Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL

How long will my child need therapy?

Therapy services are client and family centered and will be determined on an individual basis. Your child’s therapist will guide you on developmentally appropriate skills; and as a team, therapists, families, and doctors will determine whether or not your child may benefit from continued therapy services. Generally, a child will benefit from therapy if a significant delay is noted and progress is occurring regularly.

How long are treatment sessions?

Typical PT and OT sessions are 45 minutes, with initial evaluations being 60 minutes. Speech sessions are 30 minutes, with initial evaluations being 90 minutes. Therapy sessions are tailored to suit your child and may be adjusted to meet his/her specific needs. Options may include a “co-treatment”, where two disciplines work together with your child for all or part of his/her session.

What insurances does Positive Steps Therapy accept?

Positive Steps is in network with most major insurances, including:

Highmark/BCBS

Access

Gateway

Unison

Health America/Health Assurance

United Healthcare

Cigna

Aetna

Positive Steps is also in network with several other insurance companies and is always in the process of updating our insurance networks. Please contact our office to inquire if your insurance is not listed above.

Do the therapists provide us with activities to complete at home?

Yes, the therapists provide the family with functional activities to complete at home for carry-over of individualized goals.

When should my child be able to dress themselves?

Your child should be able to start helping put their top and pants on between the ages of 12 and 18 months, which could simply include being able to hold out their arms or pick up their leg to assist you in putting on their clothes. By 2 years of age, most children are able to start undressing themselves. Between the ages of 4 and 6, children should be able to master fasteners such as snaps, buttons, and engaging a zipper, and should be able to dress themselves independently. It is important to remember that all children develop at their own speed. If you have concerns regarding your child’s development, please contact your therapist or pediatrician.

By what age should my child be potty trained?

Children should be able to start sitting on a toilet with assistance at approximately 24 months of age. Between the ages of 2 and 3 years, your child should be able to have daytime control for using the toilet with only occasional “accidents” and may still need assistance with wiping. A good way to start toilet training is with scheduled “toilet time,” having the child just sit on the potty for a few minutes every hour or every other hour. It is important to remember that all children develop at their own speed. If you have concerns regarding your child’s development, please contact your therapist or pediatrician.

PHYSICAL AND OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

What is the difference between physical and occupational therapy?

Physical therapy focuses on a child’s gross motor skills, such as rolling, crawling, walking, running, and jumping, as well balance, sense of the body in space, and flexibility. Occupational therapy focuses on fine motor skills and activities of daily living, including difficulty with feeding and sensory processing disorders. OT can also focus on visual perceptual problems and difficulty with handwriting or upper extremity weakness.

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

“Sensory Processing” refers to our ability to take in information through our senses (touch, movement, smell, taste, vision and hearing), organize and interpret that information, and make a meaningful response. For example, when we hear someone talking or an animal making noise, our brain allows us to process that information automatically and make appropriate responses. Children who have a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), however, do not experience this process the same way. SPD affects the way their brains interpret the information they take in and also how they act on that information with emotion, attention, motor, and other responses. They may feel bombarded by information, which causes them to seek out sensory experiences.

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY

Can my child be seen for 1 one hour speech therapy session weekly instead of 2 half hour sessions?

Rather than being billed for time spent with a patient, speech therapy sessions must be billed as a “unit”; and only one unit may be billed per day.

Will my child outgrow the speech or language difficulties he/she is experiencing?

If a child has speech or language difficulties, there is the possibility that he/she will outgrow them with normal maturation. However, in some cases, a child could fall behind their peers in skills without therapy. If a parent has any concerns about their child’s speech and language development, it is best to seek out a formal evaluation from a speech and language pathologist.

EARLY INTERVENTION

What are Early Intervention services?

Early Intervention is a federally funded program for children birth to three that provides physical, occupational, speech, and special instruction services in the home/most natural environment. If you have concerns about your child’s development, you should first contact your pediatrician and he/she will be able to discuss typical developmental milestones. If there are developmental concerns, you can request a developmental evaluation, which will be conducted in your home by certified therapists. Upon completion of the evaluation, the team will decide if services are needed and guide you in the next steps of the process. All Early Intervention services are completed in the home or community setting.

How do I determine if my child is eligible for Early Intervention?

In order to receive EI services, the child must have a developmental evaluation completed with a qualifying score in at least 1 developmental area. The Battelle Developmental Inventory is used to assess a child, ages birth to three, in 5 areas of development: adaptive, personal-social, communication, motor, and cognitive. Based on the area in which the child had a qualifying score, a physical, occupational, speech, or developmental therapist can provide services.

What is a Developmental therapist and how will they help my child?

Our developmental therapists are certified teachers and have classroom experience working with children from birth through school age. They can assist your child with global development focusing on cognitive, personal social, language, motor, and personal responsibility/self care skills.

Since a developmental therapist works on global development skills, activities will be planned based on each individual’s needs. Common activities include puzzles, stacking and nesting of objects, picture recognition/identification, and shape sorters. A developmental therapist can also help with behavioral issues and provide parents with ideas and strategies to help their child.