If it's your first time or 100th time at Special Kids, we want to be clear and open about what you can expect when you walk in our doors. We are here to serve, and our staff aims to care for you and your child each time you are here. Below are a few Frequently Asked Questions that will help you as you prepare for your visit.
How long will it take for my child to start services?
The first step is talking with your child's pediatrician and having them send a referral for services to Special Kids. Once that referral is received, our Family Resources team will reach out to you within 2 business days to schedule a time to meet. After that initial meeting, our scheduler will call within 2 weeks to schedule your child's therapy evaluation.
How long will my child need to come to Special Kids?
Your child's time at Special Kids can vary greatly. Several factors including your child's diagnosis and our therapist's professional recommendation play large factors in the length of time your child will require services. Some children need just a little extra help for a few weeks while others will need more frequent therapies for years.
How long will my child's therapy appointment last?
Our occupational and physical therapy appointments last up to 1 hour while our speech therapy appointments last 45 minutes. Feeding therapy sessions vary depending on if it is recommended to have a speech therapist treat (30 mins) or an occupational therapist treat (up to 1 hour). All therapy sessions include 10 minutes of parent education on treatment strategies with your therapist at the end of your child’s appointment. If you plan on leaving the campus during your child’s session, please make sure to arrive back no later than 10 minutes before the end your child’s session to allow for time for parent education.
After my initial meeting with Family Resources, who will call me next?
Our scheduler will call you within 2 weeks to schedule your child's therapy evaluation.
Do I go back with my child in the therapy session? Do both parents need to come?
One parent is needed for the first therapy evaluation, but both parents are welcome to attend. For all other therapy sessions, parents are welcome to watch the therapy session, but in general, it is not encouraged. Most children see better progress and have more focus on the session when parents are not present. If a parent's presence is helpful for the session, the therapist will ask the parent to come back for the appointment. Special Kids also offers 2-way mirrors on all of our doors so that parents can stand outside the treatment rooms to watch sessions as well.
Can siblings come to the therapy session?
Siblings are not allowed in the therapy sessions.
I saw a big playground outside. Can siblings play on the playground?
The playground outside is a therapeutic playground built specifically for use during therapy sessions. If several therapy appointments are in session, the playground will be closed for all other purposes. However, most of the time, the playground is open to siblings and patients WITH a parent's supervision. If a parent does not appropriately and safely supervise their child(ren), that parent may be asked to no longer use the playground facilities.
Does my child need to wear anything specific to therapy?
Please dress your child in comfortable clothing. Your child might be on a scooter board, on the playground, riding a bicycle, etc. Please keep this in mind when choosing clothing (i.e. dresses and skirts for girls are generally not a good idea.) And the same applies for shoes. Choose shoes that are comfortable for walking, running, and climbing. Also, occupational therapy may have your child working on tying shoe strings, so wearing shoes with laces is a good idea.
What do I bring to therapy?
For individual sessions, your therapist will contact you if you need to bring anything specific to therapy. For feeding therapy, you will be asked to bring food to your session. Your therapist will call you before your first evaluation to let you know what to bring.
How does my child get in a group therapy program or aquatic physical therapy?
If you are interested in either of these services, please let our Family Resource team, your therapist, or our front desk know. The therapists over these areas will then determine if your child is appropriate for these therapies and if they will be beneficial for him or her.
Does Special Kids offer swim lessons?
Not at this time. Please contact our Family Resources team for resources on other groups in the area who offer these services.
What if my child needs to miss school to come to therapy?
Special Kids works hard to make appointments around your schedule. If a child needs therapy during regular school hours, Special Kids can provide a note for the school. If this will be your regularly scheduled appointment time, please contact your school to work out an agreement with them in advance.
How will my child's pediatrician know what is going on in therapy?
Special Kids works very closely with our referring physicians. These physicians are regularly required to sign off on re-evaluations of your child from your child's therapist. Also, our therapists stay in communication with your child's pediatrician on a regular basis.
What if I want to add another type of therapy for my child?
If you think that your child would benefit from an additional therapy, please contact your current therapist or the Family Resources team.
Will my child always see the same therapist?
Special Kids works hard to have one treating therapist per child per therapy type. However, if a therapist is sick, at a conference, on vacation or personal leave, or leaves our employment, Special Kids will work to keep your appointment time by substituting a different therapist. If you are uncomfortable with your child seeing a different therapist, please let us know, and we will do our best to accommodate your request, as the circumstances permit.
How do I get a copy of my child's therapy evaluation?
Special Kids will provide you with a copy of your child's therapy evaluation once it is completed. Please note that it may take a week after your session to complete your child's evaluation.
Are Individual Education Plan (IEP) classes available at Special Kids?
Yes. Special Kids works to host two IEP training classes per year.
Will my therapist come to my child's IEP meeting?
Your child's therapist will not attend your child's IEP meeting. However, you may fill out a release of information form allowing your child's school and your Special Kids therapist to communicate with one another regarding progress and goals.