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    Default Help! Seeing an OT for behavioural issues/ possible SPD or ASD

    My 4yo DD has been 'challenging' her entire life, & recently we discussed with the GP about seeing an OT to assess with possible SPD or (less likely) ASD, & help with transitioning to preschool & school. Our GP gave us a referral to an OT & psychologist, & a mental health care plan, which I was under the impression would cover much of the appointment cost for 10 appointments (5 OT & 5 psych). We just had our first OT appointment, and I was out of pocket $380 after the medicare rebate. Now obviously I will do what is needed to help my DD.... but I am terrified about the cost of following appointments! If each appt is $380, we will be paying $3800 for the 10 appointments all up. That is a LOT of money for us to pull out of thin air Does anyone have any experience with the cost of seeing an OT in a similar situation? I will ring later & have a chat about appointment costs for the future, but I wanted to hear if anyone on here had advice or experience in this area. I was also thinking I may cancel the psych appointments & just stick with the 5 OT appointments - but will talk to the OT next week about what is needed & how we can help DD the best way possible for the least amount of outlay.

    I'm feeling pretty stressed out about it all after the first appointment,and seriouly want to help my DD,but freaking out as to how we will afford it!

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    Hi, I have experience with OTs as I have ASD kids. However, it would help greatly if you mentioned which state you are in.

    If it's SA or Qld, I can redirect you. If you're in SA, I would say bypass the OT as there is another avenue but it depends on your response.

    $380 for a session is a massive amount. We paid much less than that and Medicare took up a lot of it. I would immediately suggest you shop around for another OT.

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    cheeeeesecake  (08-08-2016)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Tickle View Post
    Hi, I have experience with OTs as I have ASD kids. However, it would help greatly if you mentioned which state you are in.

    If it's SA or Qld, I can redirect you. If you're in SA, I would say bypass the OT as there is another avenue but it depends on your response.

    $380 for a session is a massive amount. We paid much less than that and Medicare took up a lot of it. I would immediately suggest you shop around for another OT.
    Thanks for the response, we are in SA. I just rang to ask them, & they said it is just the initial appointment that is $380, & the following 4 appointments are $70 each. I think it was her initial assessment that cost so much? I would shop around, but now we've spent a bucketload om the first appointment, it seems like I'm better off paying a smaller amount for the 2nd appointment where she will talk us through the results? I have absolutely no idea how it all works, this is my first time deaing with an OT, so appreciate any advice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeeeesecake View Post
    Thanks for the response, we are in SA. I just rang to ask them, & they said it is just the initial appointment that is $380, & the following 4 appointments are $70 each. I think it was her initial assessment that cost so much? I would shop around, but now we've spent a bucketload om the first appointment, it seems like I'm better off paying a smaller amount for the 2nd appointment where she will talk us through the results? I have absolutely no idea how it all works, this is my first time deaing with an OT, so appreciate any advice!
    ETA - am curious to hear about the other avenue you would suggest

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    Initial consults are generally always more as they take more time, generally involve some history taking, assessment (and follow up report/program writing) etc and as you've already found out, subsequent appointments are cheaper. You'll probably find a similar fee structure with the psych too or with any other allied health professional.

    I don't know much really about SPD but I know in WA, for ASD assessments you need to see a paediatrician, psych and speechie, not an OT. It may be different in SA though I'm not sure. But sounds like ASD is a less likely/less expected outcome anyway from what you wrote so hopefully the OT will be able to put some things in place for you to help your DD

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    SA? Fantastic. Go back to your GP and ask for a referral to the Child Development Unit at the Womens and Childrens. You can then contact them direct and organise it yourself if you don't want to wait for your GP to do it.

    OTs cannot assess or diagnose for ASD in SA. Not if you want the diagnosis to do something for you such as obtain funding, supported assistance or recognition of special needs via the government (eg. Dept of Education). You must have an interdisciplinary team and for a specific amount of time. The W&C will give you all of the info you need to know. Yes, there is a waiting list but your circumstances depend on where you are put on that list. In our experience, we waited six months for one and less for the other due to a cancellation. Oh and it's free.

