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Developmental Pediatrician's Assessment versus Therapist's Assessment

Another question that we often get asked is why a child needs an occupational (OT) or speech therapy (ST) evaluation when he or she already had an assessment with a developmental pediatrician (dev ped).

There are stark differences between the two processes.

A developmental pediatrician observes the child to be able to come up with a diagnosis or a clinical impression. Only a dev pedia can give a diagnosis regarding your child’s condition. After your consultation with your doctor, she will then advise you whether your child needs speech and/or occupational therapy. Once you get a referral from your doctor, you may then schedule an appointment for an OT or ST evaluation.

When you are ready for your OT or ST assessment, the therapist can either administer a formal test (e.g., Sensory Processing Measure, PLS-5, etc.) or do an informal assessment using play for younger children. Your therapist will work with you during the evaluation to formulate goals and to instruct you on activities and methods that you can use at home to help with therapy.

In summary, the developmental pedia assessment is for you to get a diagnosis or clinical impression for your child’s condition while the therapist’s assessment is done to formulate goals that should be targeted while your child is in therapy.

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