Wednesday, 21 September 2011

What does an OT need to Evaluate?

Can you answer the following?
Person calling re potential OT "Hi, my relative was evaluated and needs OT for x can you assist?"
OT explains s/he can assist and that the procedure includes reading doctor or other relevant reports and evaluating the child prior to discussing and establishing treatment goals.
Person calling: "We just had an evaluation from a doctor with a report, do you really need to evaluate?"
I posed the above scenario as a question to some laypeople, some are parents of children who have received OT. Here are some insights received:
"The evaluation of the doctor differs from that of a licensed OT. The doctor evaluated whehter or not your child needs an OT. I, the OT need to evaluate what are his/her precise weaknesses that I need to work on, what angle to approach it from, what strenghts the child already posseses so I can incorporate those strengths into the program. All these detailed information is not included in what the doctor evaluated, and without this information, what I can accomplish with your child will be compromised.
--- something like that."(From Mattie Hecht)
One mother pointed out that in addition to evaluating the needs of the person potentially requiring Occupational Therapy, the evaluation process provides an opportunity to determine whether the personalites of the person  and the therapist are compatible. Other considerations will be location of the OT facility, time slots available for appointments. 
One mother wisely stated, if a therapist does not evaluate, how is s/he supposed to know where to begin to intervene / treat?
What are your thoughts on the evaluation process? Does the above information make it clearer for you as to why evaluation is an important part of the therapeutic process? Please do leave your comment below.

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