What to Expect from an Occupational Therapy Evaluation

What is an Occupational Therapy Evaluation?

A thorough evaluation is critical to assessing your child’s need for occupational therapy services as well as identifying specific goals to be addressed throughout therapy.  This post outlines Chicago Occupational Therapy’s typical approach to an initial evaluation, however this process may look different based on your child’s specific needs and setting.  We believe in delivering quality occupational therapy and making you and your child feel comfortable. Our primary goal is to ensure your child gets exactly what he or she needs. This is our mission as an organization and the primary reason we exist.

An occupational therapy evaluation will give your therapist the opportunity to take a closer look at the different areas where your child may be having difficulty completing his or her daily activities (i.e. “occupations”).  For example: participation in school or play, dressing, grooming, bathtime, mealtime, and even sleep. Our evaluations typically last 60-minutes and will allow your therapist to gather a “snapshot” of your child’s skills and potential areas for growth.  It is also a time for you to share any concerns you have and areas where you have observed the greatest need in your child’s daily routine.

The Evaluation is Comprised of Three Areas

  • A Parent Interview

During this time the therapist will ask you questions about your child’s past medical history including pregnancy, delivery, hospitalizations, chronic illness, allergies, and medications.  Other areas for discussion include past developmental milestone attainment and current level of independence with activities of daily living, including: dressing, grooming, bathing, and feeding.  This is also a time for you to share any of your concerns as well as goals you may have for therapy.

  • Standardized Assessments

Standardized assessments are an important part of an evaluation because they will provide information about how your child performs certain tasks compared to a group of same-aged, typically-developing peers. Typically, 1-2 assessments will be selected based on your child’s unique needs.

Standardized Assessments that may be used at Chicago Occupational Therapy include:


  • Clinical Observations

Clinical observations are professionally considered one of your therapist’s best tools for assessing your child’s abilities.  Throughout the evaluation your therapist will closely observe your child and take notes about a variety of different things. For example: How your child holds a pencil, grasps a block, or how they coordinate larger body movements like jumping jacks or standing on one foot, and even how they sit in a chair or on the floor.

What to Expect from the Evaluation

Your therapist will write a complete report of the evaluation within a week and share the results with you and discuss any questions you may have.  If therapy is recommended, your therapist will also develop a Care Plan with a list of goals for your child that will help to guide the direction and focus of therapy.  Depending on results, your therapist may also make recommendations for other therapies including speech, physical, or behavioral therapy.

Contact Info

Contact Chicago Occupational Therapy or call (773) 980-0300 to learn more about our services and how we can help your child flourish and grow.