- What causes sensory processing problems?
- Why therapy?
- How long does therapy last?
- How is private therapy different from therapy offered in the schools?
- Is private therapy covered by insurance?
The causes of sensory processing problems remain unclear and researchers continue to try and understand the causes. Preliminary research indicates that sensory processing disorder is often inherited and thus coded in an individual’s genetic material. The causes are however most likely to be the result of genetic and environmental factors. Sensory processing difficulties may interfere with the child’s ability to participate in a variety of environments successfully. Children with sensory processing difficulties need help learning to participate in ways that are adapted to the way in which they process information.
Occupational and Physical Therapists obtain specialized Masters or Doctorate level training and require national and state level credentialing. Physical and Occupational Therapy assistants also receive specialized training and work under the direction and supervision of an Occupational or Physical Therapist. Therapists promote functional outcomes and participation in a range of tasks across settings by understanding what foundational skills need support and development in order to effectively master participation in their environment. The therapist plans and customizes each treatment session for the specific needs and goals of the child. A therapist has specialized skills to help remediate and or develop age appropriate skills. Although therapy looks like play the therapist uses play as a way to achieve the goals for each session and the therapy program as a whole.
The duration of therapy is determined by many factors and can range from 3 months to 2 years depending on the severity of the child's needs, parent's goals and observable progress. Insurance or funding sources can also influence the length of therapy. Progress with therapy is usually a slow, steady process but the overall therapy program is tailored to the individual needs of a child and their family. And there are a variety of ways in which the therapy program can be set up.
School based therapy is designed to support educational needs where a measurable academic delay can be identified. If delays are not significantly below average the child may not qualify for therapy services. Private therapy focuses on ‘life skills’ that are used in all settings and addresses skills necessary to function in daily living tasks across environments. School services are provided at no cost to the parent/ guardian while private therapy services must be paid for out of pocket and by insurance as determined by the specific insurance plan the family has coverage with.