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FAQ

Appointments

How do I make an appointment?

Click here to complete an inquiry form and a member of our clinical staff will respond and direct our inquiry to the appropriate staff member.  Alternately, click here for the list of phone numbers to call our front office staff directly.

Evaluations

Why do you need an evaluation, I just told you what  he/she needs?

The therapist will do specific testing to determine whether there is more to the issue than just what is on the surface. The assessment also determines appropriate goals that can be measured.

Why does my child need to undergo an annual progress evaluation at CSLOT each year?

During an annual evaluation, we are able to check in on the progress made over the past year.  First and foremost, we can evaluate whether or not therapy continues to be warranted.  If therapy is still recommended, we can determine areas of need and readjust goals as appropriate.

If my child has a current IEP or evaluation report does s/he still need to undergo an evaluation at CSLOT?

In order to target current needs, we honor evaluations from other organizations that have been conducted over the past six months.  If you have an evaluation from another organization or school district, one of our clinicians will review the information provided.  If we feel that additional information is needed, or if standardized testing was not part of the information you provided, we will recommend that additional information be gathered through an evaluation.

Early Intervention Therapy

What is group Early Intervention Therapy?

Children who have significant impairment in two or more developmental areas may qualify to receive group early intervention therapy, funded by California’s Regional Centers.  Our group early intervention therapy is housed within Yikes Tikes!, CSLOT’s parent co-operative inclusive preschool, whose primary goal is to increase listening skills and self-expression and to enhance self-confidence by teaching children to think for themselves and make choices.  Children from the community attending Yikes Tikes! provide typical peer models.

Services in this program are provided by a team of speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and early childhood educators.  Children receiving group therapy in Yikes Tikes! are typically between 18 months and 36 months of age.  Class sizes range from six to eight children with a 2:1 child to adult ratio.  Parent/caregiver training is a critical component of group services in Yikes Tikes! and parents are encouraged to participate in sessions.

What is the schedule for group Early Intervention Therapy?

Each office has a different schedule for group Early Intervention Therapy housed within Yikes Tikes!. Please contact the office manager for the specific details for the location you are seeking.

We have a time conflict with one of the group session times. Can my child attend just one of the group sessions each week?

The consistency of therapy is an important factor to help your child make progress toward his/her goals. Because of your child’s young age, the frequency of therapy is equally important. There may be another Early Intervention group that better fits your schedule. Talk to your office manager and see what else is available to better suit your schedule so you and your child can fully participate in the service that is offered.

Will using sign language replace speaking?

No.  Some children are not yet at a developmental stage to use words.  Sign language just gives them a way to communicate with you now.  Signs serve to decreases frustration for both the child and the parents.  Eventually, signing leads to speaking.  It will not take the place of speaking.

Will using picture icons replace speaking?

No.  In the same way that signing works, picture icons serve as another visual cue to help your child communicate and decrease frustration.  Eventually, use of picture icons leads to speaking.

Why won’t my child speak in group Early Intervention Therapy? I know he/she knows how to say that!

Sometimes children have performance anxiety to speak in front of other children or adults.  If your child feels he/she is put on the spot to respond “in the moment,” a natural response may be shyness.  This is why it is important that we as adults respond to children when they communicate spontaneously.  By doing this, we show them that their words mean something and they can make choices by using words, even if it’s not “in the moment.” 

Why does the teacher/therapist sing the same songs over and over again during circle time?

Repetition is an important way that children learn.  You may have noticed your child wanting to read the same book or play with the same toy over and over again.  In the same way, his/her familiarity with songs and the class routine helps him/her to master the language and cognitive tasks involved.  Each time a song is re-sung, your child has an opportunity to better learn the sounds, gestures, and vocabulary that are part of that song.

Why are some children being offered picture icons and others aren’t?

Some children are at a lower level and aren’t yet able to use their words to request desired objects and actions.

Why are some children encouraged to repeat 2-3 words together and other children are given the snack for just using sign language or making just one sound?

Each child’s goals and ways we target them depend on the child’s skill level.  If the child isn’t using any words, we may use picture icons as a means to communicate.  If the child is already using single words, we will encourage two words together.  If he/she uses two words, we’ll encourage three, etc.

Why does my child sometimes not receive a snack from the therapist/teacher?  I know he/she is hungry!

