Frequently Asked Questions

South Shore Massachusetts Pediatric Occupational Therapy

General F.A.Q

Occupational therapists help people of all ages overcome barriers. As pediatric occupational therapists, we care about what occupies your child’s time. Is there something preventing your child from doing the things she or he wants or needs to do?

Examples of daily occupations for kids include getting dressed, brushing teeth, self-feeding, playing, social interactions, following a routine, self-regulation, attention, sensory processing,  participation in all school demands, homework, extracurricular activities, being part of a family unit.

Because we are private pay, you do not need to have a healthcare professional referral to join our services.

 

In other circumstances, a healthcare professional refers a child to occupational therapy services when there is a problem with attention, balance, strength, anxiety, coordination, or sensory processing.

It is time to refer to an O.T. if your child’s daily struggles are having a real negative impact on the child and family unit, at school or in another setting. Of course, children need ample time to learn new skills. However, there is a window of integration that is developmentally appropriate. 

 

Questions? Call us for a free 15 minute Discovery Call 732-778-1641

At this time we are a fee for service provider. We do not bill insurance. If requested, we can provide you with a superbill to submit to your insurance for out of network reimbursement. We believe this fee for service model puts the decision making back into the family and therapists hands. It allows us to pursue a treatment program dictated by the needs of the client, not what the insurance company allows.

Two phrases that drive us are “nature connectedness” and “child development.” EXPLORE Pediatric Therapy thoughtfully combines the two in our group settings, and the results speak for themselves. 

Nature is a beautifully crafted and balanced “tool” to help children explore. They learn so much about themselves and the world around them when in an immersed nature setting. Using evidenced-based research and theories as our guide, nature-based occupational therapy can help your child achieve personal growth, confidence in their own risk taking/decision making, and skill attainment across a variety of areas of child development. 

 

Bringing your child’s therapy into a functional environment makes a bigger impact on skill carryover across other contexts. 

One large factor to consider is if your child will remain with the group and it’s facilitator when in nature. Does your child tend to run off when in open spaces? This might pose a safety risk. 

Nature is a beautifully crafted and balanced “tool” to help children explore. They learn so much about themselves and the world around them when in an immersed nature setting. Using evidenced-based research and theories as our guide, nature-based occupational therapy can help your child achieve personal growth, confidence in their own risk taking/decision making, and skill attainment across a variety of areas of child development. 

Bringing your child’s therapy into a functional environment makes a bigger impact on skill carryover across other contexts. 

Only if it is REALLY extreme or unsafe to be outside. With the proper gear, we still conduct our groups! Those warm summer rain storms provide some very interesting and unique sensory experiences!

Proper gear is the most important piece for success in our nature-based groups! (That means, don’t wear shoes or clothes that are brand new and you don’t want to get dirty. ) 

  • Waterproof sneakers / boots – we love minimalist footwear & we also give children the option to go barefoot when appropriate

  • Tall socks if wearing sneakers 

  • Clothing that is comfortable and not restrictive 

  • Waterproof sunscreen 

  • Hat

  • Bug spray – we love spraying our clothing/shoes/gear with Permethrin 24 hours prior to group time for ultimate tick/bug protection 

  • Winter time layering is key for our year round kiddos! Base layer of a wool blend, mid  layer of a fleece item, and a waterproof outer layer. 

  • Check out one of our favorite gear resources! The Outdoor School Shop: https://outdoorschoolshop.com/?gclid=CjwKCAiAh9qdBhAOEiwAvxIok7KcpdFn6_q3MhFKPf2ZEJ0iPe28DIi2B_nT3hkNvZEmUnkIp-ap4BoCZuoQAvD_BwE

After School Therapy

1 time per week for 90 minutes. This is a drop off model.

We follow the public school calendar for closures. So, if the town school district is off for a holiday or vacation, we are too. We do not close our services at
any additional points throughout the school year.

Our groups begin in September when the new school year starts and run until mid-June when school gets out for summer.

Your child should be able to function in a small group setting without 1:1 support. These groups are designed to help build
confidence, independence, grit and resilience in addition to our therapeutic goals. Also, your child can not be a “flight risk” in this setting due to the child: adult ratio.

Each group has two (2) OT’s in it for every 6 children. All of our groups have a Group Assistant, as well.

