What should I expect for my first session?
To start, your therapist will take time to get to know your child, and help your child feel comfortable. Together we will discuss what are the challenges and goals that have brought you to CATS. Your therapist will informally assess and make observations which will help to guide a plan moving forward. Before the end of your first session, you and your therapist will discuss the next steps and you will leave with a plan to support you and your child.  Parent(s) attend the first session and care will be taken to provide a confidential time to discuss the child if that is warranted.
What do I need to bring?
Your child should be in clothes that allow him/her to move freely and comfortably. Please bring documents or assessments from other medical professionals. Please complete your intake questionnaire prior to your first session.  If old enough, your child should be set up to play so that therapist and parent can discuss.  You may wish to bring a book or electronic device if your child will have difficulty playing on their own during this time.
How many treatment sessions will I typically need?
This is assessed on an individual basis as every child and family is different. At CATS we pride ourselves on being client-centered, working with each family to come up with a plan that suits their budget and needs. We can make sessions very efficient, similar to what is provided in the public sector, providing you with tools and strategies to try at home.  Or, we can complete more of the work directly with your child ourselves, thereby increasing our familiarity with your challenges as a parent and improving the quality of our advice.  We do not want to pressure parents into one model or another as everyone has different needs and budget constraints. At initial assessment, we can provide you with our best estimate of how many visits it might take to achieve each of your goals for service.  This can range from treatment in 3 sessions to treatment for 3 years.
How much does it cost?
The hourly rate differs between sites, please contact your preferred location for more cost details. Please note payment is required by the end of the day of your visit.  At this time we accept cash, cheque or e-transfer.
Do I need a referral from a physician?
You are welcome to self-refer to our services.  There is no physician referral required on our end.  However, if you plan to submit your receipts to your employee Benefit Plan, you may wish to check with your plan to see if they require a physician’s referral to qualify for reimbursement.
Do I attend the sessions with my child?
You are not required to attend the session with your child.  However, you are welcome to attend.  Most parents enjoy attending and find it a good way to understand what to do at home to support the child.  If you do not attend, we will likely ask you to be ready to spend the last 10 minutes of session with us in order to understand what was covered.  Often, a goal of therapy is to improve the child’s comfort-level with an open discussion with parent about emotional responses and home issues.  In those situations, it is important for the parent to attend eventually, even if sessions may start out with the child and therapist alone.  Your therapist can provide further discussion with you about what would be most helpful in your situation.
Will you travel to me?
Yes!  We are willing to travel.  We charge mileage and travel time and rates differ per location.  Please contact your closest location to determine their current rates for travelling.  We are happy to see you at home, your school (with permission of the school) or most other places.
Is treatment Evidence-Based?
The profession of Occupational Therapy is regulated, which means we are bound to high professional standards.  One of those is to choose the most evidence-based treatment available. Therefore, we do base our judgements, where ever possible, on best-practice research.  However, our literature on treatment approaches in Occupational Therapy is limited, and also generally follows a drug-treatment model, which averages effect sizes across a number of children.  We really need more research that focusses on predictors of success with a particular treatment approach.  Some of our approaches are based on well understood brain function – such as visual perceptual skills progression, Handwriting without Tears, or Cognitive-Behaviour therapy.  Others are based on training with experts in the field, such as Social Thinking, Wilbarger Brushing Protocol, Therapeutic Listeninf, or Reflex Integration.  When using these techniques that are less well researched, the therapist will always explain the level of research to parents. It is best to utilize these approaches on a ‘case study’ basis, where variables are measured before treatment and watched as treatment progresses, to see if we are seeing changes in the individual. At CATS, we pride ourselves in being open and knowledgeable of both standard approaches (well researched) and cutting-edge treatment approaches (which may not have a lot of research yet), in being upfront with clients about these options and giving choice to the client.
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