ABCs of Therapies for Parents

Have a question about therapies?  This page is here to help you understand all the basics you’ll need—the ABCs of what we do and how it helps your child.

Click on a title below to learn more about it.

A is for Apple provides Speech-Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy to children ages 0 through early teens, with an emphasis on Early Intervention.

When you arrive for your first appointment, we’ll bring you through the following process:

  1. First, we find out what your needs are.
  2. Second, we verify your insurance.
  3. Next we do the necessary treatment plans and/or assessments with your child.
  4. We submit the assessment reports to your insurance, and get authorization to proceed.
  5. Then we start services for your child.

0-3 – At this age, getting a diagnosis as early as possible is recommended.  That way we can start therapy while the child is still very young, and most open to behavior improvement.  Early intervention takes advantage of the plasticity of a young child’s brain.  From there, an ongoing therapy program establishes behaviors that will support your child’s social and communication skills.  Speech-language therapy can also help them build stronger use of language.  If needed, Occupational Therapy will help the child with learning motor skills so they can play and participate in daily activities.

3-Early Teens – During these years, it’s important to build on the social and communication skills established by earlier therapy.  Often parents will encourage the child to explore their interests and socialize, so they can further integrate their therapy into daily living.  Sports or after-school activities are common.

We use all of the recommended evaluation methods, including:  Standardized test batteries, parent interviews, observations, & formal assessments.  Informal assessments are conducted as needed.

Therapy services are done in a natural living environment, whether that’s the child’s home, school or community.  Speech-Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy are done in the clinic, if billed through insurance.

In some cases, therapy only lasts a couple years.  The child learns what they need and grows into a happy, well-adjusted individual.  In other cases, the child may need lifelong treatment & assistance.  This depends on the severity of the disorder and their progress over time.  If you have concerns, your A is For Apple supervisor will be happy to address them.

A Functional Behavioral Assessments/FBA helps determine a reason or function for a child’s problematic behavior.  For instance, several common reasons a child will use a certain behavior are:

  • To escape or avoid something
  • To gain attention
  • To gain access to an item or activity they want
  • To alter their present sensory stimulation

An FBA’s goal is to:

  • Identify and define the problematic behavior.
  • Identify the events and situations that predict when said behavior will occur (and won’t occur).
  • Determine what results do occur, and whether these results might contribute to the problematic behavior.
  • Determine an appropriate alternative, positive behavior.
  • Establish a hypothesis that will be used to create a plan guiding the child toward the positive behavior.

Parents are required to attend & participate in their child’s therapy sessions.  This ensures carryover of the child’s progress for generalization of newly-learned skills.

Our parent educators may also refer families to other helpful resources in order to help them address their child’s needs.  These may include reference guides, online tools or other experts with whom we have working relationships.

NOTE:  Our parent educators are not legal advocates, nor do they represent themselves as “professional experts.” Therefore, all legal questions will be referred to a licensed and credentialed law professional.

The primary determinant between an IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan) and an IEP (Individual Education Plan) is the child’s age.  A child under the age of 3 who needs early intervention services and is referred through a Regional Center, will come with an IFSP.

If a child is older than 3 and referred by a Regional Center, they will come with an IEP, an Individual Education Plan.

To learn more about how we approach working with children, visit our Learning Approach page.