Frequently Asked Questions
Pediatrics / Kids Therapy
The goal for Occupational Therapy is always to get people to do activities or tasks that are meaningful to them. For children, this can be handwriting, playing, tying their shoelaces, regulating their emotions, or doing self care tasks. The list of tasks is endless and is specific to each individual child. We make a detailed assessment of what is holding the child back from reaching their goals and put in place a plan to overcome those barriers to progress. That can be through changing their environment, working on underlying skills or teaching strategies to adapt their ways of doing to better suit their abilities.
Whatever the challenge, Occupational Therapy aims to make children live more independently in a way that bring enjoyment and meaning.
An Occupational Therapy assessment is the first part of the therapeutic process and it is key to understanding the direction therapy will take thereafter. For most, the Occupational Therapy Assessment will involve the use of both standardized (psychometric) and non-standardized assessments (functional), which are typically done over 1.5 to 2 hours. Assessments typically involve a discussion (interview) with the child’s carers and if needed, their school. Assessments can focus on fine motor skills, gross motor skills, sensory processing, handwriting skills or any specific challenge. They focus on skills which relate to school, play, leisure, relationships or life skills. After an assessment, we provide a report which comprehensively details the results of any assessments used and recommendations for next steps
For some, the assessment is the only reason for referral and parents may not want or need to pursue Occupational Therapy Treatment. This is commonly the case when children are assessed for suitability for adaptive equipment use in schools. In this case, we provide a detailed report, outlining the results of an assessment tools and recommendations.
For some children, an assessment is the only reason for areferral. This is commonly the case when you need to find out whether a chidl needs adaptive equipment in school ot help them access the curriculum, when you need you home to be assessed to see what adaptations could enhance you child’s life or when you simply would like to get a better understanding of what your child’s needs, strengths and challenges are. In each of these cases, we provide a comprehensive report with recommendations.
The most common steps in Occupational Therapy, is for an assessment and treatment plan. This assessment usually take lace over 1-2 hours and based on the results of any psychometric and functional assessments, we provide a treatment plan, to move your child towards achieving your goals. Followign the treatment plan, parents usually attend for a “block” of treatment, which typically takes place over 8-12 weeks. At the end of that time, we re-assess and determine whether any further intervention is wanted or needed.
- Is your child regularly delayed in meeting, or not meeting, motor milestones?
- Does your child have difficulty with activities that other children of similar age seem to have mastered?
- Is your child struggling in school? This could present as difficulties with attention, difficulties with keeping up with coursework, difficulties with outbursts during class
- Does your child have difficulty with making friends or participating in social situations?
- Are they clumsy, frequently trip and bump into things?
- Do they struggle to hold a pencil correctly?
- Can they use scissors efficiently?
- Is their handwriting legible?
- Are they able to do up buttons and tie their shoelaces?
- How are their organisational skills?
- Can they self-regulate their own behavior?
- Do they have strong sensory preferences or dislikes?
- Can they transition with ease?
As therapist, we work with children for an hour per week. Others spend significantly more time interacting with the child. Our model involves training and coaching those who are in the best position to make a change in a child’s life (typically it is parents and the school team), so that they can ensure their child reaches their full potential. We want parents to be their child’s very best coaches. We work to ensure that parents have the knowledge, skill and expertise to help their child move towards their goals.
As well as being back up by research and empirical evidence, our own personal experience tells us that if we don’t work with parents, children find it much more difficult to progress. We help yopu understand the barriers to change and collaboratively problem solve strategies and methods to overcome them.
Yes, Occupational Therapy is usually covered under private health insurance. Some policies can give up to 75% of the costs back. We encourage you to reach out to your provider to discuss the level of coverage you have.
We frequently travel to our clients, whether for an assessment or for treatment. There is an additional charge for travelling.
We also provide services remotely (via telehealth). Recent developments have made providing services via telehealth much more effective. Some of the benefits of telehealth include:
- No travel times
- You can access therapy from remote places
- Therapy occurs within your home environment
- You can use resources that are available to you at home
In order for telehealth to be effective, you will need:
- The Use of Good Audio And Video
- Reliable internet
Many children experience difficulties accessing the curriculum, for a variety of reasons, such as hearing impairments, visual impairments, physical disabilities or learning disabilities (e.g. dyslexia, dysgraphia, general leaning disabilities). Often, assistive technology can allow a child to access the curriculum. In order to access the grant, which is submitted through the school SENO (Special Education Needs Organizer) , the equipment must be deemed essential for the child to assess the curriculum. This determination is often made through an Occupational Therapy assessment.