    With the OT initial report, as Besha has said, the initial appointment expense can be hefty (mind you, $380 is the most expensive I have heard of) but the OT should go through that with you at no further cost. All future appointments should be therapy only.

    You might also want to bear in mind that SPD is not a standalone diagnosis in Australia. It is not in the DSM either. Never has been. It is usually a symptom that exists under a particular disorder. For example, one of my children who is ASD has an integrated diagnosis of SPD as it's a pronounced symptom. Just an FYI there.

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    cheeeeesecake  (08-08-2016)

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    Tha ks so much for all that info @besha & @Mrs Tickle. I didnt know an OT wouldnt be able to provide an official assessment, I figured that's who would do it because it's who I was referred to. Would a psych do that?

    With the W&Ch team, do I have to have a diagnosis to qualify to use that service, or does she need to be 'bad enough' on the scale IYKWIM? My GP didnt feel like she would fit an ASD diagnosis, but would definitely need some extra support. She said it would be unlikely we would be elligible for NDIS (mind you, this was her opinion as a GP, not a OT/psych).

    I guess I will find out more info at the next appointment where she goes through the results, but then if I can take her results/ report to the WCH, maybe that would be a better option than continuing therapy with her.
    Gah so confused with the whole process! Appreciate the help l.

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    Just be wary that when you see the child development unit at your local hospital (who are able to provide an official diagnosis for funding purposes) they will want to see and speak to all the therapists/doctors etc your child has seen to date to get a background and form part of the diagnosis (at least that's what they did with us and a few friends). So it would be good to initially be referred to a developmental paediatrician and you will need the OT report and anyone else (ie speech therapist). Also they typically have really really really long wait lists which is why a lot go privately when seeking a formal diagnosis (can cost well over $1k) up to almost $2k in some places as you need several different experts to compile the report. Waiting times and availability for public hospital therapy is also pretty horrendous typically

    You should get all of the $70 back as that's pretty reasonable for ongoing OT sessions and you get even more when you hit your safety net

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    Quote Originally Posted by me+he&she=three View Post
    Just be wary that when you see the child development unit at your local hospital (who are able to provide an official diagnosis for funding purposes) they will want to see and speak to all the therapists/doctors etc your child has seen to date to get a background and form part of the diagnosis (at least that's what they did with us and a few friends). So it would be good to initially be referred to a developmental paediatrician and you will need the OT report and anyone else (ie speech therapist). Also they typically have really really really long wait lists which is why a lot go privately when seeking a formal diagnosis (can cost well over $1k) up to almost $2k in some places as you need several different experts to compile the report. Waiting times and availability for public hospital therapy is also pretty horrendous typically

    You should get all of the $70 back as that's pretty reasonable for ongoing OT sessions and you get even more when you hit your safety net
    Thanks so much for all that info. I probably should have been clearer with the cost - today the appointment was $450, medicare refunds $70 = we paid $380 OOP. The following appointments are between $140-160 each, & medicare will refund $70, so we will pay $70-90 OOP each appointment.
    Last edited by cheeeeesecake; 08-08-2016 at 20:47.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeeeesecake View Post
    Thanks so much for all that info. I probably should have been clearer with the cost - today the appointment was $450, medicare refunds $70 = we paid $380 OOP. The following appointments are between $140-160 each, & medicare will refund $70, so we will pay $70-90 OOP each appointment.
    Oh holy smokes then that's definitely at the top end of pricing! If you are approved for funding though it's typically covered depending on what the needs are determined to be. But there is that initial hurt. Our 4YO DD has high functioning ASD/Aspergers - essentially just some sensory difficulties and a bit of difficulty with social interactions (not that she's not sociable -quite the opposite - more so about teaching her to carry on interactions/personal space etc) and we've gotten full funding allowing for OT/ST/social therapy which has been really great. We've seen a big change in her since starting her therapies. All the best

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