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Pediatric Therapy Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About Therapy for Your Child

You know your child best. If you have questions and/or concerns with your child’s development, please contact your pediatrician to receive a referral for an evaluation. To assist you with questions and concerns, we suggest you review the different developmental milestones.

Physical therapy helps to increase a child’s mobility, range of motion, strength, endurance, postural support, and balance so that they are better able to play and move at home and in the community. A physical therapist may use massage, heat, stretching, or strength training with children who have delays involving large muscles and orthopedic development. Physical therapy is also used to address sports-related injuries.

Occupational therapy assists your child in reaching developmental milestones to make them more independent and functional in their daily lives. An occupational therapist may look at your child’s hand strength, hand coordination, dressing skills, play skills, feeding habits, sensory integration, and executive functioning. An occupational therapist will work to improve these skills to help increase your child’s independence at home, at school, and during play.

Speech therapy supports the development of effective communication. Treatment may focus on language development, receptive language disorders, expressive language disorders, literacy, stuttering, fluency, articulation, augmentative communication, apraxia, voice, swallowing, play skills, and social skills. A speech-language pathologist assists in increasing your child’s ability to communicate wants and needs more effectively on a daily basis.

Please call your physician and discuss any concerns you may have regarding a referral for occupational, physical, or speech therapy. If the physician deems a therapy evaluation appropriate, a prescription will be required to begin the scheduling process. Please fax the prescription to Anderson Hospital Pediatric Rehab at 618.288.5567 or call us to schedule an evaluation and bring the prescription to your appointment.

Yes, we require a written referral by a physician or certified nurse practitioner to begin pediatric therapy. This helps us coordinate our services with your child’s primary care or specialty care physician. Ask your physician to fax the referral to 618.288.5567.

The therapist will begin by taking a medical history. They will ask questions about your child’s birth, illnesses, medications, development (when they sat, walked, talked, etc.), and what things your child can do now. The therapist will perform an assessment to identify how they can best meet your and your physician’s concerns. Depending on the age of your child, the therapist will observe different skills and activities. The therapist will then discuss the results with you and review the recommended treatment options. If the therapist recommends ongoing therapy, you will be able to schedule appointments at that time.

The pediatric evaluation will take approximately 60 minutes.

Please bring the following to your child’s evaluation appointment:

  • A current photo ID (license)
  • Insurance card
  • Referral or prescription
  • School reports
  • Prior evaluations

Please arrive approximately 15 minutes before your child’s scheduled appointment. This will facilitate a timely visit with the pediatric therapist and allow you to fill out paperwork prior to the evaluation.

Please have your child wear loose, comfortable, athletic clothing. Children with orthopedic concerns may want to bring a pair of shorts. This allows the child to move comfortably throughout the evaluation and allows the therapist to visualize the child’s posture and movement.

Every child is different, and the duration of therapy varies. A child may require a short period of therapy for balance or coordination concerns. Other children may require a longer duration of therapy to meet crucial developmental milestones. The therapist will discuss the initial evaluation findings with you at the end of the evaluation. They will discuss areas for improvement, a plan of care, and suggestions for therapy treatment. They will also talk about the plan for discharge when therapy ends for your child.

A typical physical therapy treatment session will last approximately 30-60 minutes, depending on the child’s age, tolerance, and endurance. During a typical treatment session, the therapist will plan fun activities and play-based exercises geared toward each child. You are encouraged to attend sessions with your child and participate in the session. One of our primary goals is to give your entire family skills and knowledge to help your child gain the greatest benefit from therapy.

Medical coverage will vary, but many health insurance plans cover our pediatric therapy services. Please contact your insurance company to verify if your plan offers a benefit for a specific therapy service.

We do not currently accept Harmony insurance. Please verify that your insurance is accepted by our facility when you call to schedule an appointment for your child.

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