Please reach out to one of our team if you have questions about the application process or if you would like to schedule an assessment.
Housing Adaptations and Assessment
Occupational Therapist are experts helping people to do the things that they want and need to do. Often a home environment may not be set up well to support people in their day-to-day tasks. An OT can make an assessment to determine how your home environment can be modified or adjusted to meet your needs.
The Mobility Aids Housing Grant is available to people who need to make adaptations to their home to address mobility challenges. This may include include grab-rails, access ramps, level access showers, or stair-lifts/hoists. In order to get funding for a stairlift or hoist, an Occupation Therapy report is required. The grant is means tested and the maximum available is €6000. Although directed towards aging adults, this grant is available to anybody experiencing mobility challenges which affect their ability to live independently.
This grant is available to people living with disabilities, who need to make adjustments to their home so that it meets their physical, sensory, mental or intellectual needs. This grant is means tested and capped at €30000. Common adaptations covered under this grant include:
- Access ramps
- Installing/adapting to make downstairs toilet facilities
- Accessible showers
- Adaptations to facilitate wheelchair access
- Extensions (OT report required)
- Installation of stair-lifts/hoists (OT report required)
- Any other works which are reasonably necessary for the purposes of rendering a house more suitable for the accommodation of a person with a disability
As stated above, an OT report is required if you need a stair-lift or hoist. It is also needed if you are requesting funding to have works done that change the purpose of a room. For instance, this could be changing a garage into a downstair bedroom. You will also need an OT report if you require an extension.
Prices can vary depending on the amount of travel required to get to your home. Please get in touch with us directly to discuss the price of an assessment. You can reach us via phone or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are entitled to a €250 refund for the cost of the assessment. You will need to pay for the assessment up-front and you will be reimbursed later by your local authority.
You can find the form here
Return to Work Occupational Therapy / Vocational Rehabilitation
Questions from Employers:
One of the most common means of support is a functional assessment. Within this, we meet with your employee to make a detailed assessment of the strengths and challenges, before making recommendations to overcome barriers. Recommendations are tailored specifically to an individual client and involve collaboration between the employer, worker, and the Vocational Occupational Therapist. We would discuss any recommendations with you to help you decide on the option that best fits your resources and needs.
Some examples of support we offer include:
- Rehabilitation Program
- Ergonomic assessments and recommendations
- Job Demands Analysis
- Graduated Return to Work Plan (GRTW)
- Alterations to work tasks
- Education and training programs
- Management coaching and consulting
We have a wealth of experience working with employees and employers to aid in the return-to-work transition. The first step in doing so is to determine what the health needs of your employee are and how they align with the demands of their role. Using this information, we develop a vocational rehabilitation plan with the aim of restoring them to their job.
Once we have designed an individualized vocational rehabilitation program specific to the client and their role, we then take the lead in delivering the program using our experienced therapy team. We regularly communicate with you to ensure you are part of the therapy team and we provide reports on progress.
We want to make the worker’s transition back to the workplace as quick as possible, all the time ensuring that the return is durable. We want you to get a productive, stable worker back on your team.
Often a work environment may not be set up to best suit the needs of a worker with a physical disability. Some frequent difficulties include:
- Accessing to the building
- Navigating the interior of the workplace
- Poor set-up of the workstation , such as it’s height, accessibility, orientation or location
We can provide guidance and a detailed plan as to how to set up the work environment to ensure your worker can easily access the building, washroom and their place of work. We work with the employee to understand their specific needs and develop a plan to makes sure these needs are met. We are experts in understanding building regulations and can provide you with guidance to make sure you are meeting your obligations as an employer.
Yes. We can provide a detailed assessment of a worker’s abilities and limitations in relation to their job duties. Commonly workers can perform their duties with modifications or adaptations, and should this be the case, we can discuss those recommendations with you. This form of assessment is commonly called a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE).
