Clinic vs. School Based Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Clinic vs. School Based Pediatric Occupational Therapy


When choosing the best therapy option for your child who has special needs, you must have come across school-based programs and medical-based therapies. You’ve probably heard it said that the school-based ones have a leg up over the clinical ones. But fundamentally, that’s not true. Each of the two has its strengths. For instance, clinic-based therapy is more individualized, while school-based will provide benefits like safety training, exercise programs, and fine and gross motor training.

The difference between clinical and school-based pediatric occupational therapies

Both therapies offer individual attention to your child but are administered in different ways. With school-based therapy, therapists assess the educational impact of the learning, social, community, behavioral and language functioning. Then the specialists can recommend the relevant services and determine the frequency, amount and related services, including the duration of the therapy for an effective treatment plan.

On the other hand, clinical therapy is more of the speciality services like sensory integration, tissue mobilization, and neuro development treatment. It also provides access to medication that helps children with special needs. That is done mainly with the children that have autism spectrum disorder. That’s another layer added to your child’s overall treatment plan and would help them see better results.

Despite the few differences in the therapies, it’s prudent to combine the two for a better treatment plan, resulting in better results. Marrying the two types of therapies gives you a perfect treatment plan for your baby. The two plans will help your child to receive a selection of effective treatment options based on the recommendations of both the school and clinical therapists.

How do you determine the best therapy for your baby?

Navigating the world of a child with special needs is not easy. You will need patience and lots of inquiry to ensure your baby receives the best treatment possible. If you’re not sure of the best therapy to go for, then with a specialist’s advice, you can mix the two.

Support groups

It always feels good knowing that you are not alone in your journey with a special child. Many other parents are dealing with the same issue. Joining parents support programs allows you to talk to others like you and even some who’ve been there before and with enough experience in managing the Sensory Processing Disorder among other conditions. The solid support system helps your child cope with difficulties that come with the disorder and will allow you to manage your emotions when working on such a unique set of challenges that your child brings forth. You also have an opportunity to discuss challenges and difficulties that you could be going through as a parent. You hear from others who have tried both clinical and school-based therapies. That helps you to make better decisions.

Keep communication lines open.

It can be challenging moving through the school-based program with your child. But the special needs services department in your school is a rich source of help that you can always tap into. With good and understanding teachers in school, you have it easy managing the child at home. Make sure you’re in contact with the teachers in school and the therapists, so you’ve better insights into the best therapy for your baby.

If you’ve been with your special needs child for a while, you know them better and therefore are aware of the best treatment plan. But understanding the differences in school-based and clinical therapies makes it easy for you to understand what works and what you need to adjust.