Occupational Therapy

What to Expect

Clinic Visit

  • Things to do before your appointment
  • Who does the Occupational Therapy Program see?

    Occupational Therapy sees babies, children, teens and young adults up to age 21 for a wide range of physical issues. We focus on daily living tasks, such as eating, bathing and writing, and we mainly work on helping your child use their upper body.

  • Who will see my child?

    Your child will see an occupational therapist (OT).

  • What happens during a clinic visit?
    • You and your child will meet with an OT to share your concerns about your child’s physical skills.
    • The OT will assess your child, which could mean:
      • Asking you and your child questions
      • Checking your child’s range of motion, strength and positioning
      • Watching how your child moves
      • Doing tests that tell us about your child’s function
      • Measuring your child for adaptive equipment 
    • By the end of your visit, the OT will explain what they found and what they recommend.
  • How long is an occupational therapy visit?

    Visits are 60 to 90 minutes.

  • What to bring
    • Have your child wear comfortable clothing that makes it easy for them to move – and easy for us to see how they move.
    • Have your child wear shoes that provide good support for walking.
    • If your child uses adaptive equipment, splints or other devices to support or position their body or help them move, bring these or bring pictures of them.
    • If your child has challenges going in or out of your home, bring pictures of the entry.
    • If your child has challenges using the bathroom, bring pictures of your bathroom.
    • Bring copies of any reports from previous therapy and your child’s individual education plan (IEP), if they have one.
  • What can I expect as a parent/caregiver?
    • We will do our best to meet your child’s needs and provide tools that can help you in taking care of your child.
    • You know your child best, and it’s important for us to learn about your child from you. Be prepared to share details about your child’s function so we can work together to create a plan.
    • We ask to have only 1 or 2 caregivers or family members come to the visit so we can focus on your child and make the most of their appointment.
    • To help your child’s function improve, we may recommend things you can do at home with your child.
    • OTs do not diagnose, but we are sometimes part of a team figuring out a child’s diagnosis. Generally, you should already have a diagnosis before coming to occupational therapy.
  • After the appointment

    We will make sure you leave the appointment with detailed instructions about what is to happen next and try to answer all of your questions. We will provide you with phone numbers to call us if you have questions after you leave.

  • How will we find out about test results?

    For some tests, the OT needs to score the test after your visit, interpret the results and write a report. If you want a copy, let us know and we will mail it to you.

  • What are the next steps?
    • If the OT recommends that you return to Seattle Children’s for treatment, we will help you set up more appointments before you leave.
    • If the OT recommends treatment with a therapist in the community, we can refer you to resources.
  • What if I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment?

    Call the clinic you are scheduled to visit.

  • Preparing your child
    • If there is anything specific you should do to prepare your child for the type of visit you are having, the scheduler will tell you when you make the appointment.
    • Learn more about preparing your child for a clinic visit.
  • Directions and parking
    • Find your location in our map and directions section.
    • Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow time for registration.

More information 

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