FAQ

What is pediatric occupational therapy? (OT)?

A child’s role in life is to play and interact with the world around them. A pediatric occupational therapist (OT) evaluates a child’s skills in relation to their primary "occupations" - play, school performance, social engagement and daily activities. Therapy sessions focus on strengthening the underlying foundations that are creating barriers in those particular occupations. 

 

Boise Outdoor OT uses a strength based approach, identifying your child's unique strengths and interests, to build those skills and accommodate for the challenges they are experiencing in their environment. 

Occupational Therapy can help children with a variety of underlying skills such as: 

  • Fine motor

  • Gross motor

  • Visual perceptual/ visual motor

  • Coordination

  • Balance

  • Body strengthening

  • Executive functioning

  • Sensory Integration Skills

  • Self-regulation and emotional regulation  

  • Social engagement

  • Self care skills (getting dressed, tying shoes, etc.)

  • Pre-school/School readiness skills

Is Boise Outdoor OT right for my child? 

Boise Outdoor OT services children from ages 3.5 - 12. Our 15 minute in-take call will give you insight to whether Boise Outdoor OT is a good fit for your child. Due to the outdoor environment, open space, and safety - this setting would not be best suited for children who: 

  • have complex medical needs

  • unable to navigate on an uneven surface

  • flight risk of running away

  • significant and overwhelming fear of being outdoors

  • need services that specialize in feeding

 

Do you accept insurance? 

Yes, Boise Outdoor OT is in network with:

  • Idaho Medicaid

  • Blue Cross of Idaho

  • Mountain Health Co-op (Link/Engage)

  • Regence  Commercial

  • SelectHealth Commercial 

  • Soon to be credentialed with Pacific Source Commercial and TriCare West (preferred provider)

What are your rates for private pay? 

We offer a "prompt pay discount" at the following rates:

  • 15 minute intake call: Free

  • ​60 minute Initial Evaluation: $185

  • 55 minute Individual Treatment Session: $120

  • 55 minute Individual Handwriting Tutoring: $120

Do you have a clinic? 

No, Boise Outdoor OT is an outdoor therapy practice that takes place along the wild terrain of the Boise River. We do have an outdoor facility connected to our home office, adjacent to the river and Greenbelt where our mud kitchen, slack line, climbing dome, Jungle Jumparoo, swings, and loose parts play are located. Site tours are available upon request. 

 

We do have an seperate, indoor office where handwriting tutoring takes place and for shelter from any hazardous weather. 

Why outdoor occupational therapy? 

Our clinic is the great outdoors. Our tools are the uneven terrain of the Boise River, heavy rocks, fallen trees, sand, and sticks, along with our outdoor mud kitchen, climbing equipment, and sensory swings.

 

Nature ignites the senses ~ her wonder is calm, yet alerting, creating whole-body balance to a child's sensory system. Nature decreases daily mental fatigue, while supporting attention to the environment. Outdoor space inspires open-ended play with natural objects and motivates children to move their bodies in unrestricted, new ways. 

Like traditional occupational therapy, Boise Outdoor OT will evaluate your child and develop therapeutic goals, however what makes us unique is we co-facilitate with nature for individual treatment sessions. 

 

  • Instead of a straight balance beam -> we walk on the uneven surface of a fallen trees.

  • Instead of writing with pencil and paper -> we use a multi-sensory approach with mud, sand, and chalk while strengthening our upper body using elevated surfaces.

  • Fine motor skills are refined as we pinch berries with tweezers and sew leaves together with a needle. 

  • Bilateral Coordination activities progress as we learn to knot twine,  jump rope, climb big rocks, and stabilize wood while hammering nails.

  • Gross motor skills are strengthened as we run through open spaces, practice cartwheels, move tree stumps, climb trees, play soccer, and jump in potato sacks. 

  • Visual motor skills are honed as we pour water into cups without spillage, practice writing letters in the dirt, and use scissors to cut weed, play catch, and ping pong. 

  • Visual processing skills are challenged as we search for hidden berries in the grass, look for shapes in the clouds, play memory with painted rocks, pop floating bubbles, and engage in scavenger hunts. 

  • Motor coordination is improved using a balance bike, learning to ride a two-wheel bike on the Greenbelt or engaging in obstacle courses throughout wooded areas. 

  • We tap into mindfulness playing "Eye Spy", " I hear", and sitting at the water's edge engaged in breathing exercises. 

What services do you offer? 

  • 1 on 1 outdoor occupational treatment sessions: 55 min (insurance based or private pay)

  • Handwriting tutoring: 55 min  (private pay, in-person or via zoom - not considered therapy)

  • Mud kitchen enrichment: various time lengths (private pay - not considered occupational therapy)

Are you only outdoors? What if it rains or snows? 

We support development throughout every season of life. As an outdoor therapy practice, our goal is to run in all types of weather - sun, rain, wind, and snow. We embrace the elements for their opportunity to engage in a multitude of sensory experiences. As they say "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes." During the wet and cold season, we suggest layers, wool socks, winter hat, water proof gloves, insulated waterproof boots for rain/snow, rain jacket, or winter/waterproof snow suit. The only exception to outdoor therapy is hazardous weather such as poor air quality, hail, or dangerous winds. 

What if my child needs to use the restroom? 

We have the option to use a near-by park restroom or a Luggable Loo outdoor toilet bucket with a privacy pop-up tent. Children are provided with antibacterial hand wipes to clean their hands. 

Are parents involved in the treatment process? 

Yes. Parents are an integral part of every therapy session. Together we collaborate to help the child be more successful in reaching their goals. A parent is asked to stay on site and is invited to observe therapy if the situation is appropriate.  

What is your Covid-19 / mask Policy? 

Evidence shows that outdoor transmission of Covid-19 is extremely low.  Boise Outdoor OT will continue to monitor and adjust our protocols based on updated information from the CDC and other health agencies (local, state, federal). We currently support families in choosing what is best for their child while outdoors.

 

What happens if we have to miss sessions? 

Three consecutive missed treatment sessions will result in being placed our wait list.

What does your calendar year look like? 

Boise Outdoor OT is open year round except for the following holidays: 

  • Thanksgiving ( a day before & after )

  • Christmas to New Years

  • Spring Break (Boise School District Schedule dates)

  • During the months of July and Aug - I road trip a lot with my family, so Boise Outdoor OT has a lot of "pauses" during these two summer months. 

 

Please          us if you have any further questions or curiosities.

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