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Planning For Your First Session

How do I prepare my child for your first occupational therapy session?

  • For an evaluation, we often tell children that it “is a chance to show off the things that you already know how to do, as well as to show us what things you are still learning”. Let your child know that he or she will be doing some things with hands while sitting at the table, and some things with the whole body. At the end, your child will be allowed to select some things to try out in the gym space, like swinging or climbing.
  • If your child is feeling nervous about the first session, you can let him or her know that many children come here to “learn new things and strengthen your muscles”/”learn new ways to calm your body”/”get ready for Kindergarten”. Children often pick up on the emotions of others; a positive and relaxed approach is best. Once your child arrives, he or she will likely see that this is a fun environment where every child feels accepted and supported!

What should my child wear for an occupational therapy evaluation or treatment session?

  • Clothing that is well fitted to the child’s body, casual (active wear), and seasonable will be appropriate. Your child may be invited to participate in messy play. Shoes are not permitted on areas with mats.

How long will my child be at the clinic?

  • Evaluations typically last 2-3 hours. You are welcome to pack a snack for your child if you think it would be helpful. Often, for younger children especially, the evaluation is broken up into 2 sessions.
  • Treatment sessions are 50 minutes long, with 10 minutes blocked off for transition, preparation, and documentation.

Do I need to plan on staying with my child during occupational therapy?

  • Whether the parent stays for the session is dependent upon what is best for your child. The parent is not required to stay for sessions unless it is determined to be the best situation for your child. Both our large and small gym are visible through a window from the waiting room. Sometimes we find it best for the parent to remain out of the session to empower the child and facilitate the therapist and child relationship, while also being within earshot and able to intermittently check in.