The fees for the services follow guidelines provided by the British Columbia Society of Occupational Therapists. Occupational Therapy is not covered by M.S.P. but may be covered by some extended health plans and is a tax-deductible medical expense. The complete Schedule of Services and Fees can be obtained from the Office Manager upon request. For more information regarding funding, please visit our Resources page or contact us.
The initial interview is conducted either by an Occupational Therapist or the office manager. The purpose of this interview is to collect basic information about the child and to determine the parents' concerns and expectations. At this time, parents may be given a developmental questionnaire to complete.
The comprehensive assessment is recommended for children who are referred for an Occupational Therapy assessment for the first time.
The assessment requires a 2.5- 3 hour appointment involving interviews with the child and his/her parents or guardians, formal evaluations and analysis of the data gathered. Parents are encouraged to bring along previous reports from other health professionals and schools.
The assessment aims to look at a child's strengths and difficulties within a developmental framework. During the session, information is gathered about a child's functional abilities in the 3 areas of Occupational Performance, i.e., self care, productivity at school/ home and leisure. The therapists at Symbiosis use a variety of functional assessments, clinical observation skills and standardized tools during the assessment, the choice of which is guided by the child's clinical presentation.
Following assessment, strategies and advice are given in the form of a comprehensive and a detailed written report with exhaustive list of suggestions and strategies which can be implemented at home or school as necessary. This type of assessment might also help parents who might not be able to bring their child for regular therapy session in the clinic.
This consultation is recommended for children who had an Occupational assessment report from an Occupational Therapist prior to attending the consultation and a review is required to gauge the current status of the child. This clinical consultation is also requested by parents who want to consult with a therapist to see whether Occupational Therapy is an appropriate service for their child.
The consultation requires a 1- 1.5 hour appointment involving interviews with the child and his/her parents or guardians, specific standardized testing and clinical observation by the therapist. A brief report can be provided to the parents upon request.
Therapy sessions are generally scheduled for an hour and spaced on a weekly or fortnightly frequency depending on the need of the child. This hour includes 50 minutes of direct intervention with the child and another ten minutes of planning and discussion with the parents.
Specific skills that can be addressed in children through OT intervention are
1. Fine Motor Skills
Children may face difficulties in using classroom supplies such as pencils, crayons, erasers, glue sticks etc. They may also find it challenging to manage fasteners such as buttons, zippers and laces. Their small hand muscles may not have the strength and coordination that is needed for those tasks. An OT utilizes the knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics and neurology to understand the missing components that may be hampering the development of a child's hand functions. Through various therapeutic activities the child's hands can get stronger and more coordinated, thus allowing him to experience greater mastery, increased skill and independence.
2. Gross Motor Skills
Children may show some delays in achieving gross motor milestones like crawling, walking, running, catching and throwing or simple jumping activities. These challenges later make it difficult for them to keep up with their peers. These children may avoid the playground, physical games or sports that other children their age find highly rewarding. An OT is the appropriate professional to address the child's needs in this area. Please call our office to discuss what services can be provided by us to support your child.
3. Oral Motor skills
Some children have significant difficulty with eating. They either eat a very limited repertoire of foods and / or gag very easily when trying new foods. These children are often referred to as "picky" eaters. Our therapists take a complete history of those foods that the children will eat including but not limited to taking note of the various temperatures, colors and textures the child will tolerate. Treatment for these children focuses on the sensory system that may be oversensitive and incorporates experiences with total body exploration as well as oral exploration. New foods are incrementally introduced following a protocol of what is more likely to be tolerated.
4. Handwriting skills
Handwriting skills from the basics of letter formation to taking class notes legibly can be extremely difficult for some children to learn. Occupational Therapists uncover the underlying causes of a child's difficulty in this area. The child may have weakness, coordination deficits, sensory limitations that do not allow easy control of the pencil, visual tracking deficits or motor planning limitations. Occupational Therapists use a multisensory approach to handwriting remediation that is based on the foundations of hand anatomy, biomechanics and sensory functioning. OTs are familiar with the handwriting programs that are often utilized in your local school district and can be the expert you need to maximize their effectiveness.
5. Visual Perceptual and Visual Motor skills
From stacking blocks and doing puzzles to writing letters appropriately, a child must be able to perceive differences and relationships between objects in the environment. Occupational Therapists help children discover these relationships and begin a map of the spatial planning that is required to function in our world. All skills are learned through play as children are provided with therapeutic experiences that progress from simple to complex. Through Occupational Therapy treatment improvements have been reported by parents in a child's handwriting, organizational skills, play skills and school performance.
Our therapists are available to travel to schools and day cares to provide information sessions for teachers, students and other relevant staff involved with the child receiving therapy at Symbiosis.
Therapists at Symbiosis have presented workshops on varied topics of interest both internationally and locally. They provide training and information on various aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Asperger's Syndrome and other developmental conditions. Topics include basic interventions of sensory or motor skills development, classroom accommodations, social skills training and other academic issues. Please contact us to know about upcoming workshops or to arrange for a workshop in your school or agency.