Children’s Rehabilitation FAQ

Little boy and physical therapist play with toys.Expand a question below to learn more about pediatric rehabilitation services at Lifespan. Please call us to learn more about our services because they vary by location.

If I think my child needs your services, what’s my first step?

Discuss your concerns with your child’s primary care provider and ask them for a referral to a specialist.

Why do I need a referral?

We need a written or electronic referral from your child’s physician or certified nurse practitioner before we can do an assessment.

What do I have to bring to my child’s first appointment?

You should bring:

  • your insurance card.
  • any relevant medical records, such as surgery reports, X-rays, MRI records, school reports, IEP document, prior therapy evaluations, and any available notes from other providers.
  • a complete list of current medications.
  • a completed intake/history form to make the best use of your time with us and to help us tailor the assessment to your child’s needs. The appropriate forms will be provided after you make your initial appointment.

What can I expect at my child’s evaluation?

Your child’s initial evaluation with the therapist may take 45 to 90 minutes. Please arrive 15 minutes early to register so that your child can receive the full benefit of your scheduled time with our therapist. He or she will perform appropriate assessment(s) based on your and your primary care provider’s concerns.

Based on the evaluation, our therapist will work with you and your child to determine a plan of care tailored to his or her needs, including recommended frequency and duration of therapy sessions. We will share our findings with your child’s physician or certified nurse practitioner. If follow-up treatment is needed, our front-desk staff will work with you to schedule appointments.

How long will my child need therapy?

The therapy plan is customized to each patient. During each visit, your child’s therapist will work with you to identify your priorities so that we may develop specific, meaningful, and measurable goals. The goals will focus on improving participation in particular activities at home and in the community, and will determine the timeline for therapy.

If, after the assessment, therapy is recommended, your child may be scheduled for as many as 12 appointments to start with.

What should my child wear to their appointments?

He or she should wear socks, sneakers, and comfortable clothes that they can easily move around in.

I filled out the history form the last time my child was here for an evaluation. Is it necessary to do it again if my child has a new evaluation?

Yes, it is important to provide the most current information. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes before the appointment time to fill out paperwork.

Can I be in the room for my child’s evaluation and/or treatment?

We require caregivers to be present for the evaluation and encourage involvement in follow-up sessions. Caregivers must be in the therapy room or in the office during the treatment session.

Will my insurance cover my child’s therapy?

There are many different health insurance plans and providers. It’s your responsibility to contact your insurer to find out if occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, or other services are covered. 

Will my child see the same therapist on every visit?

We make every effort to maintain continuity of care for your child. However, it may be necessary to see another therapist to accommodate specific scheduling needs or in the case of specialty areas.

Children sometimes require a specialized treatment that only certain therapists are trained to provide. If so, limited availability may make it more challenging to schedule an appointment. In those cases, the child may see a different therapist who is trained to provide that treatment.

How long are follow-up appointments?

Follow-up treatment sessions may last between 30 and 55 minutes based on the plan of care and your child’s needs.

Can I reschedule/cancel my appointment?

If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, please call our receptionist as soon as possible. You can also cancel appointments using your MyLifespan account. Twenty-four hours’ notice is expected so that we can offer the appointment to another patient.

Please remember that if you consistently miss appointments, your child won’t receive optimal benefits from his or her therapy.

Our policy states that therapy will be discontinued if two consecutive appointments are missed without notice, or three out of five therapy appointments are missed.

How can I get a copy of my child’s evaluation report?

A medical release is required before you can get a copy of your child’s evaluation. Discuss your request with the therapist, or contact the medical records department at 401-444-4040.

Learn more about children's rehabilitation services at Lifespan »