Understanding Referrals


As holistic, client-centered, evidence-based practitioners, it feels as though we are both a stepping stone and a bridge, for our families to collect the next pieces of the puzzle. As much as we’d like to say there is a secret “key” or a quick answer, and that we have both of those, we do not have either. It is also true that even doctors do always not have the “key”… 

That said, referring to other professionals that are part of your child’s care team, is a skill that we continue to hone in on and build. Your children, as little but still whole people, deserve to be looked at as more than just a diagnosis, care plan, or treatment classification. 

Reaching out to others in the medical field can not only provide us, but provide you, with a wealth of information. Shared medical reports with your treating therapist can provide a larger, “big picture” view of what needs to be done, what questions haven’t been asked, what answers are missing, and what questions and answers we are already aware of. 

Here are some of our most common treatment partners:

  • Developmental Pediatricians

  • Developmental Optometrists

    • Can provide information on ocular motility, which is a muscle-based skill rather than acuity. This is often something that is missed, and can cause reading, item-finding, and organization difficulties for students of all ages. 

    • Typically refer when a child has difficulty with developmental visual abilities including convergence, saccades, visual tracking

  • Physical Therapists

  • Audiologists

    • Can provide information on auditory processing, which is a skill that can affect direction following, the ability to answer questions correctly, retain information that is shared verbally, and attend to verbal conversations

  • Speech Language Pathologists

    • And feeding therapists!

      • Can provide information and important interventions to assist with picky eating, difficulty swallowing, decreased oral motor muscular control, and speech and language

  • Neuropsychologists

    • Provide important information on how the brain is processing specific types of information in addition to executive functioning and recommended holistic treatments.

  • Neurologists

    • Provide important information on how the brain is processing specific types of information in addition to executive functioning and recommended pharmaceutical treatments.

  • Sleep analysis professionals

    • Sleep is an extremely important piece of sensory processing. Many therapists refer to sleep as the “electricity” that helps our “car” transport sensory information up to the brain. It is important for connectivity, encoding memory for long-term recall, muscle repair and growth, and more! 

  • ENTs

    • Many times, oral-motor, breathing support, or other difficulties students are having can be related to adenoids in their throats, allergies or food sensitivities, fluid in the inner ears… 

  • Chiropractors

    • Can provide information about musculoskeletal alignment that can be affecting core strength, posture, possible fluid retention, and respiratory control 

  • Advocates

    • Can be available to guide you in advocating for your child, attend CSE meetings, navigate the processes associated with IEP development, service acquisition and more

  • Psychologist/Social Worker

    • Can help to develop tools for coping with a wide range of mental health challenges. Counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, parent support and education and more

  • Psychiatrist 

    • Can provide therapy and counseling as well as medication management 

Questions? Let us know down below!

By Jill Clancy MS OTR/L