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Is This Legal? OT eval in school no parental consent
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debsey









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 12:33 pm
So, my friend's child was evaluated by an OT in her school. She had never signed any consent form for her child to be removed from the classroom and tested. The OT recommended therapy - done by her - in the school. The school is saying they only allow this one OT to provide in school service, and they don't recommend any other OT.

The issue is not complicated - fine motor control (I've had kids with the same issue, was very happy with the therapy I got from Tender Touch, and it didn't seem to be a big specialty. It also was mostly covered by insurance and was nowhere near 260.00 a week!)

I have some problems with the story - no parental consent. A very overpriced OT that is the "only one" the school will work with (she wants 130.00 for a 30 minute session, twice a week. She does not take the parent's insurance. That's 260.00 out of pocket!!!!! ).

I work in healthcare compliance and we don't give a kid a TISSUE practically without parents consenting. How is this OK? Is there an OT on here that can explain? And why would a school insist on one particular OT for what sounds like a routine issue?

My friend is the very naiive sort and she's hyperventilating about paying for it. Something just sounds wrong about the whole thing. Any insight?
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amother




Pearl


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 12:38 pm
She didn't have an evaluation, that would have cost hundreds of dollars. She had a screening. If the therapist is hired by the school to do screenings and/or provide other services, she would be considered school staff and no consent is required. A screening usually consists of classroom observation, looking at classwork, and sometimes spending a few minutes with the child for more detailed work.

The part that stinks to high heavens is not giving parents a choice of therapists. That's not ok. Also, that rate is double to average private rate for OT, so it's absolutely appalling.
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amother




Pearl


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 12:40 pm
Adding that some schools get flustered having too many therapists providing services in the school. To control what's happening, they limit the options in school. I don't think it's fair, but it happens. However, parents absolutely must have the option of using their therapist of choice outside of school.
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naturalmom5









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 12:40 pm
Debsey, you are in Lakewood long enough to know how things work.. Shocked

Obviously, this OT has connections or the school gets a lot of $ through her...

And sure, the parents can file a complaint or contact an attorney, but then the child would be without a school faster than you can say school...
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Amarante









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 12:40 pm
I would trust your instincts - something is not kosher about this whole set up.

Forgetting about the testing without consent, having only one provider permitted and having this provider also do the evaluation (I am assuming) seems like some kind of "cozy" arrangement. I wonder who this OT person "knows" to get this kind of sweetheart deal.

Of course like anything, the question is how to handle it without reprisals from the school.
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mha3484









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 12:41 pm
We have an organization in our community that provides support to children with learning and attention issues in all of our schools. When my son was in 4 year old nursery the OT from the organization observed him in the classroom and sent me a report in the mail. I was not so offended because she does not do the treatment herself so there was no conflict of interest and she did not remove him from the classroom. I wish they would have asked me first because he was getting OT already so this just wasted her time but I felt that the approach was fine and not bothersome.

I think I would be very unhappy with the way you described it above. When it comes to our children I think the approach the school takes is so important. The way your situation was described would make most parents uncomfortable even if its legal. The school should have communicated their concerns to the parents in a different way before sending a therapist to meet with her.
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imasinger









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 12:45 pm
Sounds very strange to me.

I'd suggest your friend (or you) check with a couple of professionals -- OT places, anyone she knows in school administration. Get her facts lined up, then talk to the school. Maybe see if any other parents share her concerns.

If she doesn't want to fight them about evaluation/screening without consent (assuming they're not charging for it), she can always get a second opinion through insurance, and tell them that she is doing therapy out of the classroom if needed.

Are the schools in Lakewood so powerful that they can insist on something like "use this therapist or else...?"
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chaiz









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 12:50 pm
debsey wrote:
So, my friend's child was evaluated by an OT in her school. She had never signed any consent form for her child to be removed from the classroom and tested. The OT recommended therapy - done by her - in the school. The school is saying they only allow this one OT to provide in school service, and they don't recommend any other OT.

The issue is not complicated - fine motor control (I've had kids with the same issue, was very happy with the therapy I got from Tender Touch, and it didn't seem to be a big specialty. It also was mostly covered by insurance and was nowhere near 260.00 a week!)

I have some problems with the story - no parental consent. A very overpriced OT that is the "only one" the school will work with (she wants 130.00 for a 30 minute session, twice a week. She does not take the parent's insurance. That's 260.00 out of pocket!!!!! ).

I work in healthcare compliance and we don't give a kid a TISSUE practically without parents consenting. How is this OK? Is there an OT on here that can explain? And why would a school insist on one particular OT for what sounds like a routine issue?

My friend is the very naiive sort and she's hyperventilating about paying for it. Something just sounds wrong about the whole thing. Any insight?


Trust your gut, basically.
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debsey









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 1:00 pm
amother wrote:
She didn't have an evaluation, that would have cost hundreds of dollars. She had a screening. If the therapist is hired by the school to do screenings and/or provide other services, she would be considered school staff and no consent is required. A screening usually consists of classroom observation, looking at classwork, and sometimes spending a few minutes with the child for more detailed work.

The part that stinks to high heavens is not giving parents a choice of therapists. That's not ok. Also, that rate is double to average private rate for OT, so it's absolutely appalling.


I don't know - the parents showed me a report. It looks like she was taken out of the classroom and given at least one measure.

Maybe that's a screening - maybe every kid in the class got it.

