Therapy covered through the school?? HELP!!

Amie - posted on 12/31/2008 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I keep ready in many of the posts that others have been successful in getting OT through the schools? We live in Michigan and the school is aware of my daughter Maddyn's sensory issues, however, I was told that they can not provide OT for sensory issues? I wonder if anyone knows if this varries from state to state or from district to district? I would love any resources that you may be able to provide. She was just tested for a learning disability and we will find out the results when we return to school after break. The next step will most likely be an IEP (individual education plan). If anyone has any advice about IEP's I would love it. I want to make sure that when I go into the meeting, I am armed with as much information as I can. I also wanted to know that if OT is placed in the IEP, if the school has to provide it or if we will have to get a 504 plan for that? Thank you so much for all of your time and support! This is an amazing site and I am so grateful for having found it!!! Have a wonderful and safe New Year!!!

Kind Regards,



Amie

8 Comments

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Lisa - posted on 01/17/2009

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Hi Amie,

We were in the same boat...a single dx of SPD and it is not a "stand-alone" dx in California either, meaning that my daughter would not qualify for services through our district. We hired an advocate and got an independent OT assessment and the backing of our Ped, They tested my daughter and the school psychologist found her eligible under the dx of "autistic-like". She is not remotely autistic, but a poster child for sensory seeking. You have to stretch the current eligibility requirements a bit to accomodate our kids. If you can qualify your child under learning disabled and get into the system, you may be able to get your OT services covered. Hiring the advocate was the best thing that we did. We are currently getting school and clinical OT services funded by our school district, as well as other support services, but I have found that I need to be a fierce advocate for my child.



I would like to encourage all moms/dads of sensory kids to join the SPD Foundation.



www.spdfoundation.net



Please support them in their quest to get SPD into the DSM, which will subsequently open the door for more recognition for SPD as an independent diagnosis. This is the first step towards getting insurance companies and school districts to recognize and provide support services for our SPD kids.



Thanks!



Lisa

Jenna - posted on 01/15/2009

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i had no problem getting services for my son. he has an iep for developmental delay. the school cant do enough. he had ot on it and has actually done so well he no longer needs to go to ot. she just comes to see him for 10 minutes once a month. u have rights, and the school should know them.

Emily - posted on 01/15/2009

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My son receives OT through the school but they are only  required to work on school related skills, cutting, writing, etc.  While these are important for him to have he still needs an outside OT to work on the many other areas.....it is soooo important to find a Neuro-Developmental OT that has a background in this....we had therapists for several years with very little knowledge of SPD and saw little improvement.

Pam - posted on 01/13/2009

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Typically in MIchigan, One only qualifies for OT if they are getting other services.  OT is like a piggy- back thing.  This is very unfortunate because some kids only need OT and many fall throught the cracks.

Jennifer - posted on 01/12/2009

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Arnie - good luck!  We have finally gotten an IEP for our son (had to move to get into a new school district).  The problem with OT through the schools is that they focus more on traditional OT issues like handwriting rather than on the bigger issues of SPD.  We've chosen to keep up with our private OT as well outside of school.  My advice would be to very carefully read over the requirements of qualifying for an IEP, and then be able to demonstrate how the sensory issues hold your daughter back from an educational standpoint.  For example, if she has a problem with transitions you will have to show that it impacts her education.  Also, if OT is written into the IEP then the school has to provide that. 

Amie - posted on 01/05/2009

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Thanks Julie and Tera! She is currently in Sensory Intergration Therapy through the hospital. I was just curious how so many have been able to find out resources available to them, when it seems like it is pulling teeth to get my daughters school to do or tell me anything. I am just trying to figure out what our rights are and what is appropriate to fight for, for my dauher, from the school. Thank you so much for caring enough to take the time to respond! I should hopefully find out what the school's testing found, this week. I will keep you posted. Have either of you had to go the IEP route with any of your children?

Tera - posted on 01/05/2009

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Sensory Therapy through the school system varies from state to state. We live in the state of WA and OT therapy for Sensory Processing/Sensory Integration isn't provided. We were told by our private OT that even if it was the chances of the therapist being sensory certified is slim. They may have taken some sensory classes here or there but our OT said that it is really important to check into how qualified they really are since sensory issues are so complex and vary from child to child. My daughter is now 5 and has been in therapy for 3 years. Another intersting thing is that our daughter was tested through the school district for some delays and didn't test low in the sensory processing catagory even though she was tested by our pediatrician and by a private OT and was CLEARLY diagnosed. So we learned that the school district isn't the end all end all! So if you think there is something going on and your pediatrician agrees, keep seeking it out! Hope this helps.

Julie - posted on 01/03/2009

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An IEP does not guarantee OT. It took me two years to get OT services and that was after I had gotten an OT diagnosis from an outside source. We live in NC so the rules may be different. The only way in NC you qualify for an IEP is with a discrepancy in IQ at least by 12std. Meaning her IQ and her test scores are off by 12 or more points. Or you can qualifiy under other impaired such as ADD or ADHD. I think but a not sure.. the 504 plan is for disablities. I am not sure, I just know my youngest had Perthies disease and was in a wheel chair for sometime so they allowed him a special bus under the 504. See if your pedatrician will refer your daughter to a private OT for testing that will help your chances with the school. Good luck! I hope I was helpful.

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