During snack time, we wait for the child to show a natural interest in the food.  For example, if a child is looking at a snack or raising his hand, the therapist may respond by prompting him to communicate at his current level.  The adult could shake a snack or show it to the child to elicit a request.  However, if the child still does not show interest, we follow their lead and do not force him to request something he doesn’t want.

Why are you working on gross motor and fine motor skills when my child doesn’t have problems in these areas?

As part of our program design, we work on all of these areas of development.  There is a strong correlation between movement and the use of language.  Strengthening the body and improving balance and core stability will help your child build speech and language.

Why do some parents leave the room and others stay in the room with their children?

The idea of gradual separation relates to “independence training.”  By having parents of some children leave the room for a period of time, we are preparing the children for separation during preschool.  Some children are not yet at a developmental stage where they are ready to separate, and that is okay.  We also encourage parent participation, either directly in the group or through observation.

Will it disturb the group if I let my child cry? Is it ok for me to leave my child when he/she is crying?

We determine our response to a crying child on a case by case basis.  All children cry sometimes.  It is healthy to allow your child to cry at times in order to build independence and teach the child to cope.  However, children at this age also need emotional support and security.  Receiving the comfort of a trusted adult is also beneficial for a child’s development.

Why do other seem to get children get more attention than my child?

This goes back to the idea of independence training.  Some children are more accustomed to the group routine and may require less guidance.  Others are at a more basic level and may have greater needs to help them in transitions between activities or help them regulate their emotions when they are upset or excited.

Why does my child have to wait his turn during gross motor activities?

By giving each child a turn, we can individually teach the gross motor obstacle course for the day.  It also gives the therapists a better sense of motor skills of each child, and to determine which children need extra support to safely use the equipment.

Why doesn’t the therapist “make” my child speak?

No one can make another person speak.  We target therapy to the level the child is currently at and provide maximal opportunities and support for their participation.

Why are seatbelts used?

Rifton chairs with straps help promote focus, security, and posture.  Most children grow to enjoy the independence of buckling the seatbelt themselves.

When and how much do I prompt?

Please refer to the Prompting Hierarchy articles (part 1,  part 2, and part 3) for more information about prompting.

What do you do when children are aggressive – what is the discipline method used?

Children with decreased language can easily become frustrated and may resort to physical ways of communicating.  The therapists and aides work together to redirect these behaviors so they can be expressed in a functional way.  Gentle interaction, hugs, and friendship between children are promoted.

Will it hurt my child if he/she doesn’t continue with the same staff every day until he/she turns three?

All members of our staff are trained to use the same approaches with children to promote relationships and emotional development.  Therefore, it won’t harm your child if there are any changes to the staff.

The other kids in this group seem to have a lot more words than my child.  Is this the right group for him/her?

Yes.  Other children with higher language development will provide a strong language model for children who are weaker in these skills.  The therapists and aides work together to design approaches that are individualized for each child.

Why do some children in the group also receive individual therapy services?

The therapists informally evaluate children’s progress on an on-going basis through observation over time.  If a child isn’t progressing steadily, and there seems to be a particular area of weakness, the therapist may request additional services to be approved through the regional center.  Group services do not necessarily result in individual services, and individual services do not always result in group services.  Most often case managers require 3 months of trying the therapy recommended on the IFSP before authorizing additional services.  If a therapist recommends the addition of any individual therapy, it must be approved by the regional center before therapy can be scheduled.

What will happen when I have the transition meeting and my child exits the program?  Will he/she still receive services?

The purpose of the transition meeting is to prepare your child to exit from California’s Early Start program (birth to three) and enter into the public school system in your district.  The transition meeting usually occurs 3 months before a child turns 3 years old.  It is run by the case manager/service coordinator.  The therapist is not usually present unless the transition meeting happens to correspond with a 6-month review or annual review of the IFSP goals.  During the transition process, your child will be evaluated separately by the school district in which you reside.  Many school psychologists and therapists consult with the CSLOT therapists about how a child is performing.  While the school districts take into consideration the therapist’s recommendations, it is no guarantee that the child will receive therapy services once he reaches the public schools.  Please speak with your case manager about the details of the transition process.

Fees and Payments

What are the fees for your services?

Please call the office that is most convenient to you and our office staff will answer all of your questions about fees for services.

Insurance

Does my insurance cover speech therapy? OT?

Every insurance benefit plan is different regarding coverage of services.  To find out if your insurance benefit plan covers the services you are seeking, we recommend you contact your insurance company to find out the details of your coverage.

