[blindkid] Sensory OT

DrV icdx at earthlink.net
Fri Sep 23 15:15:26 UTC 2011

Hi Heather,
I agree with Sandy.
In order to get what is appropriate, you need to know the person(s) who are
in the position to make definitive decisions & appropriate the funds.
It is very helpful - invaluable - to get to know on good terms the District
Special Ed Director & the Director of your SELPA/LEA.
Many years ago our recently retired SELPA Director explained that to have
the best chance of getting a desired service (or equipment, etc.) is to
clearly outline why the service is needed - & after 3, how the service is
educationally-relevant -> especially the latter is crucial.
OT can be medically-appropriate, in which case insurance may cover it.
If you want the school to cover it, you need to very clearly make a case for
why it is educationally-necessary - How OT will help address goals in the
Work with the VI & other members of the IEP Team to develop some appropriate
goals & explain that the best person to address those IEP goals is an OT
Call an early IEP meeting - help the group see how OT is necessary - then it
becomes a group decision, not just a parental request.
Even if the district does not have an OT, if the IEP Team feels it is
appropriate, they can & should be contracting out to get the services.
You can also get an independent assessment, if you need, to that would again
(in writing) make a clear case for why OT is educationally relevant.
We were once told that OT & PT stopped at 3 years of age. That is absolutely
not true, as long as you can justify why the service is appropriate.
Our OT became part of the IEP Team & she too developed appropriate
educationally-relevant goals to continue to work on that the rest of the IEP
Team agreed to.
In addition to educationally-relevant, if you can demonstrate how a service
can influence safety, districts are more likely to listen as well.
I fully agree with Sandy in the approach of doing all this in a nice a
manner as possible.
If you can arrange for it, it can be very helpful to personally ask the
District Special Ed Director to attend selected meetings - often it just
takes that persons blessing at the meeting to approve the service & its a
Good luck.
Eric V

On 9/23/11 7:36 AM, "Dr. S. Merchant" <smerchant at vetmed.lsu.edu> wrote:

> Heather,  I haven't been following this thread closely, but many a times to
> speed things up, I went down to the administrator's office (Director of
> Special Ed or whatever the title was) to get forms etc.. or to get things
> done more quickly.  I always did it nice, apologized for taking up their
> time and thanked them for the role that they played or will play in my
> child's education, but nonetheless, was firm on getting forms, getting
> things started.  By the time my son graduated high school, I knew every
> special ed director, was welcome to stop by, knew of or knew personally most
> of the special ed other administrators, teachers, even though some were not
> directly involved in my son's education.  It is soooo incredibly helpful to
> have met and talked to everyone from the ground up.  So, you are just
> starting your journey and my advice is to make yourself known in as nice a
> manner as possible.  Having heard some horror stories , I know that nice is
> not possible in all instances, but making a concerted effort at the
> beginning to be absolutely as nice and thankful as possible, and picking
> your battles - (who cares if it comes 1month later than promised... it came)
> will make it go so much more smoothly.
> I was always willing to wait, because I usually asked for whatever was
> needed (technology as an example), 1 year ahead of time, so if it took
> awhile to procure and that time was less than one year, I was ahead of the
> game. 
> Don't know if this helps, just what helped me for my son's pre K (3 years
> old) - 12th grade education
> Sandy Taboada
> -----Original Message-----
> From: blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindkid-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
> Behalf Of Heather Breems
> Sent: Friday, September 23, 2011 8:26 AM
> To: NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List, (for parents of blind children)
> Subject: Re: [blindkid] Sensory OT
> Thank you Trudy,
> I have heard from our state chapter president as well with some helpful
> hints.  We are seeing a vision teacher at our local school for the Blind.
>  Unfortunately they no longer have any OT's on staff and she was not sure
> who to refer us to at this point, but was also going to look into it for us.
>  Since my son turns 3 soon, we will have to go through our insurance for
> private OT services.  Thankfully though our insurance covers 15 sessions per
> year.
> Unfortunately the school has not even evaluated him yet.  He has an IFSP (or
> should soon as early intervention evaluated him on July 26th), but the
> school appears to be stalling on sending me the consent form to have him
> evaluated by their team.  I know by law once I sign the consent they must
> evaluate him within 60 days so my fear is they are trying to keep me from
> signing in order to delay and catch up from all the summer cases.  Even once
> he is evaluated I do not have a lot of faith that he will get the proper OT
> services he needs through the schools.  That is where we are at this point.
> Sincerely,
> Heather
> On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 3:27 PM, Trudy Pickrel <tlpickrel at hotmail.com>wrote:
>>  Heather
>>  Start with your local school for the Blind. Many of them do evaluations
> for
>>  both early intervention and school districts. Some insurance pays for
>>  private OT if referred by Physian. Your state chapter president also
> should
>>  be able to point you toward evaluators. Early intervention and mths before
>>  he turns 3 they should evaluate and have his IEP so it starts the week of
>>  services. I know if you put in writing asking for IEP they have 30 days.
>>  Maybe someone on here knows if that applies to requesting a 1st IEP and
>>  evaluation.
>>  Trudy L Pickrel
>>  President MDPOBC
>>            &
>>  TLC by the Lake
>>  Standard Poodles
>>  www.tlcbythelake.weebly.com
>>  On Sep 22, 2011, at 1:00 PM, blindkid-request at nfbnet.org wrote:
>>>  > org
>>>  >
>>>  > When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more
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> -- 
> Heather Breems
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