Proper gear is the most important aspect to your child’s success in nature. Waterproof shoes, layers of clothing when the seasons change, and
durable clothing that allows your child to move freely in are best. We provide guidance on this as each season changes.

Yes! We do not shy away from the darkness. We offer headlamps, lanterns, and flashlights to group participants

It is always parental choice for the type of weather they will send their child in. We rarely cancel group! The extreme weather we consider for canceling a group is high winds since our groups take place in wooded areas; anything over 35 mph gusts are too risky. Regarding the cold temperatures in the winter, if it feels like 10 degrees or colder, we will either shorten the group to 60 minutes instead of 90 minutes, or in extremely cold temperatures we do not conduct group outdoors. As an alternative option, your child is welcome to join us at any of our other site locations for a make up session at any point throughout the school year, or we can schedule an additional parent coaching call or a shortened home visit.

In short, this service is first an Occupational Therapy service.Therefore, we follow the state guidelines and regulations of the therapy process. This includes an Occupational Therapy Evaluation by a licensed therapist, collaborative goal setting with the family, individualized treatment planning to address specific goals. Our treatment takes place in nature, so we can use nature as a co-facilitator. Our after school OT groups are guided by the needs established during the assessment. Specific therapy activities are planned to address the goals of each child, which is why our groups are small and have a high adult to child ratio.Documentation and progress reporting to families isrequired as part of the therapy process.

Toddler Play Group

This is a child and caregiver model, where the parent or caregiver must be present throughout the group session each week.

No, this is not a therapy group. This is a playgroup designed as an enrichment model for toddlers. The group is designed and structured by a licensed Occupational Therapist with optimal child development in mind.

The toddler play group was designed with the family unit in mind. Many times, parents are not provided with enough information about optimal child development.
How do you know if your child is developing on the right track? Are there any gaps in their development that you are unaware of? We are here to support your child during their most precious, powerful years. Our goal is to provide helpful information and play based ideas to support your child. We are there to answer any questions you may have that falls within our scope of practice!

Yes! Siblings are welcome to join too. If they are within the age range of 18 months – 4 years old and will be participating in the group,there will be an additional registration fee. We do offer sibling discounts.

This is an 8-week nature-based toddler play group. Wefollow the town public school calendar for group closures.

We do not offer reimbursement for absences. We can, however, offer to join another site location for a make up session.

Summer Enrichment Camps

No, this camp is not a therapy camp. This is an enrichment camp. The camp is staffed with pediatric specialists including Occupational Therapists, OT Students, and Special Educators. Therefore, we are prepared to support children who do receive therapy services throughout the year and would benefit from unique support in a camp environment.

We will have camp rain, or shine with a couple of exceptions: If there is severe thunder & lightning during the hours of camp (9a-12p) we would not have camp. Families will be notified via email the morning of camp by 8am.

If you cancel your registration before March 1, 2024, there will be no fee or penalty. If you cancel your registration after March 1, 2024, a 25% processing fee will occur.

We use a pop-up potty tent which is large enough for adult assistance should your child require additional help with toileting. We do not have actual bathrooms or toilets; this is very much like camping in the woods! 

Yes, we have a changing pop-up tent where children are welcome to change their clothes. We can provide adult assistance if needed but do try to encourage as much independence as possible (we are OT’s after all!)

Your child must attend camp with appropriate gear. They will need a backpack that has a secure chest strap so they can wear their backpack down the trail and back at the end of camp. We do not have enough staff or room on the wagon to carry every child’s backpack. Additionally, your child will need a snack, water, sunscreen, bug spray, a change of clothes and a towel. 

Yes! We have an entire hammock swing section at camp for our quiet “corner.” Children are welcome to come and go as they need to this area of camp. There are many hammocks hung, so multiple children can access this space. The hammocks can be used for quiet time as they are big enough to be completely covered like a cocoon, or they can be used like a swing.

Yes. We do review this on a case-by-case basis during our parent interviews. Our goal is to provide a welcoming inclusive environment for all children, and we do our very best to accommodate all communication styles. 

No, unless they attend camp with a 1:1 support person or therapist. We do not have enough staff to safely welcome children who cannot stay with a group or may run from the group. It is a safety concern.  

We allow children with food allergies to have their snack in the hammock instead of on the snack tarp, or we simply have them sit a few feet away from potential allergy risks. Whatever the family is most comfortable with.