We specialize in rehabilitation and have over 22 years of experience using evidence based practices to get your employee back to work. If your worker is unable to perform their work tasks due to their mental health, physical health, or a brain injury/concussion we can provide an individualized therapy program to restore function and return them to their job duties. Typically, we would see an employee for 1 to 3 times per week depending on their individual needs. Treatment sessions can be carried out in person or via telehealth.
We work with any condition that affects your worker’s ability to do their job. Your employee may not necessarily have a diagnosis, but instead may be showing signs of difficulty or distress.
Conditions we commonly work with can include:
- Brain injury
- Heart attack (cardiovascular accident)
- Hip or knee replacements
- Huntington’s Disease
- Learning difficulties
- Motor Neurone Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Orthopaedics (trauma)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Personality Disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Spinal injury
Degenerative conditions/diagnoses (e.g. multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease, arthritis) can mean that function fluctuates, often worsening over time. As an individual’s function changes, they may start to experience difficulties with job duties over time. Our occupational therapists are experienced and knowledgeable in progressive conditions; our role is to help people maintain their function as much as possible over time.
The initial step would be to have a conversation with your worker about how their health condition is affecting their work demands. A functional assessment could be used to determine their current functional status and how that relates to their job demands. Once that is established, we can determine a plan to ensure they can continue to engage with their role to the maximum of their abilities.
This plan would be made with both you and your employee and it would be specifically designed to maximize the abilities of your worker both now and into the future as their abilities change. This may be through adaptive strategies for work tasks or modifications to the environment. We can provide regular check-in with your employee to ensure they can remain at work and reach their vocational goals.
Yes, Meridian Rehabilitation can provide training to employers, managers, and staff. We can provide training on challenges that are specific to your company and can tailor our programs to meet your needs. Some of the topics we provide expert training on include:
- Managing stress in the workplace
- Identifying, managing, and preventing burnout in the workplace
- Conflict resolution
- Ergonomics and workplace environment design
Questions from Workers / Employees
Occupational therapists are experts in helping people overcome barriers to returning to work, and our programs are tailored specifically towards you and your job. After assessing what your strengths and challenges are, we look at the specific demands of your role. We then work with you and your employer to develop an individualized rehabilitation plan, with the aim of helping you to retain or regain the ability to participate in your employment roles/duties.
We then work with you to ensure a smooth transition back to the workplace and provide you with ongoing support when doing so. We can help you communicate with you employer to ensure you have a safe and successful return to work.
We know that returning to work can be daunting and we can help guide you through the process, to make it as easy as possible for you. Our Occupational Therapists can carry out a detailed assessment with you to determine your strengths and limitations. We then compare those with the demands of your role using a job demands analysis. Our occupational therapists then work with you to develop a pathway that will allow you to return in a safe and achievable manner. This can be through a period of vocational rehabilitation treatment to return you to your previous function, or through job modifications and accommodations. Some possible interventions include:
- Changing your workstations to make it more ergonomically accessible
- Developing a Graduated Return to Work Plan (GRTW) to allow you to transition back to work in a gradual, controlled manner.
- On the job coaching and weekly check-ins
- Adaptive equipment and body mechanics education
- Mental health coping strategy development
- Conflict Management education and training
Once a date and time of service/assessment has been agreed upon our cancellation policy is as follows:
- If a session is missed with less than 48 hours’ notice, you will be billed up to the full amount of the session. Cancellation fees apply to any service cancelled by the client or funder for any reason including illness.
- While it is important that we are paid for the time that we set aside for our clients, we try to accommodate as much as possible and if we are able to fill the cancelled appointment with other work, we may be able to reduce the amount of the cancellation penalty. However, please note that we cannot guarantee any exceptions to our policy.
Please give as much notice as possible if cancelling an appointment. You can reach out via email to email@example.com or by phone at 0894967444
We accept payment via bank transfer, cheque or cash.
We are located in Barna, opposite Donnelly’s Bar and Restaurant. Our yellow building has a stone arch on the side and seps leading to the front door. If you ring the doorbell, we can let you in.
We have on-site parking at the rear of the building, through the stone arch.
We predominantly cover Galway city and county. We also cover all of Connaught and North Munster. We can travel nationwide if required.