Does my child need
a referral? Who can make a referral?
Any child, birth to kindergarten, entrance are eligible for CDS services.
Referrals are usually based on a concern about a child’s development.
Referrals may be made by:
- Head Start Programs
- Public Health
- Human Services
Screenings, evaluations, and services are not given without
consent from parents.
Reasons to Refer a Child for an Occupational Therapy Screening
Occupational therapy refers to the ability to do activities of daily
living (ADL). Activities include dressing, bathing, toileting, or eating.
Occupational therapists make adaptive equipment recommendations to improve
the child’s development. Here are some reasons to refer a child
for an Occupational Therapy (OT) screening:
- Tactile (touching)
- Child withdraws from or does not like being
touched or displays aggressive social behavior.
- Child does not like
to stand in line or have others too close to him/her.
- Child avoids “messy” activities
like finger paint and play-dough.
- Vestibular (balance)
- Child is afraid of activities such as swings,
- Child has excessive need for fast movement
activities; may sing or rock self often.
- Highly distractible, can’t
- Impulsive, unsafe behavior.
- Academic (school)
- Child has weak or unusual pencil grasp
- Has not become either left-handed or right-handed
- Presses too hard or too soft when writing
- Refuses to participate in fine motor activities
- Child has difficulty
when dressing, feeding, and sleeping when compared to others
- Has a diagnosed physical disability that will affect his/her
- Child has a need for special equipment
or physical changes to environment.
Reasons to Refer a Child for a Physical Therapy Screening
A child should have a physical therapy screening when s/he has trouble
in any of the following areas:
Gross Motor Skill Development (making large movements)
- Does the child seem clumsy? Fall often?
- Does the child appear unsafe
on a playground?
- Does the child drop things often?
- Is the child often tired during the day?
- Is the child unable to
open doors or carry books?
- Is the child unable to sit correctly
in a chair?
- Is the child able to get up from the floor easily?
- Does the child
have poor posture?
- Is the child older than 15 months walking?
- Does the child bump into
things or trip often?
Does the child have a diagnosed
disability that will affect his or her education? Does the child have
a need for special equipment or environment changes?
If the child
needs physical therapy, it may consist of:
- help with walking
- adaptive equipment recommendations
- heat therapy
- cold therapy
Some physical therapy goals may overlap with occupational therapy
goals. If you have any questions, call your physician.
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