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Physical and Occupational Therapy What to Expect

Preparing you and your child for physical and occupational therapy

We are very pleased that you have selected us to provide therapy services for your child.  We recognize that you are our partners in therapy and would like to share answers to frequently asked questions to make your visits with us organized and beneficial. 

Children's Mercy offers physical and occupational therapy at several locations throughout Kansas City. We hope these videos below help you and your child prepare for your appointment by seeing the facilities and watching some of the exercises.

What is physical therapy?

Physical Therapy (PT) helps children of all ages who may have an illness, injury, or a congenital condition to achieve or regain movement skills. PT focuses on gross motor skills such as crawling, walking, jumping, and balance activities. PT’s provide exercises for stretching, strengthening, and balance. 

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational Therapy (OT) helps children of all ages who may have an illness, injury, or congenital conditions to achieve or regain independence in  daily activities. OT focuses on fine motor skills such as grasping and writing as well as daily activities such as dressing, bathing, and feeding. Our OT’s also provide sensory integration and vision therapy.

Help us respect the privacy of our patients. 
Photography/video/audio recording or streaming by cell phone, camera or other device is restricted on our property.

What to expect during your visit

We want to help you and your child feel prepared for your visit. Here are answers to some of the most common questions from families:

What should I expect on my first visit?

During the evaluation, our therapist will ask you about your child, observe his/her mobility and functional skills, and may perform standardized testing. We then will thoroughly explain our findings to you, recommend treatment options, and possibly request consultations with other specialists to best help your child. During this process, we encourage you to give us your thoughts, opinions, and concerns. We strongly encourage you or one of your child’s caregivers to attend each therapy session.  If your child has a current Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) through your school district, please bring a copy with you to your appointment.   

What time should I arrive for the first visit?

Please arrive 20 minutes early to allow time for check-in and paperwork. We encourage you to preregister to make this process go quickly. If you arrive more than 20 minutes later than the appointment time, your appointment may need to be rescheduled.

What should my child wear?

It is important for the therapist to be able to see the body areas to be treated. For example, if your child has a concern with his/her leg, have your child wear shorts or bring a pair to change into.

Will I need to come with my child to the appointment?

A parent or legal guardian must be present to sign the Consent for Treatment form patients younger than 18. If someone other than the parent or legal guardian is bringing the patient to his/her visit, a notarized letter must be provided stating that the parents give consent for treatment. 

At follow-up appointments, teenagers 16 years and older may sign themselves in for therapy. During your child’s therapy session, we will ask that you remain on the Children’s Mercy Hospital property in case we need to contact you for any reason. This is for the safety and protection of your child. You may, however, leave the PT/OT Department if you choose to do so. 

Sibling Policy

We strive to make sure both you and your child get the maximum benefit from therapy. We understand that you may have other children who need to come to a therapy session. If you bring siblings to therapy sessions, we ask that you supervise them closely at all times. Siblings are not permitted to play on therapy equipment or with toys, so please bring toys or books to keep them busy. If siblings interrupt therapy or disturb others, we may ask that you and the siblings wait in the lobby as they cannot be left unsupervised. Your therapist will talk to you at the end of the session about the therapy services your child received or call you back to the therapy gym for the final 10-15 minutes to review home recommendations and discuss progress made.

How can I get a hold of my therapist if I have a question?

You can communicate with your therapist via the contact information below. You can also communicate via email through MyChildrensMercy patient portal. It is an easy, secure way to access you or your child's health information online including your therapy evaluations, make or change an appointment, and communicate with your health providers. You can sign up for the patient portal by stopping by any of the registration front desks.

Physical and Occupational Therapy Contact Information:

Children's Mercy Adele Hall Campus
(816) 234-3380   

Children's Mercy Northland
(816) 413-2500

Children's Mercy College Boulevard
(913) 696-5010

Pool Therapy at Children's Mercy
Physical and Occupational Therapy at Adele Hall Campus
Physical and Occupational Therapy at Children's Mercy Northland
Physical and Occupational Therapy at Children's Mercy College Boulevard