What should I expect at an evaluation?

by Dawn
(Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

Our son has been briefly (about an hour evaluation including a questionaire with parents) evaluated and was "scored" to have SPD by our Early Intervention program. As I mentioned earlier, we're at hospital now for feeding treatment, and I've asked a specialist OT to evaluate him because the program seems to be bringing out the worst in him (head banging etc).

They have scheduled a half hour visit with him and his regular OT and no time with me or his father. This is when they will determine how to proceed or if he even has SPD. He'll be in a room with his favorite OT, playing with his favorite toys... a very comfortable place for him (his issues are more often seen in groups of children or people). Is this normal for an evaluation???? I thought they would at least meet with us as well since his issues aren't necessarily apparent at all times... and especially in an enviornment he feels very safe in. I'm wondering if I should ask for more...

I guess I just don't understand what a typical "Eval" should look like. From what I see on links from your site, it appears they are normally several hours long, and include extensive questioning of his parents or family...

The SPD Help Line Answers...

Hi Dawn,

The bottom line? It sounds like you should be expecting more from the evaluation than what they are telling you would be done!! It sounds as though they have not scheduled you for an official evaluation. Is the OT a "SIPT Certified" OT? I would highly encourage one that is to do this evaluation!! If you need help finding one, please use the link to the therapist database in my first newsletter How To Find An OT For SPD. The good news? You are in Maryland... there are plenty of resources available there for SIPT certified OT's and/or evaluations.

Next, I have the perfect article for you. It will talk about the following:

  • How to find the BEST OT

  • What to expect during the evaluation and treatment sessions

  • How to set up the evaluation

  • What to do about insurance reimbursement

  • And, what you will need to do to be ready for Sensory Integrative Occupational Therapy

  • It is a very thorough and comprehensive article... I think if you take time to read the WHOLE thing, you will find the answers you are looking for (there is a SPECIFIC suggestion about what to expect in the evaluation too).

    You can find the article here...

    Are You Ready For Sensory Integrative OT?

    YES, the evaluation should be an hour or two (not as long if he is still so young?) and they should meet with you and your husband for sure!! The way it sounds, it is not an "official evaluation" by any means. I would really try to get that. The "evaluation" the early intervention team did would just probably suggest whether he has the possibility of having SPD, now a more thorough evaluation should be done. Fight for it, my dear. You are right on target with your thinking!!

    I hope the article I referred you to helps clarify things. Let me know if it does, or if you have further questions after reading it, ok? You are right to be concerned with the way it is being done.

    Take good care.
    Michele Mitchell

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