A Few Tips on Finding the Right Therapist in the Philippines
The task of finding an occupational or speech therapist can be a lengthy and unnerving process. After all, when your doctor recommends your child to undergo therapy, there are so many doubts and questions that go through your mind on top of the responsibility of finding the right occupational or speech therapist.
Here at Brightminds, each child who walks through our door becomes part of our family, so we only want to offer the best kind of therapy we can give to them. One of our center’s goals is also to spread awareness and guidance on how to find the suitable therapist who will complement your child’s specific needs, so here are a few tips you can us if you are in search of an occupational or speech therapist for your child:
1. Ask for the therapist’s license or accreditation number.
As of August 2017, there are more than three thousand licensed occupational therapists in the Philippines, but a large percentage of them are already working abroad, so just to be sure that your therapist is licensed by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), don’t be afraid to ask for your OT’s license number and full name. You can verify this number through PRC’s website (http://www.prc.gov.ph) by clicking the Verification of Licenses link under the eServices section of the site.
In the Philippines, speech therapists are certified by the Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists. They are required to have at least 6 months of work experience and must be a graduate of the four accredited universities in the Philippines:
University of Santo Tomas
University of the Philippines
Cebu Doctors’ University
De La Salle Health Sciences Institute
2. During your child’s occupational therapy or speech therapy evaluation, do not be afraid to ask questions.
The progress of your child is a team effort, and majority of the time, the therapist will give you instructions to carry over the activities at home. The more you are informed about your child’s development and the more you know about the methods and techniques that you can apply at home, the more you are able to help your child.
3. Make sure that the therapist who evaluated your child is the one who handles his or her therapy or endorses your child to a licensed or certified therapist after the evaluation.
It is not unusual for two therapists to handle your child and collaborate, and it is also possible for a therapist to endorse your child’s therapy to another therapist if he or she needs to leave the center. We have heard some cases wherein a licensed OT or certified SLP evaluates a child and then passes them to an unlicensed OT or SLP after the evaluation. The licensed OT and SLP will then sign the initial evaluation report and progress report even though it was a different therapist who handled the therapy sessions. It is important that whoever does the therapy is the one who signs off on the reports so that, aside from ethical reasons, if ever a question arises from you or your doctor, it can be answered truthfully and accurately.
4. Make sure that you are comfortable with your therapist and his or her techniques.
Your therapist should be firm but kind to your child. Sometimes it can be hard for parents to see or hear other people disciplining their child, but as occupational and speech therapists, it is their job to make sure that your child learns certain behavior that can only be achieved through firmness. If you are not comfortable with certain techniques that your therapist uses, let them know so that they can use another approach that you are comfortable with.
5. Ask for updates.
A good therapist always updates you with the progress of your child while undergoing therapy. They should be able to tell you what areas still need improving or whether your child is doing better since starting therapy.
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