At FOCUS, our practice is geared toward kids, also known as pediatrics. We specialize in helping children with developmental delays, disabilities and injuries reach their maximum potential. There are some general practice OTs that will accept patients of all ages, but we recognize that children require a unique approach. Having a Fort Myers occupational therapist who genuinely likes kids and understands what motivates children and how to safely encourage them is so, so important to increasing the chances of greater long-term success. We prioritize early intervention therapy for developing minds and bodies. Our therapy goals are carefully structured and our practice play-based to get – and keep – kids engaged, learning and doing their best.
- Location and teletherapy options. Our offices are centrally located in Lee County so that we can service as many kids as possible in Southwest Florida – not just from Fort Myers, but also from Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Bonita Springs. Remember that therapy often requires your child’s participation multiple times every week, and consistency is important. We also have teletherapy options for occupational therapy and speech therapy. (Physical therapy and ABA therapy are offered solely in-clinic.) One benefit of having everything in one location is that parents of children who require multiple therapies aren’t shuttling them around from place-to-place all week.
- Insurance. It’s important to make sure that the Fort Myers occupational therapist you choose accepts your family’s insurance plan – or has a self-pay rate you can reasonably afford. At FOCUS, we accept the following health insurance for therapy services: CMS Title XIX, CMS Title XXI, Staywell/Wellcare, full Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield. In addition to this, we have self-pay rates that are competitive. If you have questions about whether we can except your plan, our friendly office staff is ready to help.
- Someone who loves working with kids. Regardless of the reason you child needs an occupational therapist, you want to find someone who has a passion for working with children. Kids are smart. They will pick up on it if they have an occupational therapist who doesn’t want to be there. Conversely, when someone finds genuine joy and professional satisfaction working with children – it will shine through! At FOCUS, one of our requirements is that our entire team MUST love working with children. That helps ensure that not only is FOCUS a pleasant place to be for us, but that children have fun and enjoy coming here every day. This is what it takes to make therapy work!
We understand parents in Southwest Florida have a lot of choices when it comes to occupational therapy for their child. We invite parents and caregivers to call our offices to schedule a tour and meet with our team before making a decision.
FOCUS offers pediatric occupational therapy in Fort Myers and throughout Southwest Florida. Call (239) 313.5049 or Contact Us online.
What is Occupational Therapy? American Occupational Therapy Association
More Blog Entries:
Why Our FOCUS Speech and Occupational Therapists LOVE Puppets, April 2, 2018, FOCUS Florida Occupational Therapist Blog