Physical Therapy Evaluation FAQ's

The Family Advisory Council at Children’s Specialized Hospital is dedicated to collaborating with Hospital leadership and staff - empowering families to provide valuable input toward improving organizational policies and practices.The Council has created the information below to assist in preparing for your visit.

Physical Therapy: Questions Often Asked By Our Families


Q: Why is my child seeing an Physical Therapist?

A: Your pediatrician or another health care professional may have referred you to a pediatric physical therapist to evaluate your child’s mobility, strength, balance, coordination, and ability to function in their environment. The physical therapist will work closely with you and your family to understand your concerns for your child, partner with you to develop goals and a treatment plan to accomplish those goals.


Q: What will happen during the evaluation?

A: Using a computer, the physical therapist will take a medical history. They will ask questions about your child’s birth, illnesses, medications, development (when they sat, walked etc) and what things your child can do now. You may also be asked to complete a form asking you questions about your child’s abilities. The therapist will do a physical examination, checking the mobility in your child’s joints, posture, muscle strength and will look at how your child functions. Depending on the age of your child the therapist will observe your child rolling, crawling, sitting, walking, running, hopping and throwing and catching a ball. The therapist may use a computer during the evaluation to document their findings.

Q: How long will the evaluation take?

A: The evaluation will take approximately 60-90 minutes.

Q: Will there be time to discuss the findings? If therapy is recommended how long will my child need services?

A: The physical therapist will discuss the initial evaluation findings with you at the end of the evaluation. They will discuss areas for improvement, a plan of care, and suggestions for physical therapy treatment. They will also talk about the plan for discharge when therapy ends.

Q: What is my role during the evaluation?

A: The therapist will ask you questions regarding your child’s medical history, development, areas of concern and what your goals for therapy are. The therapist will let you know if they need any help during the evaluation.

Q: When will I get a report?

A:You should receive a written report within 3 weeks.


Q: What do I need to bring?

A: Please bring:

  • A current photo ID (license)
  • Insurance card
  • Referral if needed
  • Prescription
  • School reports
  • Prior evaluations
  • Name/addresses of individuals you might want the report sent to
  • Current list of medications
  • Bring any equipment that your child regularly uses
  • Many parents also find it helpful to bring a list of questions to ask the therapist

Q: What should my child wear?

A: Please have your child wear loose comfortable clothing and a pair of socks. It may be necessary for the therapist to remove some of your child’s clothing to see how your child breathes or the position of your child’s legs. Children with orthopedic concerns may want to bring a pair of shorts.

Q: Can I bring my other children?

A: If possible, it is recommended that siblings stay home so that the parent can give their undivided attention during the evaluation. Understanding that childcare is sometimes difficult, when bringing siblings, it may be helpful to bring another adult and activities to occupy the siblings during the evaluation.


Q: What if therapy is recommended, will my insurance pay for it?

A: Medical coverage will vary, but many health insurance plans cover our services. Please contact your insurance company to verify if your plan offers a benefit for occupational therapy services. If therapy is recommended, our Patient Access Service will obtain authorization for treatment. Once the treatment is approved, you will receive a phone call from our scheduling dept to schedule an appointment for treatment. There is a wait for after school therapy.

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