We are a contracted provider for Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield of California, CIGNA, and SCCIPA.  If you have a plan with another insurance company, it is possible to pay for services out-of-pocket with the potential of being reimbursed by your insurance company directly.  Although we can not facilitate this transaction, we will provide you with a superbill of services provided to submit to your insurance company.

Make-Ups

Why are make-up sessions necessary?

Our vision is to help our clients gain skills that they have lost or not yet developed.  Consistent attendance in therapy is critical to be able to achieve defined goals.  Make-up sessions help to assure the consistency of therapy so we can help you or your loved one make the progress we all want for the client.

Why are there no make-up sessions for small groups (non-Yikes Tikes! groups)?

Small group sessions have specifically targeted goals that are specific to that group.  If a member of a group is unable to attend, the group continues to meet.  There is not an opportunity for a make-up session since the group has already met.  If all group members are unable to attend except one, we will substitute a 45-minute individual session, only at the day and time of group appointment.

Are make-up sessions available for sessions canceled because of holidays?

Depending on the type of session and the payer source, we are able to provide make-up sessions for holiday as long as there is room on your therapist’s schedule.  Please talk to your office manager to inquire about the specifics of your situation.

Milestones

My 3 year old can’t say his /r/ sound.  Does he need therapy?

There is a range of time when sounds are typically developed.  It is OK if a child can’t say a certain sound if s/he is within that age range.  The sound error is considered developmentally appropriate.  In this case, we would not expect a child who is three to accurately produce the /r/ sound.  It is developmentally appropriate and therapy would not be warranted.  Click here for a chart of the typical range of development for speech sounds.

Reggio Emilia

What is Reggio Emilia?  How does it impact my child in Yikes Tikes!?

Reggio Emilia is a philosophy of Early Childhood Education that originated in Italy after WWII. The Reggio Approach sees the child as strong, rich in ideas, and wanting to connect with others. We use this image of the child in Yikes Tikes! as well as other components of the Reggio Approach, such as the use of open-ended materials, documentation, and an emergent curriculum.

Regional Center

My child is eligible to receive services through the regional center.  Can he/she get services at CSLOT?

We have contracts with RCEB (Regional Center of the East Bay), GGRC (Golden Gate Regional Center), and SARC (San Andreas Regional Center).  If you would like to receive services at CSLOT, please make that request through your regional center service coordinator.

Scheduling

I need to reschedule my child’s session to another day or time.  With whom do I talk to about this?

Our office managers are primarily responsible for taking care of setting schedules and rescheduling appointments.  Please talk to you office manager and she will be able to take care of your request.

SCERTS

What is SCERTS?

The SCERTS Model is a framework for treating children with Autism which focuses on child-initiated communication in everyday activities.  The letters, SCERTS, is an acronym which stands for Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Support.  At the heart of the framework is the idea that children are available for learning and communicating socially when they are emotionally well-regulated.  Additionally, it is sometimes necessary for there to be transitional supports put in place to help facilitate emotional regulation for some children.  At CSLOT, we have adopted the SCERTS Model as part of the framework with which we treat children with Autism.

Therapy and Therapists

How many times per week and for how long will my child need therapy?

Our therapy plans are created for each individual child, the therapist will give you their recommendation after the assessment. There is no way to know exactly how long therapy will be needed, there are many factors involved such as the child’s learning process, how much follow through is going on in the home, and consistency of therapy.

I would like to change the length or frequency of sessions for my child.  How do I do this?

The length and frequency of services were determined at the time of the initial evaluation.  If you are not comfortable with your current level of service, talk to your therapist.  S/he can advise you on what is most appropriate for you or your child and changes can be made, as appropriate.

I would like to change therapists for my child.  How do I do this?

We want you to be happy with your therapist and the services you are receiving.  If you would like to make a change of therapists, please talk to the office manager. She can advise you on what other openings are available with other therapists.

Volunteers/Interns/Externs

Do you offer volunteer opportunities?

We have a volunteer program available, primarily for individuals exploring future career opportunities in the field of speech-language pathology and occupational therapy.   Volunteer sessions are set up in four-month increments.  To inquire further about being a volunteer at CSLOT, please see the volunteer page of our website.

Do you offer internship/externship placements?

We have existing relationships with many local universities and welcome student interns/externs.  Arrangements must be made between our extern coordinator and your university coordinator.  Please send an email to careers@cslot.com to inquire further.