The parents were not charged, but were told they must use this OT only. Just sounds odd.
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debsey









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 1:02 pm
amother wrote:
Adding that some schools get flustered having too many therapists providing services in the school. To control what's happening, they limit the options in school. I don't think it's fair, but it happens. However, parents absolutely must have the option of using their therapist of choice outside of school.


Yeah, I get that...... And maybe it's been a while since I had a kid in early elementary school, but when I had a kid with similar issues, the school was perfectly happy for me to find a provider outside of school.
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amother




Saddlebrown


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 1:04 pm
Don't know about the legality of it but my district administrator won't allow the same agency and therapist to do the evaluation and administer therapy to avoid conflict of interest and this is through the board of ed so this story definitely smells inappropriate at best.
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debsey









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 1:06 pm
amother wrote:
Don't know about the legality of it but my district administrator won't allow the same agency and therapist to do the evaluation and administer therapy to avoid conflict of interest and this is through the board of ed so this story definitely smells inappropriate at best.


Also true..... In my field as well.
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Chayalle









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 1:08 pm
naturalmom5 wrote:
Debsey, you are in Lakewood long enough to know how things work.. Shocked

Obviously, this OT has connections or the school gets a lot of $ through her...

And sure, the parents can file a complaint or contact an attorney, but then the child would be without a school faster than you can say school...


This is NOT normal for Lakewood - at least not the one I live in. When my daughter had handwriting and other fine motor issues, her teacher called me about her concerns, and I arranged for an OT evaluation with an OT of my choice, and paid almost half of what this therapist is asking for for services.

Debsey, your friend should stick up for herself. Tell the school this is not the norm in other local schools (if this is in Lakewood), including schools with experienced teachers and principals (Bais Faiga!) She should tell the school she prefers to take her business to a therapist of her choosing.
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Mommyg8









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 1:12 pm
Naturalmom5, my experience is the same as Chayalle's. I have NEVER had this kind of thing happen to me or to anyone I know, this really is very strange.
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debsey









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 1:44 pm
Chayalle wrote:
This is NOT normal for Lakewood - at least not the one I live in. When my daughter had handwriting and other fine motor issues, her teacher called me about her concerns, and I arranged for an OT evaluation with an OT of my choice, and paid almost half of what this therapist is asking for for services.

Debsey, your friend should stick up for herself. Tell the school this is not the norm in other local schools (if this is in Lakewood), including schools with experienced teachers and principals (Bais Faiga!) She should tell the school she prefers to take her business to a therapist of her choosing.


This has not been my experience either. It's true that I have not had a little girl in school in a long time, but I've never heard of this. That's why I'm reality checking.
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amother




Pearl


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 2:39 pm
debsey wrote:
I don't know - the parents showed me a report. It looks like she was taken out of the classroom and given at least one measure.

Maybe that's a screening - maybe every kid in the class got it.

The parents were not charged, but were told they must use this OT only. Just sounds odd.


Like I said, an evaluation would have cost hundreds of dollars, and the report would be several pages long.

Some schools screen every student, though typically it would be at the beginning of the school year. When a teacher asks me to do an individual screening, it's because she already has some concerns. I view the screening as an educational consult, not as a medical consult, which is where a full evaluation would come into play.

There are times that I make recommendations to the teacher, such as classroom modifications. There are times that I share tips with the teacher to address the delay on her own. There are times that I tell the teacher the child's skills are in fact within the normal range. There are times that I recommend other services, such as speech therapy. And there are times that I believe a full OT evaluation is warranted. In that case, the teacher would contact the parents and provide several names and numbers as options of OTs already in the school. The parents also have the option of doing their own research and bringing in their preferred therapist. But in the school I work at, they are very careful about not presenting a number one choice, much less an only choice.
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bestme









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 2:55 pm
Many schools do screenings without parental consent. Many schools only allow one or two therapists because they don't want too many therapist in the building. What is not right is that the person that recommended therapy is the person that will be doing the therapy. It is also not right that the school choose someone to be the school OT therapist that charges $$ to the parents. Most schools find therapist that are free for the parents.
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amother




Pearl


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 3:05 pm
bestme wrote:
Many schools do screenings without parental consent. Many schools only allow one or two therapists because they don't want too many therapist in the building. What is not right is that the person that recommended therapy is the person that will be doing the therapy. It is also not right that the school choose someone to be the school OT therapist that charges $$ to the parents. Most schools find therapist that are free for the parents.


Who pays the therapist if the parents don't? The only cases I can imagine are 1. Living in a district with generous board of Ed therapy allotment, in which case approvals would be required. Or 2. A special Ed school that has therapists on staff, paid by the school.
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keym









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 3:28 pm
amother wrote:
Who pays the therapist if the parents don't? The only cases I can imagine are 1. Living in a district with generous board of Ed therapy allotment, in which case approvals would be required. Or 2. A special Ed school that has therapists on staff, paid by the school.


Or 3. A therapist who takes the major insurances and jerseycare insurances (or whichever child health options are available in that state.)
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Chayalle









  


Post  Tue, Jun 12 2018, 3:46 pm
I know in Bais Faiga, some types of therapies are paid for by Catapult - I guess that's the school's BOE therapy allotment. In my DD's case, I paid out of pocket - but as noted, almost half of what this therapist is wanting to charge. I also got to choose my own therapist, though her teacher did recommend an agency that other parents in the school were happy with (and so was I!)

ETA: the OT did give me receipts for the sessions, and my insurance reimbursed me once my deductible was met, at their out-of-network rate. So it ended up costing me even less.....


Last edited by Chayalle on Tue, Jun 12 2018, 3:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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