If your child is having difficulty in school – with circle time, attention, behavior, playing the daily routine, etc. – a school visit prior to or during the course of therapy may be in order. In school the therapist can get a sense of the specific challenges your child faces, the supports and opportunities the particular classroom affords, and ultimately what strategies and underlying skills your child needs to develop to survive and thrive every day. Most often teachers are willing to share their concerns with the therapist in a way that creates a productive alliance so that both are collaborating to help your child succeed. The teacher will know what is possible in terms of making allowances or adaptations in the classroom, and the therapist will be able to orient her intervention accordingly. A school visit before the initial evaluation in the office has the advantage of enabling the therapist to observe your child without being recognized and potentially being a distraction to him/her. However, a school visit can be scheduled any time it is deemed helpful to the therapeutic process. Once the child has been in therapy and the teachers have seen progress they are often willing to implement strategies – sensory diets or adaptations – that will further your child’s growth. Often a simple explanation of the underlying issues that are driving your child’s behavior from an occupational therapy perspective will deepen the teachers’ understanding of your child, enable him/her to view your child in a new and productive light, and help him/her facilitate your child’s ability to function optimally throughout the day.
If there are concerns about your child’s ability to manage the camp day, or questions about the advisability of a full day of camp versus half a day, or if sleep-away camp is being considered, a phone consultation with the camp may be advisable to help you make decisions and guide occupational therapy treatment to meet your child’s needs in the summer months. Many camps are willing to be flexible in order to maximize your child’s success, and will carefully place your child with the appropriate staff if they are made aware of any potential issues at the outset.