One of my fun job duties, here at Abilitations, is assisting our Customer Care Associates on some of the phone and/or e-mail questions that come from around the country (internationally, too). Occasionally, I get a caregiver or parent asking if I would see their child for OT. I have to politely explain that we are not a therapy service provider so the inevitable question follows. Who do I recommend? Because I maintain several professional liaisons from around the country, I can sometimes direct a family to a particular clinic or therapist, but this is not always the case. So, how do you find a PT, OT and/or SLP in your area? Here are a few tips:
- Check with your pediatrician or specialist for a recommendation. Physicians often know the caliber of a particular therapist/group from working collaboratively on an inpatient, clinic or outpatient setting.
- Ask around for a word-of-mouth recommendation. Parents, teachers and others that have or work with children with special needs are often a great resource.
- Look for national organizations that specialize in your child’s area of need. United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), for example, keeps updated links of where to search for services in your area. The Sensory Integration Certification Program from WPS can help locate therapists in each state that have completed this training.
- Check for additional credentials and/or expertise. National organizations, like the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), have a search engine for finding a Board Certified Specialist in your area.
- Finally, once you have identified your prospective therapist(s), make sure they are still a match for your child’s needs. Although written mainly for finding an OT, this guide from the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation has some great tips and questions to ask all potential therapists.
Our Special Needs Network is a sharing community. Let us know if there are any resources/therapists in your area that you can recommend!